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V For Vendetta

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Truthfully, I had the same feeling when the movie ended as I did when I got to the last page of Atlas Shrugged at the age of 12. I loved it entirely. I don't think I would change a single thing about the movie.

Do you consider V a terrorist? Why or why not?

No, not a terrorist. I see him as a liberator, because I think that's what he did to "Evie?"

Basically, I could still respect a man who puts me through all that under those intensions. In a sense I do wish he didn't murder people so coldly, or at all, but then that's where my intellectual conflict comes in:

In such a situation, is it truly necessary for people to die in order for humanity to regain its freedom? Why or why not?

I could not stop smiling at the end. It was an amazing movie. Though with the way the movies industry has been in the past years, I'm afraid the average person has stopped looking for messages in movies. V for Vendetta, I my opinion is deserving of the title 'art' unlike almost no other movies in the recent years.

Yes, I agree. I was actually shocked that I didn't cry at anything, because I was so overwhelmingly happy at the end (considering that I'm often stirred up by things).

Also, I was thinking last night that this movie was all-around great because not only is it powerful, and it incites a minority be empowered to do whats right, creating future activists out of some (me). But also, and most significantly, I think this movie strikes both the leaders and the followers. It lets leaders know that their minds and their will desperately needed for the fate of the world, and it lets the followers realize that even though they may never act on their convictions by taking initiative, when the time of action comes and their "number" is needed, they too will stand up; they will be ready for that moment.

I think the entire movie was like the speech that "V" makes on the 5th of November in the first year. It grabs everyones attention and lets people know that the time will come when we must all take on the mask and march out to Parliament.

I know I will.

On another note I can agree with labeling this movie as "art" also, and this is honestly the first time I have ever felt this for any movie. Often, I spend my time arguing about the evils of television in today's society, but a movie like this proves to me that there are some incredibly beneficial aspects to movies, when used correctly.

Furthermore, another great excitement and pride I felt was at the level of freedom we have in this country. I can just imagine all of the countries around the world right now that most be utterly petrified of even fleas seeing this film because they might revolt somehow, lol. It made me inexplicably proud to be living in this country, and especially at the end of the movie when I felt assured that America is on of those countries that can be counted on to make the rational choice when the desperate moment comes. Because of this, I do not believe democracy could be suppressed here. Too many people are in love with it, and devoted to it...

I was pleased with my son's reaction to the movie. He's 17, but he took it seriously and later asked, "what can I do to avoid this from happening?" I then reminded him of the power of ideas. I told him; keep yourself informed, use your own mind and reason to learn what's true, live your life understanding the importance of freedom, don't let government just be something that happens to you, and keep these ideas alive when you talk with your friends or other people.

Sadly, I (as did my son) wonder if many people will consider this anything more than a graphic novel / comic book story.

If this is true, which I have no legitimate way of knowing, then you are an extremely admirable man, and I can only comment that I wish I had a father like that. I'm glad fathers like you exist.

Mine would probably watch the movie and... well... I think he might not even care to comment about it or even ask me about my input.

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That said, at first I didn't like the representation that America had fallen (or at least was in serious turmoil). Then I started thinking, did America really fall, or was that more manipulated news from the government. For anyone who has read it, is that clearer in the graphic novel? If you want people to fear freedom, it would be best to show the most widely recognized icon of freedom destroyed by it's liberty.

Nice to see that I'm not the only one who noticed this. I think there's something a bit lazy-minded about those who can't understand a dig in context and so throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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Given the political views of the Wachowski brothers, I find it highly unlikely that this interpretation is accurate. There's no way they wanted the audience to think the British government was making up stories about the "icon of freedom" that is the United States. I'm pretty sure it was a cheap shot at America.

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There's no way they wanted the audience to think the British government was making up stories about the "icon of freedom" that is the United States. I'm pretty sure it was a cheap shot at America.

I'm puzzled by this reasoning. Are you saying that they wouldn't mind telling the audience that the British government was telling a whole different pack of lies up to and including the cover ups of genocide of it's own citizens, but this particular lie is off limits because of their own political leanings?

I think the possibility of my scenario is still legitimate.

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Interestingly enough, I just found this interview with V's co-creator, David Lloyd;

CS: Considering what's been going on in America, do you think there's a time where we might need someone like V to step in?

Lloyd: In America, I don't know. In a democratic system like this, I don't think you'd get too much support, but I don't know. No I don't think so, not in America.

- Superhero Hype web page - http://superherohype.com/news/vforvendettanews.php?id=3847

Whatever the Wachowski Brothers' policital leanings might be, the co-creator of the story seems to have some "faith" in America.

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But the Wachowski brothers wrote the script. I'm fully aware that, in the movie, the government lied about numerous things in order to control the citizens. But it was also made obvious that the government was doing so.

If that was the intention with the stuff about a new American Civil War, then it was not obvious. This, coupled with their anti-American views, is why I think it was just a jab at the United States.

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Some "conservatives" chime in on V;

Libertas: A Forum for Conservative Thought on Film

Readers can decide for themselves, but I found the "review" and many of the comments to be scary, particularly if they are representative of coming from the average conservative (and I do not know that they are).

If that was the intention with the stuff about a new American Civil War, then it was not obvious. This, coupled with their anti-American views, is why I think it was just a jab at the United States.

I'll just say this, and let it lie (pun intended). If the bit about America was true in terms of the storyline, it would have been the ONLY truth told by the news media in the whole film. EVERY other news clip they showed was government manipulated lies (with the exception of V's broadcast, and the comedy bit by the gay guy). Based on that, I don't find any particular reason to think that part was singularly credible.

If this is true, which I have no legitimate way of knowing, then you are an extremely admirable man, and I can only comment that I wish I had a father like that. I'm glad fathers like you exist.

Hmm... this sounds as though I have given you some reason to doubt my credibility. I think this is a compliment?? Thank you??

I didn't tell this story to bolster my image on the forum, I did it to praise my son's remarkably mature attitude and aptitude for reason.

Edited by RationalCop

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I took the 'shot' at America as part of the overall effect.

I think that the situation in England is treated as the last resort for something like what V was planning. As unlikely as it is, in the movie America seems to have already fallen to the same kinds of problems that England is facing and V is treated as the last hope for freedom.

Though I would have had things reversed as far as location (because of the current state of things), I think the movie would not have as good of a chance at making a return if the revolution was in America. Though we can't know without asking the W. brothers, I'm lead to think that the market forced them to place the plot in England as opposed to America.

Edited by Proverb

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Though I would have had things reversed as far as location (because of the current state of things), I think the movie would not have as good of a chance at making a return if the revolution was in America. Though we can't know without asking the W. brothers, I'm lead to think that the market forced them to place the plot in England as opposed to America.

While the W. brothers did right the script, they relied very heavily on the original graphic novel, which placed the story in England.

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Did anyone notice that the music during the explosions was one of Rand's favorite composers (she is a Tchaikovsky fan, right )? V certainly has good taste.

I though that Natalie Portman did an excellent job. I remember seeing concerns about her ability to play the strong partner to V, but I though her transformation was done very well. When she was finally able to accept the possibility of death because of her convictions, it didn't seem contrived or inorganic. And Hugo Weaving...my respect for him as an actor continues to grow.

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That said, at first I didn't like the representation that America had fallen (or at least was in serious turmoil). Then I started thinking, did America really fall, or was that more manipulated news from the government. For anyone who has read it, is that clearer in the graphic novel?

USSR was still around when the story was written, in it there is a nuclear exchange which leaves the UK as one of the remaining powers. (Though one that obviously has fallen on hard times.)

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The review by Rule of Reason seems so typical of the supposedly "hard line" Objectivists. If he was reviewing the Graphic Novel by itself, then he would be a bit more correct. The novel talks about V's desire to bring about "The Land of Do As You Please" and the intention bring up "ambiguity" as to whether V is a Villian or a Hero is made much stronger.

I also cant stand a reviewer whose basis for disliking the movie is "And it was not as good as Atlas Shrugged." That is, for lack of a better word, a ridiculous mindset. Both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are amazing novels, but are they supposed to be "The Objective Standard" that we hold every work of art made since 1943 and 1957 up against? Shouldnt the value of the piece of art be evident in the artwork itself without having to compare it to what Ayn Rand wrote?

There seem to be common Objectivists critiques of the film:

1. The movie takes cheap shots at our necessary war on terrorism, it validates Muslims, and gives too much leeway to Left-Wing ideas.

While I would say that that is probably was the W brothers had in mind, I dont feel that this is so detrimental a point that it brings the whole movie down. The depiction of Muslims, is interesting, because while modern day Islamofacism is a real problem, there is also the problem of modern day English people protesting when Indians, or Pakistanis come to the UK not to spread hate, but to get a job. That sort of nativism was targeted in the graphic novel, and since this is a post 9/11 movie, people take the movie's Islamophobia within the (relatively newer) Islamofacism context. I don't think anyone can argue that it we would want to make it a crime to own a copy of the Koran. We should arrest radical clerics, we should pre-empitvely do so, but to say that no one, not even TV Show hosts can have access to it? Who could honestly say that such a move is rational?

Ahh, but because this is a product of the left wing drivel of Hollywood you say, no one will look at it like that, they will see it and come out with a mind set for appeasing Muslims! I did not, and I expect a similar response from other well informed people.

2. V has no ideas! He is an Anarchist, or worse, a Libertarian!

I suppose that people would be more happy if he gave a John Galt speech about what he wanted to replace the old Government with. True it would make a two hour movie three hours long, but then again Objectivists have never been deterred by long pieces of work.

V, recognised that he was not the symbol of what was to come after the old order was gone, maybe he knew he would not be able to fit in, maybe he knew that he has a general propensity to protest authority. Being the victim of a government plan to infect people with a virus and being present at a rather grand explosion, does do strange things to the way to work, you tend to think differently, as wall as gain "Karate-Skills." What he knew was that he did not metaphorically represent what people should look to when the old order is gone.

V knew that the government was wrong. He even stood for the moral absolutism of it in his speech to the people, he says "Truth is a perspective" and that "If you truth as I do", making clear that his view of the situation is objective and unclouded. The movie is about V removing the government. I suppose that a well done discussion of what should come next would have made the film "more perfect", but I can't see how it would fit in to be honest. To read the reviews protesting the lack of something seems to be a good way for ignoring what is there.

3. V tortured Evey! That was not rational.

V could have taken Evey back to the shadow lair and just let her sit around till Nov 5, I dont know what good it would have done for her. Perhaps a rational discussion over a cup of tea, but I suspect that Evey would not have liked being preached to or having V be pygmalian about it. In such a case, the Objectivist would say, V should just get rid of her and not get hung up.

He did get hung up and gave an impressive torture sequence, he gave her hope in the form of the Valerie letters, made sure she was fed (I assumed it was high nution gruel) did not physically abuse her, and later, she was grateful. V was not perfect, but he was hardly 100% wrong. It seems that the people who dislike this aspect dislike that it was not the 100% most efficient way to do it, and that if I were to say "It was a good scene, artistically done, and romantic in some ways", that they will scream "Sanction of imperfect ideas!".

Meh, good for you. I had a great time watching the film.

[Mod note: This post led to further discussion about the focus of movie reviews. See split thread.]

Edited by softwareNerd

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Excellent defense. I remember thinking the same thing about other Objectivist movie reviews.

I read one by someone who does not like Braveheart, since Wallace dies in the end. A ridiculous criticism, since he died before the completion of the rebellion in real life. The same criticism was made of Gladiator. Just because Maximus died, the movie got an unfavorable review...nevermind the fact that he died just after successfully liberating Rome from a tyrant.

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V for Vendetta is an enjoyable comic book film. It is entertaining to see an unflinching protagonist pull the strings of an ineffectual dictatorship. However, I do agree with the Rule of Reason's critique. V is merely a destroyer of the status quo. He advocates no code of ethics, no morality, and no political system. I recall reading an interview with Alan Moore and he mentioned that this story evolved from his political cynicism.

Edited by Norse God

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The other Objectivists, Students of Objectivism, and similarily like minded people who don't need to base a review on a movie as to whether or not Ayn Rand herself would have written it.

I recall reading an interview with Alan Moore and he mentioned that this story evolved from his political cynicism.

Its been a while since I read it, but I feel that the movie does a good job of fixing the flaws in Alan Moore's original telling of the story.

Edited by Strangelove

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Also, there's a review on the Rule of Reason blog.
I do agree with the Rule of Reason's critique. V is merely a destroyer of the status quo. He advocates no code of ethics, no morality, and no political system. I recall reading an interview with Alan Moore and he mentioned that this story evolved from his political cynicism.
V is ideal in many ways, but IMO it is not necessary for V to be perfect in order to convey the movie's themes.

Nice Thor cover BTW. Who's the shadowy villian(?) supposed to be?

V knows that the current governing party created the pandemic that led to its current stranglehold on political power. Does V communicate this seemingly crucial fact?
Philosophically, the government here is evil regardless whether they came to power via subterfuge or not - it's not that crucial. Socially, V's silence on the matter seems no different from Francisco's initial silence to Dagny on his striking - voicing neither would have made a difference. In V's case, this actually applies even more, because while Dagny would've striked then if she'd realized her error at that point, the people in V's world already realized that their government was wrong, they were just too cowardly to fight it. Pragmatically, he didn't have two hours to give his speech and had no proof of his claims anyway. Galt-ly, Galt likely would have attempted to recruit the men of minds and hidden in his Gulch in the sewers until (and if) the totalitarian system petered out. For what it's worth, Galt is similarly no V.

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I agree (though I think Francisco would be an even better comparison.) I was only replying to the Galt-heavy (and IMO inaccurate) criticism from the Rule of Reason blog. (I think) I'm with you in finding comparisons unnecessary and the Galt one particularly unusual.

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A great film. The torture scene was perfect----and necessary for Evey's, and the story's, development.

V---what a great man! I was so exultant at the movie's end I could not stay and watch the credits; I had to be out and moving and alive with the joy I felt!

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I watched the movie recently, and I am far happier with it than I am with most other movies that I watch. Though I do have to say, Nick Provenzo's critique wasn't too far off of the mark.

I disagreed with the part of his critique where he brought up V's television appearance. V had one thing to say, and that was basically that the government shouldn't be censoring people, and that everyone watching who wasn't doing something about the government was complicit. Aside from his call to action and purple prose (which was very entertaining), V didn't have any ideas to offer the people of Britain. He had plenty of ideas to offer his enemies, and he did so face to face.

I think that the best comparisson to a Rand character would be to Ragnar or Andrei.

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*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

Aside from his call to action and purple prose (which was very entertaining), V didn't have any ideas to offer the people of Britain.
He didn't explicitly espouse his ideas, which is different from not having ideas at all. One reason why V didn't state post-totalitarian government ideas, if he had them:

V's MO was "let's take care of the big threat (totalitarianism,) and then we can handle the smaller threats (anything else less than laissez-faire.)" Galt's thought was "the big threat will take care of itself eventually, so let's prepare for the smaller threats."

Galt had no need to recruit anyone less than laissez-faire minded people, as the purpose of his speech was not to bring down the looters, but to establish a basis for world order after totalitarianism had faded away - plus he was safe. V's intent was quite different, as he was trying to get anyone and everyone who disliked totalitarianism to join his side in ending the corrupt system; he was also "in the world," unlike the strikers, and had an imperative to end a system threatening to him. Given V's situation, it wouldn't necessarily be ideal for him to, say, refuse an anarchist's help, or otherwise alienate people whom he needed in order to succeed.

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