V for Vendetta
Sabrina F Ahmad
THE streets are dark, sinister in the film-noir fashion. The US has collapsed (do I hear Osama cheering), and England is ruled by this autocratic government, which has everything from the Church to the press in its pocket. Ruthless law enforces bearing curious crucifix-like insignia roam the streets, bearing down on anyone who tries to defy the strict curfews. Freedom of thought and expression are things of the past, and anything that encourages individuality, like art, or music, or humour, is seen as deviant and immoral. The backdrop for Alan Moore's dystopian novel is dark and dreary indeed.
Enter Hugo Weaving (think the bad guy in Matrix) in the form of the mysterious knife-wielding, karate-kicking, Shakespeare-spouting vigilante in the Guy Fawkes mask. This enigmatic character rescues the lovely, lonely and disillusioned Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) from an attack by government patrolmen on the very night that he blows up the Old Bailey. As the hunt for this shady superhero known to all only by the name 'V' commences, he hijacks a news station and broadcasts his intention to blow up the parliamentary building in an act of protest, on the next November 5th. Since Evey is also under investigation as a possible accomplice, he hides her in his underground lair. As the clock starts ticking, and the race to catch this stylish 'terrorist' is on, he embarks on a cold-blooded campaign of vengeance, as a horrified Evey looks on. Does he get away in the end? Does the government win? You'll have to watch the movie to find out.
Peppered with quotable quotes (“People should not fear governments; governments should fear people”), subtle and stylish action sequences and a few clever twists, this movie may not be worth repeated viewing, but it's definitely worth a watch. Weaving departs from his Agent Smith impassivity to give us a passionate, if slightly demented protagonist, and Portman also delivers with aplomb. Add to that some seriously cool political philosophies, and you've got yourself a thoroughly entertaining movie. Two thumbs up!
(R) thedailystar.net 2006