V for Vendetta Review – T for Time Waste?

(For SI Blog readers Boopalan, VJ Cool, KD and others)

No, we wouldn’t go so far as trashing V for Vendetta.

A watchable movie with some interesting dialogs, V for Vendetta (a 2006 film based on the eponymous DC Comics series) raised our hopes a few minutes into the movie that it could well be a classic but, alas, it ended up as no such thing.

What is V for Vendetta about?

Is it, as the title suggests, about personal revenge for brutal treatment in a prison? A screed against totalitarianism? Or a sarcastic rant against America and some of its Western European allies like UK over recent acts like rendition, treatment of Muslims, homosexuals, curtailment of civil liberties and the connivance of a conservative, lying media in cahoots with the government?

We’re not certain and we bet y’all that neither are the film’s makers!

The setting is London, a few decades hence. The country has supposedly been turned into a totalitarian Orwellian state with nightly curfews supposedly for the ‘safety of the people.’

When a young woman Evey working for a large TV network (no, not as anchorwoman but rather in a lowly position) dares to break the curfew and heads out one night she’s quickly accosted by the Fingermen, dreaded state security personnel, who try to rape her. But before the assault can be perpetrated she’s rescued by a masked vigilante V. A favor she returns soon enough but in the bargain ends up losing her freedom.

Soon, V is not only killing other key members associated with Adolf Sutler’s government but by hijacking the public broadcast system and delivering a strong anti-government message aims to destroy the edifice of lies and criminality on which the government is based.

After all, V’s belief, as enunciated in the film, is:

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Ha ha, that’s easier said than done. Even in democratic governments, such pious sentiments are mere shibboleths. What then to say of a totalitarian government, which will only gather its firepower in response.

And so the silver blade of V’s knives keep flashing and flying until a fiery finale that seemed more like Diwali firecrackers going off rather than a symbolic moment of grand import and a historic time of deliverance for the oppressed masses.

The action scenes are well executed and the movie is certainly not dull or boring.

Sure, we had a few issues with the movie.

Except as a response to V’s attacks and the curfews, we seldom come face to face with the chilling day-to-day effects of the totalitarian regime in the present but only hear (and see in flashback later) about grave misdeeds in the past.

Orwell conveyed more fear in plain text than V for Vendetta depicts in images.

Second, we did not think the relationship between V and Evey was built on a strong, cohesive foundation.

Third, Hugo Weaving acts with a fair degree of panache as the Guy Fawkes masked vigilante V but, alas, the same cannot be said of his principal co-star.

After having seen a bunch of her movies, we’re now concluding that a Harvard education, a Jewish heritage and smartness don’t guarantee good acting chops.

Of course, we’re referring to Natalie Portman, the undeserving recipient of the Best Actress Oscar this year for her overhyped performance in Black Swan, who plays Evey.

Oh, well, nobody ever said life was fair!

While it’s no classic, V for Vendetta is no T for Time Waste either. Watch it but don’t set your expectations too high.

V for Vendetta is available in DVD at Blockbuster (99-cents a day) or Netflix in the U.S.

21 Responses to "V for Vendetta Review – T for Time Waste?"

  1. vjcool   June 30, 2011 at 5:24 am

    BTW have you seen this movie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB-AUTGqUCU&feature=related

    a fun film.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    No.

  2. guruji   June 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Planning to watch “Delhi Belly”? Reviews have been good so far.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Not sure.

    It irritates us that Aamir Khan is a recidivist, constantly profiting from theft.

    So we’re considering outsourcing the review to you! Seriously!

    It’s releasing in midtown AMC Empire 25 234 W.42nd St (10:30AM) and at AMC Loews Newport Center 11, Jersey City (11:30AM).

  3. Dr.Logu   June 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

    New Balleilakka… watch this Hilariously funny!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvpctfkRYs0&feature=related

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Someone (VJcool??) posted this link a few weeks back.

    When a nation goes into decline, its citizens start behaving strangely! ๐Ÿ™

  4. 1012900   June 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I watched this movie for the first time on an international flight.

    Among the 3 movies that was available, V for Vendetta was the only one that I’ve heard about and I decided to give it a try. Actually I didn’t understand the movie at all. All these themes about politics and political wars or protest against the government kinda make me bored.

    But I loved the action scenes, some well-crafted dialogues and the masked vigilant character V(It reminded me of my child-hood favourite novel The Scarlett Pimpernel. It has a similarly mysterious character known as the Scarlett Pimpernel).

    It was only later that I found out that he was none other than the man who delighted me as Agent Smith in The Matrix. Btw, if I remember right, you said you would post a review of The Matrix, but I see you haven’t.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, Matrix, Black Swan and a few others are pending.

    We’ve seen the movies but felt like rewatching them before posting the reviews.

    • kreacher   June 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Hugo Weaving goes farther back.

      If you remember, during the mid-80s Doordarshan used to broadcast a series called Bodyline, referring to the 1932 Ashes where Douglas Jardine came up with the fast leg theory strategy to choke Bradman, then ended up using it against all batsmen. Weaving played the role of Jardine there.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      For better or worse, we’ve watched little on Doordarshan. Kept it door from us.

      We’ve heard of Bodyline, of course.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfoj4j-gKsQ

      Off-topic: Have u read Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now? Reading it now on iPad 2. Free, courtesy of the British Library app. Delightful so far.

      • kreacher   June 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

        Since I don’t have an iPad, my first step was to check the Kindle store. They do have it for free there as well, so I purchased it. I will read it over the coming week.

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Good!

        One advantage with the iPad is that multiple book peddlers like Kindle, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Books, British Library and Kobo who have dedicated apps for the device. Helps in those rare instances when Kindle does not carry that free book you’re looking for.

  5. Twig   June 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Off-topic:

    Enjoy, little souls!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUnydYq–mw

  6. เฎฎเฏเฎฉเฎฟAndy   June 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    A for agree.

    Engaging movie, but didn’t understand the persistence of vjcool, boops, kd for the review.

    http://www.trendrabbit.com/2011/04/twenty-actresses-that-are-ivy-league-educated-sexy-smart-actors/
    I don’t like some of the actresses in that list.. not sure if they are over-hyped or if I am just too intimidated by their resume to enjoy their acting. Not sure what sort of ordering was used.. Famke is at the top of that list.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We’ll take Famke.

    Y’all can have the rest. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • เฎฎเฏเฎฉเฎฟAndy   June 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Spoke too soon, dude or dudette? Amanda Peet, Rashida Jones, no-more-jailbait Emma Watson, Elizabeth Banks, Joy Bryant.. wait.. basically everybody except Dratch, Streep and Jodie Foster.. are ok for me. Something about Jodie is not right.. she looks very intimidating.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      We stand by our pick Famke Janssen though in a pinch we might make do with Jennifer Connely! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • shadowfax_arbit   July 1, 2011 at 3:57 am

        Brooke Shields looks manly. Natalie looks cute but Famke looks the best in the link but not so good in wiki.

  7. Big Poppa.   July 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

    V for Vendetta is an over-rated movie.

  8. shadowfax_arbit   July 1, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Sounds like Kandasamy kinda movie.

    >> Natalie Portman, the undeserving recipient of the Best Actress Oscar this year for her overhyped performance in Black Swan
    Can’t agree with you more on this. She just had a constipated look throughout the movie. Liked her only in the last scene where she looks at the mirror and cries, realizing her problem.

    Btw, started watching Spartacus? Review coming by any chance?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Spartcaus, not yet. Will get to it.

  9. rakeshbaba   July 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2150331.ece
    now based on this incident ,ram gopal verma had already made a movie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnNcrIlyByc

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    By the time you get up tomorrow, that idiot RGV would probably have made a movie on this comment too. ๐Ÿ™

    • rakeshbaba   July 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      ha ha,sure

      • Twig   July 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

        What are you saying, SI? RGV is an amazing person. You know why?

        He makes people believe that they are awesome by making them comment against his so called
        “madness”, “idiocy”, “chootiyaness” while in fact he is the person who is making movies,
        who is absolutely honest about what he is doing, who is challenging the people to stop him and WE
        and We are the people who write some little little stuff as a comments or as posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Credit to him.

        PS: In super duper corny mode today.

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        1. Sweetie, RGV may be making ‘news’ with his loud mouth but the ‘chootiya’ has likely reached the end of the road.

        The film road, we mean

        Look at his recent films, they ain’t going nowhere.

        2. You write: PS: In super duper corny mode today.

        Then, you’re definitely in the mood for Delhi Belly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. sam   July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Which film this week? Budha Hoga.. or Delhi Belly?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Both.

    Just back from Delhi Belly.

    Working on Delhi review.

    Don’t disturb us, now!

    Delhi Belly review, first.

    Later, Budda Hoga.

    • vjcool   July 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      welcome back.

      BTW have you read Khalil Gibran?…

      http://leb.net/gibran/

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Later, later. Working on Delhi Belly review!

  11. indusporus   July 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Wow!! So, you’ve loved Delly belly and think V is a waste of time?? I’m sorry SI, but, you’ve lost all my respect.
    The one scene in which V introduces himself to Evey is enough to watch the movie time and again.

    I don’t know about black swann but certainly Portman’s action in V is definitely one of the best by any actor (may be, it’s some boobs you were expecting??) and the bond between V and Evey is so strong that you can see the transformation of Evey into V by the end of the movie.

    Regarding what this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW6HbZXI9Y0

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. As we wrote in the above review, A watchable movie with some interesting dialogs, V for Vendetta (a 2006 film based on the eponymous DC Comics series) raised our hopes a few minutes into the movie that it could well be a classic.

    The initial minutes (including the scene in your above link) did lead us to believe the movie showed portents of greatness. Alas, it only flattered to deceive.

    If great lines spoken in a fine British diction were enough, there’d be no need to show Anthony Hopkins or Hugo Weaving in a movie.

    BTW, the last sentence in your above link Are you like a crazy person? marred the beauty of the moment. Whoever says that sentence to a rescuer who has just saved your sorry ass from two thugs bent on committing sodomy on you.

    2. Natalie Portman has poor acting skills. It’s a tragedy that one so inadequate as she won the Oscar. Life certainly is unfair.

    3. You write: may be, it’s some boobs you were expecting??

    Only a boob like you can make a boob like that on a review of a boob-less actress’ movie.

    English for schmucks:
    In our response (above), the First reference to boob – Stupid awkward person.
    Second reference to boob – Mistake
    Third reference to boobs – Well, if you can’t get your hands on this one that’s because the actress in question has little to get your hands on in the first place, in more ways than one, or two or even three. Now, you may take that literally and figuratively! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. niramay   January 20, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Hey, I began reading the series of V for Vendetta e-comics today.

    It’s quite interesting.

    And I noticed that many liberties have been taken in the movie regarding the original story.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Let’s see if our library has them.

    We haven’t read comics in eons.

  13. boopalanj   July 16, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Wondering Why I did not comment on this one. I remember I asked for the review.

    In this three years period, my taste for movies have considerably improved, thanks to SI ๐Ÿ˜‰

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Unless good taste (not just with movies but with regard to anything in life) lies dormant in the mind, it cannot be improved even if exposed to external stimuli.

    At least, that’s my hypothesis.

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