greg (grysar) wrote,

V for Vivid Verbosity

Saw V for Vendetta last night. Enjoyed it as a superhero (gadgeteer subtype) movie, but thought it didn't work as a topical political allegory. The larger parable of that fascist authoritarianism and systematic persecution of homosexuals is bad came across just fine, but not in a particularly relevant way.

To keep things (relatively) short I'm breaking it up by topic. This entry is my comments on it as a story, political filters off. Non-spoilery comments:

  • The in story satire sequence was brilliant.

  • Always have loved the 1812 overture and its well used in this movie.

  • Delaying the release after the London bombings was a good call.

  • Loved the alliteration. Also in general the acting by Hugo Weaving did an excellent job given the constraints of the mask.

  • Props to the story for appropriately handling the consequences of V clearly being a crazy person.

  • As a general story, it suffered by the unexplained resources at V's command. The ten year preparation time frame helped, but it did strain the suspension of disbelief.

  • lampbane is right that the America references don't quite work. But I think the problem is not so much including America in Britain's story but having pretensions to being topical when it really isn't. I think lots of references to say Tony Blair would also have fallen flat. Although I did laugh my ass off at one Cheney reference


First a bit more on the fact that he seemed independently wealth. V was able to do massive mailings and gather incredible amounts of explosives with no clear resources except time. Yes he could steal censored materials from the vaults but even if he's pulling the occasional bank job, how's he do all this unnoticed? I think it might actually have been a little stronger if he instead gave pointers on improvising masks or something. Rip down a poster and draw it on the back. Or maybe sneaking it on to a newspaper page. For a story that was in part about the power of one man and symbols, it used a fair number of revolutionary techniques that would require rather effective organizations to really pull off. For a comparison see Batman Begins which beside establishing Wayne's wealth took a couple scenes to establish how he was doing stuff in secret. Even more necessary when not operating in a free society.

I liked the use of the Count of Monte Cristo, the theme of vengeance above all else, and Evey's keeping a certain amount of distance from V up to the end. Yeah she offered to run away with him, but that was never a real possibility.

Finally, the unless I seriously misunderstood something, the Larkhill plotline with the concentration camps and systematic murder of innocents happened before the biological weapon attack that brought the bad guys to power. I think this is the result of Larkhill being in the original book (according to Wikipedia) and the bioweapons being an addition of this movie. Regardless, I tend to think such things are rather implausible until the bad guys are in charge.
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