V for Vendetta: Freedom Forever!
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” This quote resonates with powerful meaning in the graphic novel adaptation, V for Vendetta, a movie ripe with underlying connotation. The movie encourages everyone to wake up from their oppressed slumber and take back the power.
Set in the near future, 2038, the United Kingdom falls under control of a totalitarian government, the Norsefire party. The party cements their authority through fear and the promise to ensure safety for British citizens through complete control and surveillance. Norsefire maintains power and knowledge, only divulging information they wish to disclose. A masked man named V, dressed in a Guy Fawkes mask, enters the picture with the intent to “free” the people and take back their individual identity by blowing up Parliament.
After blowing up the Old Bailey, V hijacks a news building and airs a prerecorded video of himself, admitting to the crime. He then encourages everyone to join him at the parliament building the following year, and stand up to the government.
The film sends a strong message to the audience: unless people stand up for themselves in regards to civil liberties, powerlessness will follow.
At the movie’s climax, with an array of armory pointed at V, Mr. Creedy demands that he take off his mask. Rather than opening fire on the man who has created a political uproar in London, the henchmen seem more concerned with identity and power.
As V walks towards Mr. Creedy, he informs Creedy about what he is up against, “Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, beneath this mask, there is an idea . . . and ideas are bulletproof.”
V fights for Britain to take control of their country and make their voices heard early and often. He insists that he is not a terrorist, and that it’s all for the greater good. The movie does a fantastic job providing justifications for V’s actions, while allowing the audience to ultimately decide whether or not he is truly justified.
Very few movies contain the power to actually empower and motivate someone to engage in social change. V for Vendetta ultimately reminds us to stand up for our beliefs, hold the government accountable for their actions, and stay active in political debate.
– Matt Morehouse