V for Vendetta

Brilliant. This was a fantastic movie. I was somewhat reluctant to see it…it looked a little Zorro-ish or whatever, but boy was I wrong. Vendetta stars Natalie Portman (Golden State, Closer) and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) as the masked vigilante/freedom-fighter “V.” It was written by The Wachowski Brothers, the ingenious duo responsible for The Matrix trilogy.

V for Vendetta weaves a complicated Orwellian tale, borrowing intermittently from the overall themes and concepts of 1984. Set in the near future in England, the movie paints a frightening picture of a country controlled by a fascist chancellor. Art and music are not permitted. Citizens are monitored and speech is controlled. The government was empowered after a series of deadly plagues killed thousands of citizens and the powers-that-be produced a cure, at a cost. The cost is freedom. It is against this bleak backdrop that our hero V emerges, determined to awaken the people from their slumber. Natalie Portman stars as Evey, a young woman with a revolutionary spirit who is inadvertently sucked into V’s world. Portman is a truly wonderful actress, and is nothing short of excellent, as usual. Weaving is similarly great, which is no small feat considering we never see his face.

Vendetta is not the first film to address conspiracy theories and police states, and I imagine that it won’t be the last. What makes Vendetta provocative is the realism that is conveyed, thanks to an intricate script and stunning visual effects. It examines unbridled thirst for power, apathy, courage, and the driving forces behind human nature and complacency. A “thinking man’s” popcorn flick, Vendetta is not for everyone; however, if you have an open mind I think you’ll enjoy.

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