Tuesday, 5 July 2011
V For Vendetta film review
V For Vendetta is the 2006 dystopian thriller film directed by James mcteigue and produced by joel silver and written as well as produced by the matrix creators, the wachchoski brothers. It is based on the graphic novel of same name which was written by watchmen writer Alan Moore.
The film is set a dystopian England that has given up its liberties, rights and freedoms to a totalitarian society run by a party known as Norse fire. The film follows the character of V, a masked vigilante who wants to remove Norse fire from power to bring freedom to the country. His plot is soon intertwined with another character evey, as he decides to let evey help him in his plan to remove Norse fire from power.
As a film, this film is not bad, but as an adaptation it is a travesty to the original source material. It abolishes the books original theme of anarchy vs. fascism, and instead features a conflict between liberalism and neo conservatism. These changes are minor but are still unnecessary as the original Anarchy and fascism theme was filled with moral ambiguity but with this adaptation it is made clear that Norse fire are antagonists while v is a protagonist. The films script is written is a way where v is the clear and decisive protagonist, where as in the book he was more of an antihero, with his morals and motivations being shaded in gray ambiguity.
The cast do their part as the characters they are portraying and for the most part the characters are intact from the source material. Each performance is good and is one of the films few strong points. However a major complaint I have when it come to the films characters is the changing of the character of Adam Susan. In the book he was portrayed as a leader with some semblance of subtlety and depth, while in the film he is nothing more than another cliché big brother type that has his talking head displayed on giant monitor screens.
The film aims to be more action asked than its source material, a decision which was highly unnecessary, as it distracts from the story. For example there’s an action sequence at the beginning of the film that lasts longer than it did in the book, and while this doesn’t slow the pace of the story too much, it is still unfitting because this sequence lasted a page in the comic, but about 3 minutes in the film. With all that aside the action is still well directed and some of the set pieces are entertaining.
A strong point about the film is its soundtrack. Its features music such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture and has the rolling stones song street fighting man playing over the end credits. The music is relevant to the films theme and story and adds something good to the film.
Overall I found this film to be a good film that has themes of revolution, power, and freedom, but as an adaptation I personally found it to be a complete mess. The film only kept a basic outline of the original concept, and I personally found that it didn’t encourage the same level of thinking towards its themes in the same way the graphic novel did. The moral ambiguity of the comic is an important part of how the audience perceives the characters and their actions as well as their beliefs, and since their moral ambiguity is partially absent form the film, its means that the themes that the film is carrying over from the book do not always translate in the way they were intended to be.
To those who haven’t read the comic, the film will work and its themes can resonate with the viewer, but to a fan of the graphic novel the response could be fairly mixed, as some will like the new direction taken by the film, while others will not. I highly recommend reading the graphic novel first if you want to see both interpretations of the story. But to those who don’t, the film is still watchable.The films themes will appeal to many and the film does have some truly memorable moments which make it worthy of watching.