Bangalore Film Society

by Idiosyncratic Fallout

First the Warchowskis (whose last cinematic outing was a baroque excercise in SFX) buy the rights and hand over the direction duties to crony James McTiegue. Then creator Alan Moore disassociates his hallowed name from all credits and promotional material. And the biggest apprehension of all was the fact that I had read the graphic novel and more so, loved it, nay adored it.

Watching the movie version of a book you adore is an act that invokes a gamut of emotions, all at once. Elation, Betrayl, Fear, Sorrow, Disgust, Horror... elements that otherwise would constitute your average Shakespearen tragedy.

So now that the ordeal is over it seems that I can rest in peace. Or can I? Or do I want to climb up the dome of the Vidhan Soudha and scream at the top of my voice," I loved it. I loved it. I loved it." nay "I adored it."

"V for Vendetta" is as good as a popcorn potboiler gets and then more. It's an intelligent, literate, topical movie that has something to say to its audience. Replete with political and social allegory, the movie's blatant and vicious political incorrectness make it an uncommonly courageous effort.

Set in 2020 in a totalitarian Britan, "V for Vendetta" follows the politicization of Evey, a mild-mannered young woman at the hands of the flamboyant and fantastic 'terrorist' "V", who is on a single handed mission to topple the oppressive government headed by the Hitler-ish Sutler.

Don't let the trailers fool you. There is nothing 'Matrix' about the movie. Action scenes and SFX are at a premium and even the crescendo of the climactic explosion is kept at a bare minimum. The Warchowskis and McTiegue keep the dynamics between the characters and the symbols and it is there that the movie performs best.

It is a movie that takes delight in proding and critiquing hot-button topics through metaphors- terrorists, freedom of speech, effect of mass media, complascency of citizens. And though it may trip far too many times on its over-reaching ambitions, the relentless, urgent pace keeps hurling the movie forward.

In the acting credits, Natalie Portman nails it hook, line and sinker as Evey, the emotional crux of the movie. The pancake princess of Star Wars is now truly forgotten and forgiven. John Hurt hams it up in true thespian style as Sutler while Stephen Rea gives a heart-felt, restrained performance as the disillusioned inspector who unearths more than he bargains for. And as for the titular 'V' played by Hugo "Agent Smith" Weaving behind a ridiculous Guy Fawkes mask throughout the movie, credit must be given for his physical and vocal eloquence which dissolves the mask and lets the audience inside his skin.

Though a bit disjointed, dense and even a tad hokey at times, it seems quite evident that behind the camera sat minds that loved nay adored the graphic novel. And they have crafted a constantly unique cinematic splendor:- a thinking person's action movie.