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March 20, 2006 / jnolen

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November

I saw V for Vendetta last night and I loved it. At several points the movie had me grinning from ear to ear. I highly recommend it.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night, but the summer bombings in London convinced the studio to move the release days back. Which, given that the movie features both a hero who blows up government buildings and the suggestion that the government is in fact responsible for terrorist attacks, may have been the right decision. Still, it would have been cool had they been able to release on the original date.

I had also read that author Alan Moore had disassociated himself from the project. After seeing the movie I found this baffling, as the film did a terrific job and seemed to hold to Moore's uncompromisingly anti-government themes. A little research turned up this story, in which Moore says that he wanted nothing to do with the picture from the very beginning. So his disassociation was not a result by the film, but by his interaction with the people making the film. Honestly, Moore comes off like kind of a jerk in this episode. (Although watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on screen would be enough to make anyone gun-shy.)

More interesting is this analysis, from an Alan Moore fansite which claims:

Probably the biggest change from comic to movie is thematic, the central dichotomy of Fascism vs. Anarchy, one presented as the only alternative to the other. A challenging political-philosophical point to make, it's reflected in V's devil-may-care attitude to the consequences of his actions, being an end in themselves. The movie rejects this theme, positing Fascism vs. Democracy, a much simpler and easily resolvable dilemma. Indeed, that the two aren't contradictory, defeats that central thematic point.

I haven't read the comic (it's on order from Amazon) but this seems like perhaps a legitimate complaint. However, we don't really need a movie about anarchy right now. We need a movie about the gradual giving-over of our freedoms and the dangers of allowing fear to guide our political process. And though the film is certainly heavy-handed, it does a tremendous job of making visualizing those dangers. I hope I don't sound like a paranoid nutjob when I say that it seems frightenly relevant in the current political situation. I'm glad that they made the movie they did, even if it diverges from the original. I'm glad that more people are able to see this story. And I hope that ultimately Mr. Moore is happy with the final product. I certainly was.

2 Comments

  1. Ev / May 25 2006 8:33 pm

    Jonathan,
    Like you, I really loved the movie and i’ve been sad to notice that not so many ppl saw it! I don’t believe you’re a paranoid cause i have also noticed that a need of more security emerged as the situation in the world (which is not our world) seems to worsen year after year. My advise: never watch the news. This serves no purposes than increasing our fear. Fear of the outside world and our fellow brothers. Ev-

  2. Felicia Ferguson / Feb 18 2007 4:45 pm

    V for Vendetta was by far the best movie I’ve ever seen. After just seeing it for the first time, it made me appreciate life a little more. The movie made me realize that it is very possable that a world war 3 is in pursuit at this very moment. And in the movie, the goverment didn’t want homosexuals part of their society. So what did they do, they killed them. Just because they were “different”.
    Will society one day soon acually stoop 2 such levels? Will the people of the world no longer look towards their goverment for hope & help, but look towards a man beneath a mask. its wierd how this movie isnt even real, but can make an individual like myself rethink on how this world is today.

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