Retro Review: V for Vendetta (2005)

If you are anything above 12 and you have not seen The Matrix then I seriously do not know what to say to you. Like really? The Matrix is not up for review per say but I want to draw your attention to the brains behind the movie, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski (The Wachowski Brothers as they are fondly called). Fast forward from ‘99 to 2005 with 3 installments of The Matrix behind them, they decided to embark on another movie project.

“Remember, remember the 5th of November. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot”. For those who are into poetry, these lines of rhymes fall in perfectly.  These are the opening lines for V FOR VENDETTA

V for Vendetta is directed by James McTeigue while the Wachowski Brothers where responsible for the screenplay with Joel Silver & the Brothers producing the movie.  The cast consists of Natalie Portman as Evey, Hugo Weaving as V, Stephen Rea as Finch, Stephen Fry as Deitrich, John Hurt as Adam Sutler, Tim Pigott-Smith as Creedy, Rupert Graves as Dominic, Roger Allam as Lewis Prothero, Ben Miles as Dascomb, John Standing as Lilliman, Eddie Marsan as Etheridge and Natasha Wightman as Valerie.

V for Vendetta is about a mysterious revolutionary who puts on a Guy Fawkes mask and calls himself V, who plans to fight the totalitarian society in the not too distant future, United Kingdom. Upon saving a girl by the name Evey, V finds himself an unlikely ally as he plans to end the rule of High Chancellor Adam Sutler and the totalitarian government system he uses to rule the people and along the way affecting the people he encounters.

V for Vendetta is a ten-issue comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, set in a dystopian future United Kingdom that was published by Vertigo (DC Comics) {Culled from Wikipedia}. The Wachowski brothers therefore decided to bring the comic book to the big screen with a little twist here and there to produce a masterpiece and classic for all times.  The concept of the movie is excellent and every character in the movie played their parts so well that they deserve a standing ovation as given to members of an orchestra after they are done with their performance. 😀

Hugo Weaving coming from The Matrix where he was Agent Smith, delivering a wonderful performance with an excellent command of diction & passion, comes into V for Vendetta with the same drive and delivers an even more powerful performance. He made V look ruthless, intelligent and also human and I must say I was more than impressed (Side Note: For those of you who don’t know, Hugo Weaving was born in Ibadan, Nigeria so he’s a Nigerian by birth so we can lay claim small). 😀

Natalie Portman on the other hand, WOW is the only word I can say for her performance as she delivered the role of Evey Hammond on a platter of gold and I must say she I was highly impressed with her role, the way she acted the transition her character experienced in the movie and the boldness of having her hair cut. 🙂

V for Vendetta was a wonderful movie when it was released and till date remains a wonderful movie. It told a story that we all could relate to, delivered the story with wonderful intelligent interactions that had me swooning for weeks and years later. I even got one of my favourite quotes from this movie.

Rating: 9.5/10

Worthiness: This movie is a classic, one you’ll look back upon and be glad you watched. I still got my copy. 😉

Favourite Quotes

V: We’re oft to blame, and this is too much proved, that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar on the devil himself.
Baldy Fingerman: What does that mean?
V: Spare the Rod.

Evey Hammond: [reads] Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.
V: [translates] By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.
Evey Hammond: Personal motto?
V: From “Faust”.
Evey Hammond: That’s about trying to cheat the devil, isn’t it?
V: It is.

V: [Evey pulls out her mace] I can assure you I mean you no harm.
Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation; I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey Hammond: Oh. Right.
V: But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace sobriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.
V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
[carves “V” into poster on wall]
V: The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
V: [giggles]
V: Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.
Evey Hammond: Are you, like, a crazy person?
V: I am quite sure they will say so. But to whom, might I ask, am I speaking with?
Evey Hammond: I’m Evey.
V: Evey? E-V. Of course you are.
Evey Hammond: What does that mean?
V: It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence. Are you hurt?

Dascomb: Chancellor, there is a contingency that has not been addressed.
Sutler: And what is that, Mr. Dascomb?
Dascomb: Should the terrorist succeed…
Sutler: He won’t!
Dascomb: I understand that it is highly unlikely, but if he does…
Sutler: If he does, and something happens to that building, the only thing that will change, the only difference it will make is that tomorrow morning, instead of a newspaper I will be reading Mr. Creedy’s resignation!

Evey Hammond: Are you like a… crazy person?
V: I’m quite sure they will say so.

V: Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot. (Epic Quotes)

V: It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in honor of the holiday that she seems to have taken from these parts, and in recognition of the impostor that stands in her stead. Tell me Evey, do you know what day it is?
Evey Hammond: Um, November the 4th.
V: [midnight church bells ring] Not anymore. Remember, remember the 5th of November. The gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

V: …A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world. 

V: [Quoting Macbeth from Macbeth Act I Scene 7] I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.

V: [Quoting Viola from Twelfth Night Act I Scene 2] Conceal me what I am, and be my aid For such disguise as haply shall become The form of my intent. 

[after a hail of gunfire doesn’t stop V]
Creedy: Die! Die! Why won’t you die?… Why won’t you die?
V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

Creedy: Defiant to the end, huh? You won’t cry like him, will you? You’re not afraid of death. You’re like me.
V: The only thing that you and I have in common, Mr. Creedy, is we’re both about to die.
Creedy: How do you imagine that’s gonna happen?
V: With my hands around your neck.
Creedy: Bollocks. Whatchya gonna do, huh? We’ve swept this place. You’ve got nothing. Nothing but your bloody knives and your fancy karate gimmicks. We have guns.
V: No, what you have are bullets, and the hope that when your guns are empty I’m no longer be standing, because if I am you’ll all be dead before you’ve reloaded.

Evey Hammond: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.

Evey Hammond: My father was a writer. You would’ve liked him. He used to say that artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.
V: A man after my own heart.

Finch: One thing is true of all governments – their most reliable records are tax records.

V: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people

V: [quoting the sergeant from Macbeth Act I Scene 2] “The multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him
[skips 4 lines from the original Shakespeare]
V: disdaining fortune/with his brandish’d steel, which smoked with bloody execution.

Evey Hammond: Where did you get all this stuff?
V: Oh, here and there, mostly from the Ministry of Objectionable Materials.
Evey Hammond: You stole them?
V: Oh, heavens, no. Stealing implies ownership. You can’t steal from the censor; I merely reclaimed them.


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Without Wax,


6 thoughts on “Retro Review: V for Vendetta (2005)

  1. I notice on James McTeigue’s IMDB page there is some conjecture as to whether he is a real person or not. Well, as someone who attended film school with James, I can safely say – he seemed real enough to me. 🙂 Great review by the way!

  2. Wow… Watched dis movie wen I was a bit immature nd all I wntd was d action ish nd tot twas BS… Dis review makes me wanna watch °̩t again wit ma ears opened…

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