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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

V For Vendetta  rating

Review: written 2006

Original and provocative

A bold and imaginative, visually striking film, telling a story based on an alternate near future, where a totally right wing faction has taken control of the UK and a `Supreme Chancellor' (played by John Hurt) rules the country with an iron fist. The (anti)hero is `V', who models himself on Guy Fawkes and seeks to provoke a nation who have been made submissive through apathy and government controlled media. His plan - to blow up the Houses of Parliament, uniting the people against the government.

Our entry into this world is from two sides - Firstly, through Evey, played terrifically by Natalie Portman (have my doubts about that English accent though). She comes (by chance?) into V's orbit when he rescues her from an attack. They form an unusual relationship, he never taking his mask off throughout the film. Secondly, through the eyes of the young detective investigating the series of murders which V is committing.. these murders and investigation help fill us in to the reasons how and why the country ended up in this totalitarian state. A surprise extended cameo was Stephen Fry, who plays a character which you can think of no-one more suited for.

This set up allows a fascinating view on very topical issues of the day - when does a terrorist become a patriot? When a government takes more and more civil liberty from the people - who is to blame, the government, or the people who let it happen through apathy? These questions make this a film which works well on several levels - it's a visually striking, well acted, action packed movie, but also a provocative political statement too. However, its by no means a dull message movie - it's got a terrific script, not least the wonderful monologue where V alliterates on the theme of `v' (`In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate!'). It's a scene reminiscent of the great speech from Cyrano De Bergerac.

So my advice is, watch it, and make your own mind up.. it's a movie worth talking about, regardless of how much you enjoy it - thankfully, it's enjoyable on whatever level you watch it - thumbs up from me.





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