V for Vendetta – 4/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

V for Vendetta – 4/5 – This is a recommendation review.  Being asked to review this film, I had to sit and think about what this movie was truly about.  On the surface, it is a dreary and dire dark noir story, but when you delve particularly into the character of V, you see something of truth.  You see a vision of what circumstance would bring, even as the audience escapes into this alternate universe.

This movie takes place in an alternate universe.  In this world, Great Britain is a corrupt and abusive totalitarian government.  During a threatening run in with the secret police, an unassuming young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) is rescued by a vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving).  V is a caped crusader who is both articulate and skilled in combat.  As the movie progresses, you learn that this person embodies the principles of the rebellion that is beginning to brew and fight against the British authoritarian state.  V dons a mask of vilified would-be terrorist of British history, Guy Fawkes, as a symbol for those who are rebelling.  V then begins his quest, as he leads a revolution sparked by assassination and destruction.  Evey becomes an unlikely ally, as they both aim for the destruction of this evil government.  In the most riveting performance without ever seeing a face, Hugo Weaving performs, with great detail in his depiction, how complex and intuitive the character of V is.  You never see his face, but you do feel as if you see everything that is emotionally involved with this character.  All the acting is done with his hand motions as well as his deep descriptive dialogue.  In every scenario, you see a depiction of a man seeking revenge, as well as someone who is trying to free the people from the evil grips of the British Government.  Watching him on screen, he is articulate, cunning, swift and graceful.  You also see, at the same time, a person who is strong as a leader and a warrior with a strong cause.  You find in V someone who has stern morals, and more inclined with real human values than any other person on screen.  Portman as Evey is a great compliment to Weaving’s V.  She is the representation of an ignorant fool, trapped in the blindness of the government’s eye.  As she progresses through the story, you see strong development and characterization.  You see Evey build up to what V wants in Every English man and woman.  Applauding her for this role is an understatement.  She is truly at the top of her game in this role, seeing her become what V wants her to be.  The rest of the cast is pretty typical of a comic book/action style film.  You have your common folks, typical bad guys and ultimate scheming villain.  Outside of the main two, nothing else sticks out.

The direction of this film is very dependent on precision from the actors and scenarios.  I say that, because everything that happens is needed for V’s actions to take a hold on the minds of the people.  In portraying a terrorist as a good guy, the audience and people in the movie needs to see the morality of the situation.  This, in turn, is brought out (for the audience at least) in the first encounter with V, when he saves Evey.  You see that, terrorist is just a label from the government and it truly doesn’t define him.  When things begin to falter for each side, you see a tug-a-war kind of approach between V and the government.  Who will win is anyone’s guess.  All of the power resides, as it should, how the citizens will react to every statement and action made by both parties.  In the end, you witness true courage, zeal and confidence.  You see that people always find a way to do the right thing, even in dire situations.  While bringing out these themes, the movie does leave a lot less development to action scenes and more to dialogue.  Sometimes the movie can drag out at parts and become confusing with how situations are presented through monologues of V’s and the government, but stringing together meaning is where the strength of the movie lives.  You feel the same conviction as V, and understand that, even in revenge it does mean so much more.

The cinematography of this movie is truly epic on every scale.  From the back alleys, to the government buildings, and every aspect of the city, you feel as if you’re engrossed in a controlled and evil environment.  All perception is drawn out by the strong use of color and lighting.  There is a very dark, Noir-ish kind of tone, and the when the light strikes a character, you feel emotions of the situations.  When things happen, you feel the vile and abuse, as well as the angst and revolting mood when the backlash occurs.  You are truly encapsulated by what you see, and it helps add layers to the characters and their motives.  The score is riveting, to say the least, but nothing on the scale of the visuals you have in this movie.

Overall, this movie is more than just another comic book movie.  There is meaning behind the mask, no Pun intended.  Hugo Weaving brings marvel and precision to his role as V, as Portman does a respectful job in her supporting role as Evey.  The direction is strong and the visuals are great.  From the combination of those two, you are engrossed in this alternative universe of what a totalitarian Great Britain would be like. I recommend for any comic book fan and a definite add to your movie collection.

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