In Alan Moore’s graphic novel, a vigilante rises up against a neo-facist police state, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. He serves as a lightning rod for the unrest in the United Kingdom in the future – 2027. Fifteen years ago, the Wachowskis (The Matrix) teamed with director James McTeigue again to deliver the big screen version of V for Vendetta. Now, Warner Bros. has released the film in 4K Ultra HD for your big screen TV and watching on the go.
“V” (Hugo Weaving) rescues Evey (Natalie Portman), an employee of the state run news channel, and allows her to observe him in his acts of vigilantism/terrorism against the efforts of the founder of the dictatorship Norsefire, High Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt). While some of the elements are certainly taken from Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, there are other elements, like the “St. Mary’s Virus” that is crippling Europe, that are shockingly prophetic from the past into our present.
There are many questions raised by the film, like what’s the difference between a terrorist and a vigilante? (Some of this happens in our understanding of Batman, but most versions of Batman on film/in writing won’t kill, and V has no such compunction. What does it mean for a person to fight the government or stand against inhumanity that’s been legalized? What does the average citizen do if he/she disagrees with socialization and legalism directed at people around them, whether they know them or not?
And what power of leadership exists between the organized power and the individual at home? The safety per se of V’s mask impact others’ willingness to follow, to take up the crusade, to speak their truth into society. It’s a powerful image of the way that an example rising up leads others to shake off their fear and embrace action. It’s worth noting, and it reminds us that we are all examples of something even if we don’t understand that someone is watching.
Some of the most troubling elements of the story have always revolved around the way that the government/moral/religious elements are all pandered about to their followers, while secretly denied amongst party leaders, while also tying into the way that the marginalized individuals are persecuted – immigrants, homosexuals, atheists, etc. From a faith-based perspective, this should draw our attention to speaking up for those whose voices are denied – even if we disagree with them – because we should not ever be able to align ourselves (as people of faith) with those who persecute others.
Special features include McTeigue and Lana Wachowski talking V for Vendetta in retrospect, Portman’s audition tape, the making of featurette, and more moments that fans of the graphic novel and the film will appreciate.