V for VendettaV for Vendetta
Year: 2005
Rating: R
Length: 132 minutes / 2.20 hours

It’s a little weird watching a dystopian movie like V for Vendetta (2005) in 2020. I watched this film each year around the 5th of November, but life eventually got in the way and made it difficult to continue the tradition. At the time, I enjoyed the “underdog” of V (Hugo Weaving) protecting art and freedom of thought from the tyranny of an oppressive government. Having gone back and re-watched it in the current global climate, I’m honestly shocked at how prescient it was in predicting a lot of our future. Hopefully, things don’t become worse to the point of completely fulfilling this prophecy.

I think part of the reason this film remains timeless—other than the flawless performances of Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving—is how it shows the amount of freedom people in society give up in the name of “safety.” Fear-mongering is a common political tactic to get individuals to vote for a particular party. All we have to do to be “protected” is to allow those in power to do what’s in “our best interests.” Except, rarely are the actions of leaders in the best interest of their constituents. After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fortunately, V for Vendetta provides a glimmer of explosive hope. Where tyranny is exposed, the one force that can stand up to it is the Populus’s combined force. No political system is perfect, but the will of the people—if unified—can overcome great oppression. People die; ideas live forever. Now, whether or not our current global situation can garner enough unity to shatter this broken system without resorting to V’s explosive measures is an exercise left up to the reader.

An eerily prescient indictment on the trade between safety and freedom, I give V for Vendetta 4.0 stars out of 5.

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This movie appears in Cinema Connections: a never-ending “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Order your copy to see how it links to Pay it Forward (2000) and  The A-Team (2010).

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