V for Vendetta Review
V For Vendetta
V for Vendetta is the closest experience you may have to holding a sub-par college party in your home. At first everything seems great, there are tons of people telling great stories, and most importantly, there's a chance of seeing some action by the end of the night. Suddenly, however, everyone you hate starts to show up.
The first knock at the door is a girl, who although being very attractive, is a hard-core political activist. Her only purpose at the party is to hand out flyers and inform your guests of the horrors of war and capitalism. However, she is pretty, so you don’t mind looking at her while her lips blabber on and on about God knows what. This you can stand.
The second knock at the door is some guy named Louis who is quick to inform you and all of your friends that he is openly and proudly gay, that being gay is great, that he love’s being gay, that you should be gay too, and everyone who is anyone is gay. He also decides to hand out rainbow colored pamphlets while loudly singing songs from RENT.
The third knock is from that obscure acquaintance who refuses to smile, tell jokes, laugh, or speak above a whisper. He refuses to make any contact, yet decides to sit directly in the middle of the couch. Your friends may try to cheer him, and the atmosphere around him with light conversation, however that is quickly deadened by his random poetic quotes and literary references to minor works by famous dead authors. He too has flyers.
Finally, the last knock is from a religious activist. This guest is unique however, in that he does not provide flyers for one religion but every religion imaginable, except for Christianity, which he believes is intolerant of his “multi-religional” beliefs. You frown at the idea that he walked here in his bare feet and kindly ask him to not step on the carpet. He considers this to be discrimination however, and immediately disobeys.
And so, you find yourself knee deep in flyers, unable to move, and paralyzed in the realization that you no longer have a party, but a new-age convention of sorts.
This is essentially the experience of watching “V for Vendetta,” a film filled with so many messages, it is ironically rendered meaningless. With a lack of action, it hardly suffices as an action film. With the abundance of messages, it is overly convoluted. With a lack of humor it is soulless. With its focus on current issues, it is overexposed, trite, and uninspired drivel. All that remains is a bland still life with a pretty frame.
However, what a pretty frame it is. Natalie Portman shows off some impressive acting chops, at least in opposition to some of her earlier roles, but the real star of this picture is Hugo Weaving. In an underappreciated performance, he manages to make the frozen expression plastered across the mask of the mysterious protagonist come alive. Despite the permanent smirk, the character V manages to express his deepest sorrow through the subtlest actions. It is a difficult feat, but Weaving pulls it off impressively.
Nevertheless, the film never delivers. The antagonist in this film is a corrupt government with some very nasty secrets. The main characters, while seeking to better their country, never go much further beyond vengeance in their actions. While the means the government takes to achieve their iron-fisted rule over the people becomes clearly twisted, the movie fails to show citizens in clear duress. Every shot of a home has a nice furniture piece from Ikea, every person holds a trademark beverage, and each citizen eats his or her own breakfast in the morning. Sure, they live in fear, but the movie never really shows it beyond the obnoxious leader screaming at his officials. Right there, the film loses its credibility.
As far as the “brilliant” protagonist is concerned, his “master plan” never actually goes farther than blowing something big up.
In the end, we’re left with nothing more than a dry taste in our mouth. Nothing was gained by this experience and nothing was lost. It looks pretty, but I’ve heard this rant before. I’ve read it, watched it, and listened to it. Frankly, I don’t want to experience it again. The worst, I fear, is that now more ignorant people will think they know what they’re talking about in defense of “freedom.” Well, when it comes to this intellectual party I suggest spending less time with RENT by the stereo, and more time with Ray Bradbury by the punchbowl.