Review: V for Vendetta

April 15, 2006 at 9:59 PM (Movies)

V for Vendetta was one of the movies I’d been waiting to see for quite some time.  Before watching the movie though, I wanted to read the book.  It all worked out very well, as I bought and read the book some days back, and today, I got to see the movie itself.  The added bonus was that I watched it on an IMAX screen!

Britain in the near future is a dystopic society, ruled by a totalitarian government under the control of Supreme Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt).  Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) works for the British Television Network, and one night when she is out after curfew, a group of "fingermen" (the government-appointed police) attempt to attack her.  She is saved by a mysterious masked figure who calls himself V (Hugo Weaving).

Beginning with the destruction of the Old Bailey, V perpetrates terrorist acts — blowing up buildings, assassinating several key members of the government.  The intention of these acts initially, seems to be to cause chaos, but as more of V’s background is revealed, we understand the larger scheme of things and the motivations behind his vendetta.  Evey’s involvement with V’s scheme is a reluctant one at first, but becomes more significant later on.

V and Evey are pursued by government-appointed investigators Finch (Stephen Rea) and Dascombe (Ben Miles), who must stop him before the culmination of his grand plot — being planned for the Fifth of November, one year hence.

As I’d read the book just a few days earlier, the natural tendency was to compare that and the movie version, whose screenplay comes from the creators of The Matrix trilogy, The Wachowski Brothers.  There are several differences in terms of the characters (for example, Evey in the book is a lot younger, Detective Finch is not as sympathetic as he is in the movie, etc.), some subplots have been dropped, and V’s motivations for overthrowing the government (and his personal vendetta) have been made more clearer.  However, overall, the movie is very faithful to the book, and some portions (especially Evey’s imprisonment) make the transition completely intact.  I thought the movie was much tighter than the book, and certainly, at some times it seems even relentlessly fast paced.  Despite the fact that this is not really an action film, it contains a couple of exciting and imaginative action sequences in the Matrix vein (director James McTeigue assisted the Wachowskis on all the Matrix films).

The acting is very good — Natalie Portman is very effective as Evey, and considering that you never get to see Hugo Weaving’s face (he wears the Guy Fawkes mask throughout and has only his voice to act with), his portrayal of V is superb.  The movie also looks gorgeous and deserves to be seen on the big screen (me seeing it on IMAX definitely did not hurt!).  This was the last film to be shot by its cinematographer Adrian Biddle, who passed away some time after its completion (the film is dedicated to his memory).  Finally, I also thought the movie was well served by a very nice music score by Dario Marianelli.

The movie is well-realised in all aspects, I’d rate it a 9/10.

EDIT: 1 May, 3:19 PM: I forgot to mention that I was in Hyderabad when I saw this, hence the IMAX screen.

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1 Comment

  1. Remember, Remember, the 22nd of May | Varun Abhiram said,

    […] movies, so if you’re really interested, you can read Karthik‘s reviews of them here and […]

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