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V For Vendetta

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I think it's a bit of a stretch to attribute Laissez-Faire politics to V. Having not read the comic, I am still inclined to think that V was in fact an anarchist. The symbol for V in the movie very closely resembles the anarchy symbol.

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After reading Nicholas Provenzo's review at http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/archives/...286989739726798 I've decided not to see this film on screen or in any other format. I have no desire to have my entertainment dollar end up in the pockets of those who promote anarchism.
As the debate on this thread shows, it isn't a very clear promotion of anarchism. There is a strong individualist element, one that shows a man doing all in his power to complete his goals, and one where countless (literally) supporting caracters gather the courage to do what is right.

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After reading Nicholas Provenzo's review at http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/archives/...286989739726798 I've decided not to see this film on screen or in any other format. I have no desire to have my entertainment dollar end up in the pockets of those who promote anarchism.

What?! Where is your independence? The sight of a man of justice and integrity is so rare! Throw your money away? Rather, waste your soul by not risking your money!

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As the debate on this thread shows, it isn't a very clear promotion of anarchism. There is a strong individualist element, one that shows a man doing all in his power to complete his goals, and one where countless (literally) supporting caracters gather the courage to do what is right.

The so-called anarcho-"capitalists" claim to be individualist too. "Philosophically, however, anarchism is the opposite of individualism; as its main modern popularizer, Karl Marx, makes clear, anarchism is an expression of Utopian collectivism." (Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism:The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 372)

What?! Where is your independence? The sight of a man of justice and integrity is so rare! Throw your money away? Rather, waste your soul by not risking your money!

My spare time is limited and I guard it jealously. If it is an act of psychological dependence to rely on a review by a trustworthy author, then all my evenings would be spent viewing every single movie in release.

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I'm glad to say that I am my own reviewer of films and entertainment. No reviewer I've ever read was a better judge of what I should think or enjoy than my own mind.

** Spoilers **

I agree with what has been said previously in that the film does not portray so much of what V was for as what he was against. With that in mind, and not being an advocate of Anarchism in the least, anarchy would probably be my prefered state of existence to the totalitarian state represented in the movie.

However, considering the storyline in the context of the movie, it didn't matter in the least whether or not V wanted anarchy. V quite clearly paved the way to destroying the malevolent government, but then he let Evie choose whether or not to finish the road. With V dead (and I think he pretty much planned on that to begin with), those left standing had the opportunity to decide where they went from there. I think V realized that ultimately, the choice was not his alone to make in terms what would ultimately happen. Everything he had done up to that point could have been chalked up to personal vengeance. With his vengeance complete, so was what had become his purpose in life. He seemed to righfully understand that any goal pursued after that was not his choice to make.

Edited by RationalCop

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I'm glad to say that I am my own reviewer of films and entertainment. No reviewer I've ever read was a better judge of what I should think or enjoy than my own mind.

** Spoilers **

I agree with what has been said previously in that the film does not portray so much of what V was for as what he was against. With that in mind, and not being an advocate of Anarchism in the least, anarchy would probably be my prefered state of existence to the totalitarian state represented in the movie.

However, considering the storyline in the context of the movie, it didn't matter in the least whether or not V wanted anarchy. V quite clearly paved the way to destroying the malevolent government, but then he let Evie choose whether or not to finish the road. With V dead (and I think he pretty much planned on that to begin with), those left standing had the opportunity to decide where they went from there. I think V realized that ultimately, the choice was not his alone to make in terms what would ultimately happen. Everything he had done up to that point could have been chalked up to personal vengeance. With his vengeance complete, so was what had become his purpose in life. He seemed to righfully understand that any goal pursued after that was not his choice to make.

I agree, and no where else in modern film will one see morally evil people treated with such absolute, uncomprimising justice. That is one of the splendid things in this film. Evey's selfish choice is another.

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After reading Nicholas Provenzo's review at http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/archives/...286989739726798 I've decided not to see this film on screen or in any other format. I have no desire to have my entertainment dollar end up in the pockets of those who promote anarchism.

Why not make up your own mind? Maybe he is wrong.

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Why not make up your own mind? Maybe he is wrong.

If he gets done watching the film, and decides that it promoted anarchy, then, well, it's too late for him to make a decision as to whether or not to support those who made the film because he's already paid.

That said, I've seen the film three times (really slow week :P ) and did not get the impression that V supported anarchy as the "government" to replace Britain's totalitarian regime. That said I don't know what sort of government V would put in place if he had his choice. However, it actually doesn't make any difference what sort of government V would have liked put in place (since he explicitly left the future in the hands of those who survived him).

I contend that even if he had wanted to replace Britain's Norsefire party with another totalitarian regime (a la Guy Fawkes attempting to replace one monarchy with another), his realization that it wasn't his right to make such a decision would have redeemed him, and made him worthy of the title hero.

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Reviews are useful. I've found that the best way is to find a few people who's taste in movies matches your own, and then use the fact of their recommendation more than their reasons. Sometimes, people cannot express why they like a movie, but if you have liked everything they've liked, you'd probably do okay seeing it. Later, you might be able to tell them why they might have liked it!

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If he gets done watching the film, and decides that it promoted anarchy, then, well, it's too late for him to make a decision as to whether or not to support those who made the film because he's already paid.

While one may have to pay the price of admission, the value gained is the ability to criticise (or praise) the movie with your own thoughts. I guess there's a value judgment involved in that that is more important to some people than it is to others.

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How do you decide which movies to see? Most of us can't see all movies. We lack the time, money, or even the desire to do so.

I rely on trailers and movie critics. To a lesser estent, I also listen to what other people say about it, like the discussions in here.

I do not rely on a recomendation, however. I read the reviews to find out the theme and plot of a movie. Then I know whether it interests me or not.

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How do you decide which movies to see?

Trailers certainly give some indication of the basic storyline. I go by the basic storyline of the movie, is it something that interests me (and if so, how much), who's in it, what else do I have going on, what do I know about previous movies from the players involved, etc. For instance, two cowboys work together and fall in love and come to know each other carnally - not interesting to me. Now take V, a man fights against a totalitarian government, sounds interesting to me.

I don't have time to see every movie either, so yes, I want to see something in the trailer that grabs me about the movie. If I see it and it's a wash, I have no one to blame but myself. Good or bad, I can give a credible viewpoint about the movie if I have seen it. I can't remember the last movie I went to that I felt cheated out of my money so generally, I can judge a movies value to me pretty well by the trailer and other factors I mentioned. If I glean anything about the movie from a review, it's something factual about the movie, not something someone has interpreted from it, not their view of the philosophical merit, with RARE exception. In my opinion, if someone says the movie V is supportive of anarchy, I have to wonder about their ability to interpret the events in the movie. I saw the same movie, and I just didn't see that at all, and I'm see no reason to confuse the graphic novel(s) with the movie.

I have disagreed with too many reviewers to trust their opinions.

What is more likely to happen is that I will take a chance on a movie that I would not have otherwise seen based on a trusted source about the storyline. For instance, Million Dollar Baby was not a movie that I initially chose to see. After reading some of the storyline information on here, I decided to give it a try.

My main objection to reviews is this; telling what happens in the movie, and determining what it means are two different things. If reviews factually "reported" the events of the movie to me, I would be more inclined to use them. But they want to interpret the movie, something I would rather do with as little taint as possible (which is not easy these days). With V as a case in point, I gather that Nicholas Prevento is a rather trusted name amongst some Objectivists, however I disagree with his assessment of the film's content and value. Had I gone by his review, I would have missed a great movie.

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I just watched this film today and certainly would suggest it to friends. I highly doubt a perfect movie will be created anytime soon so I watch for even a fleeting heroic figure. I saw something in V in his conviction for a noble cause.

The irony may lie in the contrast between his conviction and that of the left-wing nutjobs who will flock to this movie and claim it as their own. The decisiveness he exibits shows a clarity of purpose that is not common in many movies today and certainly not common among the prevailing opposites to the facist right in the US. At the very least it is an example of a third option, one opposed to facism without being a relativist tree-hugger, which throws a monkey wrench into the false dichotomy presented by our modern political situation.

It certainly had its share of problems and fell into the same murky area that the Matrix ended up in, yet I would much rather see movies like this than the usual pointless productions with no real statment on anything.

I was greatly disturbed by the link posted earlier concerning the conservative review and commentary on the movie. I find their lack of concern and dismissive attitude just as repulsive as a leftist sanction of Islamic terrorism.

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My main objection to reviews is this; telling what happens in the movie, and determining what it means are two different things. If reviews factually "reported" the events of the movie to me, I would be more inclined to use them. But they want to interpret the movie, something I would rather do with as little taint as possible (which is not easy these days).

I generally disagree with Nicholas Provenzo's reviews in any case. I also think there's a difference between rating something and reviewing it. If you're rating a movie, a book, or whatever, you're giving a very general opinion on its overall quality as a piece of art. If you're reviewing it, you're dissecting some aspect of it, usually the abstract ideas that constitute its theme.

On my blog, I do reviews, however I also include a rating now so that my readers can also see my overall judgement. I like to read reviews of movies (and books) after I've seen them; sometimes they point out interesting bits that I missed and draw my attention to concepts I didn't think of myself. Before I go see them, I tend to pay attention to the ratings.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but in the graphic novel, V differentiates between the 'chaos of lawlessness' and what he calls 'anarchy,' the latter being held back from the former by virtue of some sort of legal system of arbitration. I think the anarchy promoted by V in the novel is more akin to minarchy (if such a word exists) than what we usually call anarchy, because he does recognize the need for very limited government. I think he would, on a similar semantic ground, dislike the word 'government' for the implication of its being a separate, governing body, rather than a protector and arbitrator. I haven't seen the movie, though, so I can't comment on how that distinction was dealt with there.

-Q

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In the movie, it wasn't; that is to say, it wasn't brought up. V didn't preach anarchy, he wanted the downfall of the totalitarian government via a popular movement.

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A few disjunct thoughts on the movie and some of the comments here:

The fine lines between what V advocated, what he did, what the masses understood, what the masses did, what Moore intended, what the W bros intended, and how we interpret all of these relationships are very interesting. I think all of this could withstand extended exegesis - but is that really the point of a movie? The fact that it flies by, and you can't stop and re-read a section, changes how a movie should be understood, IMO. Not fundamentally, but format does matter.

**BIG SPOILERS**

A couple of related thoughts kicking around my head: remember that Officer Finch predicted that V wanted chaos - that he'd set the stage, and someone stupid would do something stupid, and that would be the match to the powder keg. And we saw a little bit of that realized when the little girl got shot. But during the March of Masks, with all the military, not a single shot was fired. Also, everyone knew he was planning to blow up Parlaiment - the place would have been empty, and no one got hurt. And of course, blowing up a building was a symbolic act, the destruction of an idea, despite its physical nature. The entire gov't was destroyed, everything turned over (a real revolution) without a single shot fired or person hurt. I think that's a HUGE point.

Compare that with the French student protests - people have gotten hurt already, and they're not even trying to overthrow the gov't. I think V had his fingers a lot closer to the people's pulse than the police, or many viewers, expected. He didn't want, nor aim for, chaos.

Of course that leaves open the question of what he did want. I think it was beyond the scope of the film to really say. And I think it's ok that that's the case. Artistically, I think there's room for art smaller in scope than AS, and that it can be exceedingly worthwhile anyway.

I still haven't 100% resolved in my mind the necessity of V's death. I've never been bothered, or unimpressed, when the hero wins and gets the girl :worry:. The outcome struck me at first as rather nihilistic. Why couldn't he have Evey? Why didn't he better protect himself? He obviously intended to die in the Victoria Station scene. Was that really his best estimate of his enemies' strength? Or did he actually not want to come back to Evey? Why? Argh.

But, I think if you take the full context of the movie into account, it makes more sense than not. He'd made the deal with Creedy, knew he'd get Sutter one way or the other, and could pretty much count on Creedy coming armed to the teeth. I think his goals were larger than Evey, and that if he compromised them, to be with her, he'd surrender that "last inch" of himself - utterly unthinkable. His big point was: you can't kill an idea. Given that no one who heard that survives, perhaps it's a message for the audience, and ties the movie together.

In the end, I think accomplishing his goals and getting the girl were, given the facts of the situation, mutually incompatible. And he chose the one more important to him. I just wish love had set him free. It seemed to have shackled him, emotionally, instead. Which makes me sad. Maybe that's Moore's cynicism coming through.

But man, what a man V was.

Edited by praxical

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In response to Praxicals post: What a character V was indeed! I wished they would have interspersed more V time in the middle of the movie, to break up the lengthy government scenes (I was hoping for some fun cabaret music in there too.)....But despite my earlier concern, I was pleasantly surprised by Portman's performance.

** spoiler**

In regards to the end, when Praxical asked "why" it had to end the way it did, one of my thoughts have been to avoid taking on any more power. V made sure that the final task was carried out by Evey, not himself. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf refused to take the ring because he knew that having such power would corrupt. V had fulfilled his "vendetta", and it wasn't his to carry on anymore.

Besides, his death makes it more dramatic that his idea lives on.

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V for Vendetta offers chum for practically anyone who would like to unleash a blood frenzy against government, including Muslims upset about Koran abuse, homosexuals tired of government oppression, people opposed to genetic engineering, surveillance cameras, taxation, or the war in Iraq--with "V" it doesn't really matter why. If you hate the state, "V" throws you a bone. Only intellectual revolutionaries, such as the American founders or Objectivists, are left out of V for Vendetta's premise.
So an objectivist wouldn't want to overthrow a totalitarian government?

Is the fact that V had his rights violated in horrific fashion by the British Government not give him reason to want the current Party out of power?

Before V blows up the Old Bailey (sp?) he gives a reason, the paraphrased reason being that "Justice has been on a long vacation."

Again, "V" is no John Galt. Instead, he is a bloody anarchist who enshrines vengeance over the principle of individual rights.

First off, V is indeed no John Galt. Howard Roark is no John Galt either, but he's an amazing protagonist anyway.

Nicholas Provenzo doesn't back up his claim that V is an anarchist in any way.

He focuses on V's vengeance, without pointing out that it was a great act of justice in a world that greatly needs it.

Edit:

Both of those quotes were from Nicholas Provenzo's review of V for Vendetta, but for some reason name='Nicholas Provenzo' isn't putting his name in the quote section.

Edited by LaVache

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I went to see it when it first came out here last thursday, and I must say that it is probably one of my favorite movies. It was very uplifting to see this movie, which is quite different from the feeling the majority of movies you see these days leave you with.

I think the positive parts of the movie far outweighed any negative aspects. Sure, it was not perfect, but I do not think it's right to condemn a movie on that basis when there aren't any better alternatives. You should just focus on the good aspects and enjoy those, and make a mental note as to what could be further improved.

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I went to see this movie a week ago and I really enjoyed it. I personally do not agree with Provenzo's review, though I do understand why he does not like the movie. It's well worth the $7-- go see it for yourself and form your own opinion! :D

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POSSIBLE SPOILER

Having read the comic and I know a little background on the author. The comic book was definitely an anarchist piece, it is explicitly so too. However, I don't think the movie was anything like the comic. The comic critiqued Thatcher's England, while the movie was placed in the future. V died with one bullet in the comic from the Detective, while he obviously didn't die that way in the movie. Also, the full blown state of anarchy was never actualized in the movie. The book was also very individualistic, however, I do think it is a proponent of anarcho-syndicalism.

Basically, I think it was a good movie either way. Movies do hold ideas that can be evaluated, but for the most part they are fun. People go to be entertained, and it was an entertaining movie that carried ideas about freedom. Regardless of the implicit anarchy theme, it was still a good movie. I mean, I liked the Grapes of Wrath movie, although it held a pro-collectivist government idea because the movie had good acting and was entertaining.

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I thought the movie started out really good...but it sort of lulled in the middle.

Hugo Weaving did an amazing job (he has the coolest voice) and the 1812 Overture was a very nice touch.

I really liked the line where V shows Evey all of his "contraband" and she asks if he stole it. He says something a long the lines of "No, stealing implies someone had ownership...I simply reclaimed." I think me and my dad were the only ones who found that a clever line in the theatre that night.

Edited by Rogue

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