I heard on a television review that V for Vendetta “made
a hero out of a terrorist” I knew I had to go see the film.
I had never read the comic-book classic that the movie is based
on, and a reluctant fan of the Wachowski brothers, but James McTeique’s
(a protégé of the Wachowskis) rendition is both artful,
coherent and powerful.
story is a simple one of revenge, but unlike a film such as Kill
Bill explores the problems that arise from revenge and the
corruption of the soul that results when the protagonist must essentially
become like the enemy in order to destroy him. The Guy Fawkes-like
character “V”, played Hugo Weaving, confronts an inner
darkness from which he cannot forgive himself nor see any possibility
played by Natalie Portman, becomes the conscience of “V”
and attempts to retrieve him from the dark before embracing it.
The dark being the violence she must unleash, the destruction of
the icons of democracy in order to, paradoxically, save the ideal
that it once represented. This embrace of that darkness in order
to redeem the ideal lost by the corruption evident in the government,
displays a kind of dialectic of chaos against conformity that must
be embraced if the situation warrants. In short, the film sets out
to justify the context within which modern revolution could take
there is any issue with the film it is that in its ultimate support
of violence as a means toward change, although one can see the argument
in a situation where a democratic state has become so corrupt that
no other alternative exists. This is the case with Vendetta's
Britain of the future, where terror attacks are fabricated
by the government in order to maintain social control and political
power. In such a case, the ballot box no longer makes sense, and
this is the point of the film.
metaphorically, the film’s end could be seen to support non-violent
protest as the primary means for social change in that the masses
at the end do not, ultimately, act in violence. They instead watch
it, as if in a movie. If this is the case, the message of V
for Vendetta may be much more one to get out the vote in 06,
rather than throw a Molotov cocktail.
Copyright Web del Sol, 2006