Tuesday, October 21, 2008

V For Vendetta (2005)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, John Hurt
Director: James McTeigue, Comic Book Classics

I read the book back in the late 80s when it carried some power, and we were all a bit scared of where the future was taking us politically. Margaret Thacher reigned supreme and the spectre of Big Brother loomed over all of us.

Now that this frightening future has arrived the book has little power. Thatcher entered the House of Lords, surveillance society is here, ID cards will be here in a couple of years, and special rendition means you are always in the FBI's jurisdiction.

All this just goes to show up the books weaknesses, and the clumsy way it represented a fascist state. Instead of minorities being victimised, we have all been railroaded into accepting an illegal War Against Terror aimed at the muslim world. We have also lost control of our governments; few believe democracy works, few bother voting.

This film ultimately is out-dated, irrelevent, and the silliness of the concept means that any valid point about the way the world is now,eg, the government's main role in the present is to scare and control its people with threats of terrorism and violence, is almost entirely lost.

The film itself lacks flair and ambition. Is it a parallel world or the future? Either way - it doesn't make it. It borrows images from the most recent 1984 adaptation (notably John Hurt's face on a big screen) and the Matrix, but the police are equipped with 1990s Rovers, and everything in the film is just exactly as things actually are. A good dystopic fantasy movie will make change to the reality - either we live in wartime squalor and this should be visible on the screen, or we don't which will mean changes from our reality - different vehicles, different fashions, different designs, new or alternative technology, just something that makes you believe in this alternative or future reality. but there was nothing, just a man who sounds like James Mason wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, and behaving like he's in the Matrix.

Still - quite enjoyed it anyway, just a bit disappointed.

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