| 11 years ago||
V for Vendetta
Here's my review:
Title: V for Vendetta
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt
Directed By: James McTeigue
Produced By: Joel Silver
Written By: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Review written by Sarhan "Tsar" Rashid a/k/a My Word
So far this calendar year will probably go down in history, at least in my opinion, as one lined with some of the most unimpressive movies ever. I’ve have had no desire to keep myself entertained by chasing panthers, of the pink variety, or indulge in the company of gay cowboys. For the past three months I have felt like a s3x addict going the cold turkey route. Except instead of avoiding brothels I have maintained a safe distance from cinema halls.
I was happy today the drought ended and I’m glad it ended with “V for Vendetta”.
For those who haven’t been following closely, the movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name by famed writer Alan Moore. In the story, set in an alternate future, Britain is under the rule of a totalitarian government with an astonishing disregard for the rights and liberties of its citizens and uses its strongest weapon to control the masses – Fear. I hate to lace my reviews with political commentary, although sometimes, as is the case here, it is near impossible to do so. In any case I’ll let you draw your own allegory.
For those who haven’t been following closely, the movie has also been in the news for Mr. Moore’s refusal to have his name a.ssociated with any and everything to do with it. If you take the time to view the history of big screen adaptations of his work you’ll learn why.
Thankfully the Wachowski brothers. Andy and Larry, (of “The Maxtrix” fame and subsequent sequel infamy) have a.ssembled a faithful adaptation.
Like any adaptation of literary work it’s hard to compress every detail into the running time of a movie. Today’s filmmakers and audiences alike have the advantage of extended or directors cut DVD’s but even then sometimes plot lines have to be altered, often drastically, in order to appear more believable to audiences. It’s good to note the brothers Wachowski have opted to not take the drastic route. In fact I believe this could be the most accurate of adaptations based on Mr. Moore’s work.
With the involvement of such industry heavyweights (including producer Joel Silver) it’s hard to tell how much creative input director James McTeigue really had. I can’t help but get this feeling he was handed the shooting script and told to go out and shoot the scenes. a.ssumption aside, it is remarkable how well he did shoot the movie. The tone is well maintained throughout and action scenes are neither cut together like the latest music video nor do they seem like the unwanted remains from “The Matrix Trilogy”.
It also helps that a great cast valiantly carries this movie. I had just recently, two weeks ago to be precise, watched Natalie Portman go through the motions playing a stripper in “Closer”. I know for a fact critics lapped up that performance to the extent that they even rewarded her with an Academy award for it but I thought it she overplayed it to the point of hamming. All through the movie I wondered whether the talented girl from “The Professional” become the victim of a Sith lord. With her role of Evey Hammond her talents have finally shattered the stranglehold the dark side had on her.
The loudest of all the applause should clearly go to Hugo Weaving for emoting so much even from under an ever smiling mask. He’s the new Andy Serkis. He also gets the juiciest of lines and his self-introduction to Evey is bound to get the crowd roaring in delight. It’s a fantastic piece of writing, one I hope they will immortalize on t-shirts everywhere.
The supporting cast does a good job too although the constant yelling of John Hurt as Chancellor Adam Sutler can get grating on the nerves.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am going to avoid lacing my review with talk of politics. Sure a movie such as this warrants it on some level but I would like to enjoy it as escapist cinema more than anything else. You are most welcome to do otherwise.
- I felt the inclusion of the Holy Quran was silly and trying too hard. Yes, I am a Muslim. No, I’m not mentioning that on religious grounds. I’m not an advocate for the religion I was born into. I speak merely as a moviegoer and that scene just struck me as terribly pretentious.
- When V meets Detective Finch (Stephen Rea), were they trying to make him look like Alan Moore? Anybody else felt that way?
- Isn’t it funny that the scene censored in the local (Singaporean) release has to do with same gender relationships, something that is frowned on by the movie's fictional government?
- I’m mixed about the first song played over the end credits. The political ramblings and instrumental were a cool touch but what’s with them using the Hindi song lyrics over it? I speak Hindi for your information and those lyrics don’t gel with any element present in the movie at all!