Saturday, August 12, 2006

V for Vendetta: The Bad

I feel compelled to blog extensively on this movie. I know this isn't entirely timely, as it has been out for quite awhile. I saw it in the theater, and have watched it twice more since. I will insert a "spoiler warning" right here. Don't read on if you haven't seen the movie and don't wish to have its plot details revealed before you do see it.

First, I'll address the superficial. V for Vendetta is an extremely entertaining movie. The violence is highly stylized and the cinematography and the story are excellent. Additionally, it is well written and thought provoking. The character V's use of words is done very well. The character is well developed and serves his purpose well. Plus he's fun to watch. On its merits as a movie, it stands well. I quite enjoyed it.

That said, its political themes can be interpreted in multiple ways. This post will address the "bad" interpretation.

The original graphic novel from which this movie was adapted was meant to be a scathing commentary on the Thatcher administration in Britain. The movie was adapted to bring forth images of the Bush administration. The third time I watched this movie, I did so with a friend who remarked (as the credits rolled), "So where's Michael Moore's name?"

Certainly, if you view this movie only as a liberal commentary on the currently conservative-controlled United States government, you will be seething. I noted the following:

- The Conservative Party leader (dictator) is probably supposed to be comprable to Bush. He is described as deeply religious and having no regard for the political process. By the third time I saw this, it sunk in that they were probably trying to allude to the "stolen" election of 2000. He is also incredibly Hitler-esque. He has the somewhat mussed hairstyle, a little bit of facial hair, he waves his hands in passion as he speaks in front of a frenzied crowd. The symbols of the Party are black flags with modified red cross. So Suttler = Bush = Hitler.

- The government in the movie is responsible for the worst terrorist acts in their history. These acts were used to seize totalitarian control. Fahrenheit 911, anybody?

- The government speaks out against homosexuality and Islam. They use the word "terrorist" as a sensational fear-mongering tactic. This is, of course, how the Michael Moores of this country view the current administration. (Interestingly enough, being Muslim, gay or outspoken in your disagreement to conservatives are the only rights that are specifically portrayed as infringed.)

Even worse, when you veiw the "Making Of" documentary on the DVD, the producers take things one more step to the left. Anytime the right wingers in this country try to take a moral stance on something (i.e. homosexuality), the leftists accuse them of being "afraid of differences" and so on and so forth. In the documentary, they equate the homosexuality issue to the civil rights movement, allowing no room for disagreement with the lifestyle (choice.) That the Bush administration would ever "black bag" people for being gay (or worse, execute them) is of course ludicrous. They use the same agenda-driven sensationalism of which they accuse the conservatives.

Perhaps the worst part of the documentary is their agreement that V is a terrorist. V is a revolutionary! Too blind to see the truth of their own movie, they agree with the evil government that they portray! It's pathetic really. They label him as a terrorist so that they can use the opportunity to equate the real-world terrorists (Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda) with freedom fighters. They go so far as to say that today's terrorists view themselves as freedom fighters and that we should work towards understanding that point of view.

This idea is so idiotic I'm tempted to not spend the time to refute it. Revolutionaries fight for change within their own government. V wasn't killing innocent people in another country in an effort to dominate the world with his religion. He killed people in his country in an effort to overthrow his own evil government.

This brings me to the end of my major beefs with the movie. In the next post, I will explore an alternate interpretation - what you can get out of it if you ignore the liberal hogwash. Watch this movie with the right attitude and you can beat them at their own game - you'll come away with an idea that they would abhor.

In my next post, I'll tell you why I absolutely loved this movie.


Blogger Reason said...

I thought it was interesting that none of the citizens had access to arms in the movie, something that'd have to happen for just about anybody (regardless of political persuasion) to come to such dictatorial power.

14/8/06 8:16 AM  
Blogger MartiniMartini said...

Dude, where's part II? Cullen and I loved this movie (we just ordered the DVD) and we've enjoyed lengthy discussions about the 2 distinct opposing views in the movie and how they merge and how one was really unintentional. Anyway, I'm anticipating the second part of your V review.

18/8/06 2:02 PM  

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