- Actors: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt
- Directors: James McTeigue
- Writers: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
- Producers: Grant Hill, Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
- Format: PAL, Subtitled
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, German
- Audio Description: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: Unknown
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- DVD Release Date: 31 July 2006
- Run Time: 132 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 676 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000B83Z4O
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,319 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
V for Vendetta 
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Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, this tense thriller tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (Hugo Weaving) known only as 'V'. Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself - and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.
"Remember, remember the fifth of November," for on this day, in 2020, the minds of the masses shall be set free. So says code-name V (Hugo Weaving), a man on a mission to shake society out of its blank complacent stares in the film V For Vendetta. His tactics, however, are a bit revolutionary to say the least. The world in which V lives is very similar to Orwell's totalitarian dystopia in 1984: after years of various wars, England is now under "big brother" Chancellor Adam Sutler (played by John Hurt, who ironically played Winston Smith in the movie 1984) whose party uses force and fear to run the nation. After gaining power, minorities and political dissenters were rounded up and removed; artistic and unacceptable religious works were confiscated. Cameras and microphones are littered throughout the land, and the people are perpetually sedated through the governmentally controlled media. Taking inspiration from Guy Fawkes, the 17th century co-conspirator of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5, 1605, V dons a Fawkes mask and costume and sets off to wake the masses by destroying the symbols of their oppressors, literally and figuratively. At the beginning of his vendetta, V rescues Evey (Natalie Portman) from a group of police officers and has her live with him in his underworld lair. It is through their relationship where we learn how V became V, the extremities of the party's corruption, the problems of an oppressive government, V's revenge plot and his philosophy on how to induce change.
Based on the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, V For Vendetta's screenplay was written by the Wachowski Brothers (of The Matrix fame) and directed by their protégé James McTeigue. Controversy and criticism followed the film since its inception, from the hyper-stylized use of anarchistic terrorism to overthrow a corrupt government and the blatant jabs at the current US political arena, to graphic novel fans complaining about the reconstruction of Alan Moore's original vision (Moore himself has dismissed the film). Many are valid critiques and opinions, but there's no hiding the message the film is trying to express: Radical and drastic events often need to occur in order to shake people out of their state of indifference in order to bring about real change. Unfortunately, the movie only offers a means with no ends, and those looking for answers may find the film stylish, but a bit empty. --Rob BraccoSee all Product description
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Alan Moore, the co-creator of the graphic novel, has notoriously disowned the film (as he has done with all of his works that have been given the silver screen treatment). Incidentally, Alan Moore, by his own admission, has not seen the film, but has been “reliably informed that it only has a passing resemblance to the comic.” As much as I respect him, I personally recommend that this film be watched with Alan Moore’s name removed from the equation and see it as a standalone piece of work.
I now own both the DVD and the graphic novel, both of which I found to be enjoyable. The graphic novel, as you’d expect, is denser and goes into more detail dealing with political issues such as, when does a freedom fighter become a terrorist and vice versa? The film, however, has a more ‘pop’ sensibility about it and is generally more accessible.
John Hurt gives a convincing performance of what is, essentially, the ‘Big Brother’ character, Chancellor Sutcliffe. (A vaguely eerie connection to one of his previous films, 1984, in which he played the protagonist to the actual Big Brother).
In summary, a highly enjoyable film with a pinch of camp and silliness to contrast the bleak dystopia in which it is set.
Look and wonder!
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