Bangalore Film Society

Reflections & Reconstructions from the film

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot."''

Directed by: James McTeigue Cast: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry & John Hurt

A for Action B for Bureaucracy C for Catastrophe D for Dictatorship E for Expression F for Freedom G for Government H for Heresy I for Indignation J for Justice K for Kleptomania L for Love M for Masshysteria N for NORULES O for Oppression P for Pacification Q for Qualify R for Revolution S for Strength T for Treason U for Unity V for Violence W for War X for Xenophobia Y for Youth Z for He is Alive

This is one of those rare movies that successfully blends pop-culture-contemporary consumerism with revolutionary ideology, a genre started rather revolutionary by Fight Club. The genre is similar to the one explored in superhero themes like Batman. Could be also exemplified by The Matrix, in its MTV associations. Enough has been said about the trend of film adaptations of famous graphic comic tales, a trend which has gained stupendous mileage in the recent times with films like Sin City, X Men, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow, out of which Sin City, in my opinion, was a masterpiece in terms of redefining fiction on celluloid. I am not too acquainted with these comic stories, so my opinion on this film would be solely based on what I saw and experienced during watching the film, without any associations with the Alan Moore/David Lloyd brainchild. I loved the way elements of theater (associations with The Phantom of the Opera) have been blended with a Matrix like concept of a lonely man in the universe, the one, the survivor, the redeemer. What makes the movie all the more valuable in today’s times is its proximity to political environment. Though some might debate that such a utopian plot is timeless but I would say that I feel themes like these, even though reconstructed, are all the more significant in a time where we do not have a reason to rebel. No cause seems big enough in the consumerist society. The fallacies of government which go largely unnoticed by the eyes of a sycophant media need to be unleashed. And mind you, this is not your average revenge tale a la Kill Bill, which justifies and exaggerates revenge unapologetically (a masterpiece); it carefully takes the finer attributes of the revenge tale frame by frame against a totalitarian regime in a post-apocalyptic world. The whole movie is a brilliant visual realization of Orwell’s 1984. You could just close your eyes and see Winston Smith come alive, another link with Hugo’s Agent Smith from The Matrix. The narrative in its sympathy for the one man army rebellion does not lose its compassion. It questions the justifiability of violent acts of one man who chooses to rise again the system, the fine line that divides a terrorist from a freedom fighter, government protection from enslavement, truth from propaganda and conscience from obedience. The scene where a little girl wearing the mask is shot-at is a glaring example of mass hysteria at its worst.

Associations with Orwell’s 1984:

Big Brother like villain(supreme chancellor). Newspeak. Doublethink. Thoughtspeak. Hate week. Telescreen. The diary. Shakespeare. We are the dead. Mere obedience is not enough. Betrayal within rebels. Sexual repression. The state as the manipulator. Socio-political commentary.

If there is hope, it lies in the proles. Hope is a mystical truth and a palpable absurdity.

Godlessness. Christianity as the redeemer. Interlink. A government/polity that works on FEAR

Out of this bleak and repressive dystopia rises a dark and deadly dissident who claims, “People should not fear their government. The government should fear its people”.

Strength through unity. Unity through faith.

They make us feel indebted for saving us from hell. And then they put us through it. It's time the bastards fell!

Oldspeak Newspeak Ingsoc

Every word has one direct meaning. All words are free from the political or intellectual connotation (heretical words).

Big Brother. Romanticization of Violence. MTV Pop Culture Depictions. Ecstatic Explosions. Eminent undercurrent of Sadistic Joys. Disregard for Individual Expression. Symbolization. Music in Noise. Extrapolation of The Personal------------> to -------> The Collective; Mass Consciousness. Joy in Mercy. I shot a man in Memphis to watch him die, kinds.

You could do whatever you want with your life but why would you want to do this?

Is this the day you had lived all your life for? Well. You slept through it and it is already tomorrow.

The person beneath the mask is not me. The mask expresses more than a face would. I lived through all of those unexpressed moments of expression.

Blood. Veins. Transfusion. Delinquency. Dementia. Detention. Infested Drugs. Recombinant DNA strands. Artificial lives, Artificial living. Mutation.

What would you choose if I told you Death was no different from Life?

I already killed you ten minutes ago, just that you realized it only now. You are about to die and you don’t fear it. You are free.

Utopia could be Now, Today, if you decide.

Evey Hammond: You're getting back at them for what they did to you?

V: What they did to me was monstrous.

Evey Hammond: And they created a monster.

V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

Evey Hammond: Are you like a crazy person?