V is for Vendetta

Saw V is for Vendetta on DVD last night, with the usual suspects. I’d been wanting to see this in the cinema when it first came out, but events conspired to ensure that didn’t happen, so I was quite keen to see it on DVD when it was put forward as an option. (The original plan was to watch The Matrix, but a few weren’t keen on that idea, so another film by the Wachowski brothers seemed appropriate!)

The film is based on the comics by DC Comics and is set in a Britain in the not so distant future where a fascist totalitarian government now rules the land. The parallels to Nazi Germany are not very subtle, with the persecution of various minorities, even replacing the head of state with a Chancellor. Other more contemporary political thoughts arise, with the far-right politics of the USA – the hijacking of religion and the dumbing down of ideas and thought, also mixed in for good meaure.

The story itself keeps you interested and weaves along, being quite credible for a comic book, but then, who would think a democratic country could ever slide into totalitarianism? Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. Admittedly, it’s interesting to see how the day-to-day sights and sounds one is familiar with appear in the light of a very different world – the Houses of Parliament, the Old Bailey, the Tube….even the BT Tower! Slightly less credible is the idea of the lone crusader, V, battling against the system as only a comic book hero would – with guns and explosives, but then, that’s what Guy Fawkes tried.

The effects and action sequences are, as ever for the Wachowski brothers, stunning and well choreographed – with a tiny bit of over the top gore. It was different to hear well-loved classical music such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 and Beethoven’s 5th, juxtaposed against various scenes, as well as slightly calmer jazz and blues, especially in comparison to the slightly more contemporary soundtracks of the previous films by the Wachowskis.

The film itself was well-acted, with plenty of iconic British actors throughout. Natalie Portman stood out slightly, but she’s a good actress (and possibly quite pretty as well), so that’s allowable. With the setting and the actors, as well as the script, the film had a very British feeling to it, which made it slightly more disturbing given the story!

A very good film which has a good deal of action, whilst providing plenty of thought provoking questions. Some of the political comment in the film is a little dubious, but then, the film cannot make us agree to it, only think about it. Well worth seeing.

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