Though the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’ by the Wachowski Brothers production is just a fictional tale set in the near future of a dystopian landscape of a totalitarian United Kingdom it is perhaps one of the most politically influential film ever made. The infamous cyber-Hacktivist group named ‘Anonymous’ who has ignited the Arab Spring in the middle east and revolutionize the act of protest has adopted the Guy Fawkes masks not because they know much or even cared about the historical deeds of the man but rather associate the mask and their actions of revolutions to main character of this story. The main character of this great fable is a man in a Guy Fawkes masks simply named V.
V for Vendetta was written by the great Alan Moore who is a self-proclaim wizard; state that the story was inspired by the real political event. The character, High Chancellor Adam Sutler was inspired by the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher whom during her reign had the ambitions of eradicating homosexuality and circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AID according to him. This paranoid rumors of that era has inspired the plot of the graphic novel in which the political party Norsefire, inspired by the Conservative party, used the pretext of several terrorist acts to spread fear to the nation and establishing concentration camps for the ‘undesirables’. In one of these camps which were used as a secret base for experimenting and manufacturing biological weapons, there was an individual that has built immunity to the viruses and resulting in a superhuman abilities and the loss of memory. One fine day, this individual escapes the captivity and destroyed the camps vowing to take revenge on those responsible.
Even though Alan Moore wished not to be credited in the movie version but the scriptwriters remain true to its graphic novel plot with only a few amendments made. In the movie, it began with the character V saving a young lady named Evey Hammond from being raped by the law enforcers, Fingermen before inviting her to his private orchestra on the ‘demolition’ of the Old Bailey’s Tower. The story then follows the Inspector Finch as he tracks down the ‘terrorist’ as instructed by the High Chancellor, with the only lead he could trace was the poor Evey Hammond who is immediately assumed as a co-conspirator. As the Inspector was on his way to Ms Hammond’s office in the state-run British Television Network (BTN), the anti-hero V was already there executing his plan of taking over the network to spread his message of revolution.
In his message, he reveals how the parliament have been using fear to manipulate the citizens to remain obedient and for those who understood what he wished to portray, he invited them for an illegal gathering of protest one year from the broadcast on the 5th of November to celebrate the actions of the mask he wore. He promised if there is such gathering that the House of Parliament will be destroyed by him. As the police enforcers swarmed the Jordan Tower in where the broadcasting was being made, the lead female character Evey Hammond found herself helping V. In the chaos of the raid, she was knocked unconscious and V decided to take her in to his home, the Shadow Gallery, though he had second thought about saving her.
The narrative plot of the movie continues with V hunting down each responsible figure who was involved in the camp he was captive in while Evey Hammond unwillingly trapped in his house.
A key decision was made in the plot as Evey Hammond fooled V stating that she wishes to help him with his mission in order to escape from him. She found herself hiding in the house of the TV presenter, Dietrich. Here she discovered that even someone as famous as her former boss has a deep dark secret of a controversial sexual preference and the appreciation of banned artworks and literature. Dietrich then decided to do a special episode on his talk show in which he playfully expressed his opinion on the High Chancellor inspired by the words of V. Thus resulting in his execution of the infamous Creedy’s black bag. In the panic of the raid, Evey Hammond found herself captured and locked in torture camp.
During her imprisonment, she found an autobiography of Valerie on a rolled up toilet paper in which describe the narrative point of view of a victim during the chaos of the Norsefire transition to power. She talks about the prejudice that was directed toward homosexuals and other minorities and how the tortures of her imprisonments but yet she kept strong with only love to keep her warm. The narrative view of Evey Hammond’s story continues with the revelation that she was being kept imprisoned by V in order for him to show her the cause of his mission. Valerie was a victim of the same concentration camp in which V was locked into, she is the main reason of his vengeance for a man without memories of his past life.
In another narrative point of view of the plot was the Inspector Finch investigation on V and Evey Hammond’s history. As the story progress he began to have suspicion on the official truth given by the authority members on the events of the past. Soon he found himself in the borderline of treason.
As the year past on the eve of the fifth of November, the entire nation gathers in millions hiding their faces underneath the Guy Fawkes masks in hope that V would kept his promise of a better future without the dictatorship of the Norsefire party. That very night, V finishes his mission and executed the High Chancellor Adam Sutler with the help of Creedy’s betrayal, though he too died at the hand of the masked man. The final acts of the story resulted in the death of V, thus ensuring that the lever for the destruction of the Parliament’s House was pulled by the hands of the people itself.
The main theme of this fable is Revolution. Alan Moore created a scenario that is undoubtly will be the future of our civilization if no changes are made and introduced an anti-hero that seems like an abstract persona of revolution in which he forced the people to question the authority. The story also shows the very tactics that most governments had been using, the usage of fear as a system to control citizen thoughts. Though reality shows that anarchy is not the best solution to replace such an administrative power but it is preferable to being a sheep. Since its release, the film has inspired more revolutionary gatherings with the Guy Fawkes as their choice of mask.
The movie plays out like a detective story uncovering hidden secrets with multiple flashbacks of memories. This film is filled with action packed scenes that are beautifully captured in multiple angles and slow-motions. This movie plays with the high quality props in such a natural way that it blends perfectly with the storyline, plus a realistic costume that is doesn’t seemed too far fetch or too strange of a future fashion. The lighting and coloring of the entire film are perfectly balanced to emphasize on the current mood of the scene and bold out metaphorical imageries. This film has very few flaws on the aspect of style, visual, audio soundtrack and definitely in the scripts.
This film has impacted our culture so significantly that other that those living in UK, very few knows the mask as Guy Fawkes for they rather called it V.