Last night I went to the beach to see V For Vendetta. I had really wanted to see this in the theater before it left, and was surprised to find not only that it was still showing in my area but was in the IMAX format. I’ve been a fan of the story since I was a teenager, and was enough of a geek to have read the incomplete story in the British Warrior comic magazine and waited for years to have the story finished by DC Comics.
I thought the movie was very very good. Visually it looked fantastic and did a great job of capturing this morally slippery story in all its complexity. I’m especially glad that they didn’t feel a need to “Hollywood” up the story. My worry was that they would shim in some sort of bolted-on resolution about who V actually was, which would cut the heart out of it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who he was and that’s the point of the whole thing. The bits of philosophizing about the difference between the tangible and the symbolic were highly interesting and sufficient as they were, without some sort of phony “aha” moment about the identity. The “aha” moment was entirely about the actions.
The original story was a reaction against the Thatcher government of the 80s but it certainly has a lot of resonance in today’s American political climate. Watching Stephen Rae’s powerful performance as Finch, investigating the wrongdoing of his government while getting enormous political pressure to drop it certainly has a different set of baggage brought to it today than it would have a few years ago.
All in all, great movie and I’m glad I saw it on a screen large enough to park a battleship on.