~ ONE JOURNEY ~
~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke
"V for Vendetta" ~ Thursday, March 23, 2006
We saw it Wednesday night--and I really liked it. Definitely a cool, literate piece of film with that dark, graphic novel-y quality that I so enjoy. I also really liked the way the film so skillfully combined motifs from the Guy Fawkes story (as if progressing from the question of "what set of circumstances would justify a future Guy Fawkes figure's plan to blow up Parliament?"), the Count of Monte Cristo (for the personal story arc) and the Phantom of the Opera (though a far more intriguing version of it).
I liked that there was a darker side to V's personality/persona--and we saw his ruthlessness not just in his actions towards the oppresive regime and its leaders, but also in what he did to Evie. That he was a humorous, articulate and compassionate figure added other interesting facets to the character, even after he has done what some might regard as unforgivable.
The movie itself was well crafted, and I would love to sit down with a notebook and jot down all the turning points for the main plot and subplots of the narrative--and there were many of the latter, all very smoothly woven together. I also found the use of montages very effective--one with the backstory of a gay character (who, herself, is also a backstory) and one that is followed by a nicely-done wink to the audience. The existence of montages as a way of providing relevant backstory effectively but with great brevity is unique to the cinematic medium (film, tv etc.)--I sometimes wish I had recourse to it in written fiction as well. Though of course even in film it must be used in moderation, I imagine. But it can often be supremely powerful as a way of conveying to the audience, in a series of flashes that wonderfully mimic insight, an intuitive or thematic connection between multiple story strands and motifs (the Brit tv series "The Singing Detective" provides what for me was one of the most satisfying, effective and powerful examples of a potent, climactic montage to tie everything in an intuitive, rather than a linear, fashion).
The film was also nicely spiced with references and quotes, well-delivered. My one issue with the acting was that I found Natalie Portman's British accent unconvincing/jarring at times. Otherwise--I've always found Stephen Rea a likeable screen presence, with his rather lugubrious face, and I like Rupert Everet as well (haven't seen him since the Forster flick days--Room With a View and Maurice). And Hugo Weaving did a fab job in a challenging role, where he had to act and win our sympathies without recourse to facial expression.
I also found certain points in the film genuinely moving--which doesn't often happen to me anymore.
The film also nicely flirted with so many relevant contemporary issues (terroism/activism/revolution, fear as a tool for the infringement of rights, political extremism, etc.). And, though the finale was not altogether out of the blue, the positive outcome of one storyline was tempered by the negative outcomes of several others--ultimately a satisfying conclusion on all counts.
*sigh* So enough procrastination. Back to work. ::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 3:58 PM::::