3.18.2006

REVIEW: V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2006)

In futuristic Britain, under totalitarian rule, Evey (Natalie Portman) is rescued by a mysterious, Guy Fawkes mask-wearing terrorist (Hugo Weaving) after being caught out after curfew. As she slowly learns more about him, she becomes tangled in his revolutionary plot to take down the current government. Adapted from a graphic novel and produced by Andy and Larry Wachowski, V For Vendetta is the feature directorial debut for James McTeigue and it lives up to the massive hype.

McG, when tying the bow on his commentary track for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, says that to make a film contemplating the human condition is a great thing, but making a film that forgets it is also great. Vendetta finds a perfect middle ground, being an ever-intelligent and politically meaningful experience while also being insanely entertaining. There were several times when I actually had to quell the urge welling up inside to stand and cheer - moments justified by those two excellent qualities of the film culminating in sights and sounds to conjure pure exhilaration.

I was not all that excited to see this film, but I had confidence that I'd like it enough to go opening day. What really took me aback was how much I loved it. The construct was utilized superbly, particularly with the Evey character serving as the consensus' point of relation. After a purposefully over-dramatic display from the man who calls himself "V," she utters, "Are you like, a crazy person?" and from that moment on the film exists as a picture of a dystopian future with a raw and exponentially tangible sense that it will indeed be reality, despite the dramatic nature of certain scenes. Evey's further hesitance will land on target for people who might see V as a villian to begin with - him technically being a murderer and terrorist.

The film always kept me guessing with its story progression and filming techniques - a feat rarely accomplished anymore. The decisions made as to how the story is wrapped up perfectly fit the meaning behind it all and form a lasting impression that is not likely to soon be forgotten.

V for Vendetta is one of a kind - an enigma of a film that must be seen in theaters. I may say from time to time that a movie 'blew me away,' and those films are, of course, excellent in their own respective ways, but V nearly literally did just that.

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