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on 12 September 2017
Over thirty years ago, in Warrior comic, I read the first episodes... what became the first half of V for Vendetta {New Edition}... right up to the point where an episode consisted entirely of the lyrics and sheet music of V for Vendetta. Then warrior died, destroyed by a lawsuit it could not defend against Marvel comics for reprinting the comic Marvelman Classic Vol. 1 (Marvelman (1954-1963)). I wore a T-shirt with a V and a Mask on it for ten years until it fell to pieces around my beergut and this before the film was even made.

I say all this as prelude to show the expectation I had when the Wachowskis made this film. I could so easily have been disappointed but I wasn't.

Much was left out of the film: the prostitution, the infighting between senior Party members, Finch's homosexuality and his final rejection of Mrs Heyer (who does not even appear in the film). Finch loading himself on LSD in order to think like V. But this doesn't matter. None of it matters because despite the similarity of names, the comics and the film tell ever so slightly different stories. The film has a much happier ending than the book (although both have bittersweet endings)

There are moments in the film though that were done so well that they more than made up for anything that was missing. I'll cite as an example, the death scene of Dr Delia Surridge, which bought tears to my eyes in a way the comic never did.

So yes. I'm happy with this film and in particular people's reactions to it. The use of masks and the popularity of Tschaikovsky's 1812 Overture among Hip Hop afficianados. Well done to the Wachowskis.
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on 14 July 2017
Adrian Biddle made a superb job of the cinematography in this taut dystopian tale of a future fascist Britain.The script, cast and direction are excellent and, for a film with very little cgi, the near future is convincingly portrayed.Adrian , a former pupil of Shooters hill Grammar in South London, left school with little more than swimming certificates but went on to become one of the UK's finest DOPs working with Ridley Scott on Thelma and Louise and James Cameron on Aliens. V for Vendetta is dedicated to Adrian who left us too soon.RIP old school chum, your art lives on as a fitting memorial.
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on 9 July 2017
Had me from the first bars of the 1812! A stunning movie so beautifully filmed and with all my favourite actors - what a treat. When I compare the storyline to the current political landscape I cannot help but agree with the film's message.
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on 13 October 2016
Hugo Weaving plays the titular character of ‘V’, of whose face is never revealed (like in the graphic novel). Some people have criticised on the fact that they like Hugo Weaving a lot but that they don’t get to actually ‘see’ him in this film. A valid point, but the same can be also be said about John Hurt (incidentally, also in this film) in the Elephant Man in which he gave an infamously great performance and you never actually ‘see’ him. Acting is more than simply seeing somebody’s face, it’s also about physicality and Hugo Weaving’s performance is a highly physical one.

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.
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on 11 November 2017
I and my partner were a little dubious about watching this film, but we were pleasantly surprised at it's fantastic storyline,acting and special-effects. The story-line is about a modern-day Guido (Guy) Fawkes, attempting to fulfill his MISSION TO BLOW UP PARLIAMENT. Set in modern times, with backdrop of the "1984" scenario set by George Orwell, it really exposes the way "we" are being manipulated, by media and politicians, to accept our own suppression by our own police force and army.
Look and wonder!
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on 24 July 2017
...about an alternate future Britain. More stylish conspiracy thriller than action movie, V should be required viewing in places like China, because it shows step-by-step how we get from our society to this. Excellent British character actors chew scenery as fascist minions (as only British actors can). If you like your thrillers dark, intelligent, stylish, this one's for you.
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on 9 August 2015
What we have here is one of the most far-fetched films ever made. BUT, not in its core premise, which is that power corrupts, completely. So that people in positions of power reach a point where they will literally do anything - anything at all - to hang on to that power. The propaganda machine that the "government" in V For Vendetta use to manipulate the citizens, is very similar to what goes on in the mainstream media right now, it is just a notch less overt. But not far off at all in intention and execution, just more nuanced and subtle.

The far-fetched part is the way that "Anonymous", or "V", is able to carry out the things that he does in the film. To hijack the media or to use a tube train full of explosives to destroy the Houses Of Parliament. But of course all of that is not literal but symbolic, a metaphor. Therefore it serves to make the film entertaining and also convey the larger message.

The origin of "V" and the sub-plot of the way that humans were unwittingly used as guinea pigs for drugs, or worse, intentionally poisoned or compromised health-wise, has indeed happened on numerous occasions in numerous countries. It is not fiction at all - it is exactly the kind of abuse of power, and corruption, that I referred to at the beginning.

Hugo Weaving's voice, which he delivers with a soothing lilt, is perfect for the role of V, Natalie Portman also is excellent. Tim Pigott-Smith is very menacing too. Very enjoyable film that is still relevant, I hope in 10 years time it is out of date because the rotten system has been dismantled by then, I hope and suspect we are progressing in that regard.
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on 15 July 2013
A film for all times, perhaps unfortunately. Speaking a truth through entertainment, what is subtle in life becomes overt here for us all to see. We are to be entertained but hopefully it provides a spark in the mind that will stop us blindly agreeing to whatever we are spoon fed by the media and governments, which while it sounds paranoid you only need your memory to last a month to start seeing contradictions in newspapers and quotes from politicians.

The chancellor is a flat out copy of George Orwell's Big Brother from the excellent book 1984 which by the way should be read by anybody who enjoys this film. The film charts a year in the delicate creation of a Marxist type rebellion, the building of a symbol which can unite the masses. It is all about the complete overcoming of fear, the fear that makes lies truth, that squashes freedom under foot and from the chaos the future is born.

It is of course a film which demands repeated viewings you will get more out of it but besides that it is a good watch however many times you watch it especially with the verbose V who is an always enchanting orator which shows us the power of language and its preciseness in complexity when used properly.

V for Vendetta seems to have had an unbelievably small budget, highlighted by the fact that one of the props looks like a book light with the bottom trimmed, still in spite of the apparent lack of cash the film is not dulled and its message is no less sharp, if anything it adds to its power.

The film builds to a magnificent crescendo worthy of the best piece of music. Watch and learn and be humble.
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on 4 May 2013
One word - Wow. I read the back of the DVD case and it says the lead female character, Evie has to decide if V is villain, or hero, and after watching it, granted it is not real, but V is a hero in my eyes. It genuinely is a fantastic storyline. A Britain totally ruled by the government, with it's curfews, everywhere watched by security cameras "for your protection", all seen over by a high chancellor, who even says what music the people should listen to. Then comes V, saving a young woman from what the lawmen promise to be a vicious rape. He takes her to a building, over looking the Old Bailey and as 5th November comes in a series of explosions destroy the court. The government cover it up, saying it was a planned demolition. Next V attacks the news centre, where, after delivering a message to the people, he kills police officers, as well as dressing people up as himself. Later that night, news reports state that the terrorist has been killed. He kills a man known as "the voice of London," as well as a member of the religious fraternity with a penchant for young girls, and finally a doctor. After witnessing a co-worker killed, as she hides under her bed, Evie is apparently prisoned and freed by V when she says she'd rather die than betray him. Fast forward to November 4 one year on, and V's plan nears fruition. A figure wearing a V costume runs down a road and is shot dead by a law man. Her murder incites a riot. On the eve of Bonfire night, V kills the high chancellor and a group of police officers sent to kill him, but he is mortally wounded in the attack and dies. Having given Evie the choice whether to blow up the houses of parliament, she decides the country needs hope, and with V laid in state on a train, packed with explosives, she completes his mission and starts the train. A huge crowd watch the destruction of the parliament building, each one dressed up as V. A police officer asks Evie who V was, and she replies "He was my father, mother and brother; he was my friend; he was me, he was you, he was all of us." I myself was slightly disappointed by the thought that Evie might not use the lever, and also that V's true identity was never revealed. Apart from that, it was an excellent, enjoyable movie experience. Very Highly Recommended.
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on 2 June 2015
I was intrigued by this film and the graphic novel, after being a fan of the Batman / Dark Knight films and graphic novels - seeing some similarities in the visuals of the caped "vigilante" and ultimately dark world he lives in. Like the graphic novel, the film is visually striking and symbolic, plenty of action / entertainment, memorable scenes and witty dialogue, as well as a fairly complex, politically charged and thought provoking plot. The acting is of a high standard from the majority of the cast and most especially from Natalie Portman, who gives one of her greatest performances (second to her acting in Black Swan in my opinion). A great soundtrack also, in terms of both Dario Marianelli's effective score and the use of classical music - most especially Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
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