V for Vendetta

Today I read the graphic novel V for Vendetta. I didn’t realise that I was reading it on Guy Fawkes night, thus unwittingly making a political statement. I had seen the film before and loved it, although I had forgotten the details of it. The graphic novel is brilliant. It is intelligent, poignant, gripping, insightful, and fantastic. I highly recommend it. It is even more relevant today with the rise of fascism, xenophobia, and religious extremism around the world. It was written in the 1980s and yet still feels fresh and relevant. Alan Moore, the man who wrote it, is a genius.

After reading the graphic novel, I thought I should watch the film and do some comparing. First, having Natalie Portman play Evey is a complete mistake. She’s an awful actress that makes any film she’s in not as good as it could have been. Also, her fake english accent was so bad that it destroyed any possibility for me of buying into the narrative. Then there are so many things that are wrong with the film. I mean it’s a good film in and of itself, but when you’re comparing it to the graphic novel it’s very poor. It fails on certain key points.

One of the things that really bothered me is that Evey leaves and is somehow fine for the whole summer. If we are to buy that it’s a fascist surveillance based society that is being represented than she would have been arrested within a week. The feeble attempt to say that no one recognised her because she’s changed so much on the inside is completely unbelievable and frankly insulting to our intelligence. If a former colleague had seen her, given that in the film she worked at the state tv, they would have recognised her. Journalists are supposed to be observant, even in fascist regimes.

But that’s not the worst one in my opinion. The really bad thing in the film is the last bit when V says that he fell in love with Evey and is personalised in this way. V is a symbol, that’s why anyone who wears the Guy Fawkes mask after him and is free, truly free, is V. He is the hammer, the destroyer, the bringer of chaos before the advent of true Anarchy, spontaneous order through consent. He isn’t a simple man. He doesn’t fall in love with Evey. He trains her for what is to come after the revolution. He is the destroyer and she is the creator. I just felt that it was such a hollywood moment that completely and utterly missed the point of the whole thing.

Anyway, I really really recommend the graphic novel, it’s brilliant. Also, my favourite part in both the novel and the film is Valerie’s story. Alan Moore created one of the most gripping, heart breaking, and believable story for her. She brings home the fact that those who suffer under fascism are human beings. Her story shows that there is no such thing as acceptable bigotry. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, disablism, etc are all evil and must be fought. They must never be allowed to be “normal”. They must be stopped where ever they are found. On this note, stay safe everyone. Love you bye.

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