Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, John Hurt
Director: James McTeigue
Running Time: 132 mins
V For Vendetta is an American film about a future totalitarian Britain where a mysterious caped revolutionary devises a plot to bring down the government, with the help of a young woman who is caught up in the events.
Everything about this film is epic. Based off of a graphic novel, it’s an action-packed, ingeniously written, fantastic-looking, stunningly acted, thought-provoking and amazingly entertaining film that kept me totally engrossed all the way through, making for one of the most exciting, enjoyable and fascinating film experiences I’ve had in a long while.
One of the best things about this film is how in-depth it is at looking into the themes of totalitarianism, censorship and popular revolution. It’s not just a hulking blockbuster action thriller, but is also an intelligent and insightful (fictional) story about totalitarian states and its effects on the lives of absolutely everyone, and that was fascinating to follow along to.
However, it’s not as if this film isn’t fun. It may be a dark, dystopian thriller, but it’s full of fantastic action (coupled with some epic slow-mo fight sequences) that really makes it heart-pounding and entertaining to watch at the same time.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this film is its main character, V (brilliantly played by Hugo Weaving). He’s probably the most enigmatic and unpredictable character I’ve seen in ages, with his terrorist and violent characteristics making supporting him a real dilemma, turning him into a hugely fascinating person, while that mask and his amazing fighting techniques almost turn him into a superhero-like character.
Away from V, the rest of the characters and actors in this film are also fascinating and brilliant. Stephen Rea as the detective desperate to stop V is good enough to split your allegiance between the two sides, John Hurt is a stunningly terrifying dictator, while Natalie Portman, despite putting on a really annoying accent, puts in one of her darkest but most intriguing and impressive performances of her career.
Something that does interest me quite a bit about this film is that it’s so exciting, engrossing and tense despite being somewhat slow-paced. It’s a thriller, so it feels constantly fast, but in reality, the story moves along quite steadily, which I absolutely loved seeing as I was enjoying every minute of this film so much; I just wanted even more.
Finally, the cinematography in this is also stunning. Obviously, coming from a graphic novel, you’ve got to have some of the cartoonish elements to the film, and that definitely shines through, which does add to the fun of it all, but also the darker cinematography to represent the tyranny and oppression of the time is fantastic, and really creates a convincing atmosphere that last throughout this brilliant film, so that’s why it gets a 8.9 from me.