V for Vendetta is a drama/action movie that can be summed up as Hilter meets Matrix meets Benny Hill meets Faust.
"V", played by Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings), is a mysterious masked stranger who is on a double quest. He is seeking revenge for his own tortured past, but to a larger degree, he plots to overturn the futuristic totalitarian British government by using some of the greatest forces available-chaos and the power of the people.
This is a government that freely uses the press to spread propaganda and creates terrorist incidence in order to control the people by fear. The authorities roam the streets, listening in on conversations within homes. They break into homes and whisk people away with their faces covered by black bags, never to be seen again. Works of art are outlawed, homosexuality is a crime, and making fun of government officials can get you killed.
During his exploits to rouse the people to action, "V" comes across Evey, played by Natalie Portman (The Professional, Star Wars prequels). She is the embodiment of what the British people have gone through. She has lost her entire family through violence and she fears literally everything. Through a chain of events that include imprisonment and torture, she learns to release her fear and to truly live for the first time in her life, and in the process, she finds love.
Where to Begin
I don't know where to begin when writing about V for Vendetta. Do I begin with director Allen Moore's graphic novel adapted to screenplay by writers and producers, brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski (The Matrix)? They have learned from their mistakes with Matrix by making V more than just an action movie. With this film, the characters have true emotional-wrenching personas. Or do I begin with Stephen Rea in the role of Finch, the cop who slowly pieces together the connection between past events and the present with such grace that in many ways his subdued performance steals the limelight away from the Weaving and Portman?
Where I begin is not important as long as I don't forget to mention the true message of movie comes through loud and clear-instead of sitting back and allowing the government to run the people, the people have the power to bring about change. It is a powerful message, one that is deeply embedded into our history, and yet we sometimes forget and allow our fears to rule us. Some critics have deemed this lesson as the weakness in the movie, as it comes across to preachy, but I did not find that. I found it spoke to the basic hopelessness much of the voting public seems to feel. Besides, what is wrong with a good sermon once in a while?
A True Success
With the Matrix and now V for Vendetta added to their credits, the Wachowski Brothers are destined to greatness. V is a dynamic movie that makes the audience think while taking them on an emotional rollercoaster from suspense to revulsion to laughter to tears, and in the end, they leave the audience with hope that no matter how bad things may get, humanity can persevere.
While the movie lasts 2 hours and 12 minutes, you won't notice it. In fact, when the movie ended, the audience stayed in their seats, stunned by both the abrupt and yet spectacular ending.