The film V for Vendetta was directed by James McTeigue and accompanied by the Wachowskis screenwriters. The graphic novel V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore, was first published in 1982 colored in black and white. The story follows a man named ‘V’ who is perceived as a “realistic gangster,” while the opposing viewpoints of anarchism and fascism occupy this utopian fiction.
The scene is set in the year 2027 while the second Civil War is tearing through the entire world. Emphasized in the film V for Vendetta, the United States had an epidemic of the “St. Mary’s Virus” and now has touched down in Europe. The political power in the United Kingdom is now declared as the “Norsefire”. This imagined dictatorship’s Leader, alias the Head, is Chancellor Adam Sutler. Sutler is an advocate of racism and totalitarianism; as the Chancellor, he believes civil liberties are unnecessary and threatening to society.
As the Leader of Norsefire, Adam Sutler holds supreme authority over ‘the Finger, Nose, Ear, and Eye’ of this regime. Just like in our human anatomy, the Head has control over all bodyparts that make up an efficient organized system. In the film V for Vendetta, the Finger, equivalent to law enforcement, led by Creedy. Creedy is Head of the Fingermen secret police. The Minister of investigations, branded as the Nose, is Inspector Eric Finch. The head of the Ear was Brian Etheridge, who is part of the audio-surveillance division of the Norsefire government. Roger Dascombe is Head of the Mouth, a.k.a. the propaganda department. Lastly, the Eye represents the government video surveillance, led by Conrad Heyer. These five termed branches to the Norsefire government significantly render the human body, surprisingly common in English political thinking. The English language today have such phrases like “the body politic”. The body politic is a “medieval metaphor that likens a nation to a corporation which had serious historical repercussions throughout recent history and therefore giving the Crown a corporate entity”. The divisions of the Norsefire government are aimed to elude the government, on its own, is a character in V for Vendetta.
In the film V for Vendetta, the movie curtains to a monologue spoken by Evey Hammond. “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason shall ever be forgot…”. The significant use of repetition in the first sentence of the film is used rhetorically. The usage of anaphora when Evey says “Remember, remember” is meant to add emphasizes to the element of the sentence. Finishing the beginning statement, “the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason shall ever be forgot…”. The usage of poetry and rhyming of the words ‘plot’ and ‘forgot’ is meant to add music and rhythm to the stanza. As a result of this, the sentence rings over and over in our heads, making it a memorable segment to the storyline. When Evey states “I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason shall ever be forgot”; personally, I had never learned about the Gunpowder Treason until researching V for Vendetta. How is it that I had never heard of the Treason itself, but the mask I recognized immediately? Why was the mask of Guy Fawkes carried through history but not the reason behind his fame? Evey tells us in her opening monologue “I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament … We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail”. The reason Guy Fawkes’ facial structure more memorable but not the act of rebellion was due to his failed attempt at destruction.
V’ is the man in the mask, a mask of Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of an English Catholic group, known as the Gunpowder Plot. Led by Robert Catesby, the infamous failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was an attempted assassination targeting King James I. Fawkes’ attack aimed to bomb the House of Parliament; although failing, his uncanny facial structure kept through history. The mask of Guy Fawkes has major significance through the film V for Vendetta. V systematically kills all the leaders of the Norsefire. The Norsefire is a fascist dictatorship ruling a ‘dystopian United Kingdom.’
On November 4, a man in a Guy Fawkes mask, identifying himself as “V”, rescues Evey Hammond from a group of males, baring themselves as “Fingermen”. At first, Evey is frightened by V, presented by immediately drawing mace from her purse. V says to Evey “I can assure you I mean no harm”. Evey completely perplexed at V’s stature, she responds with, “Who are you?”. Shrewdly responding, V laughed at the fact she assumed he would expose himself at the beckoning of her want to know who is under the mask; V responding with “I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is … Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose … it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V”. The extreme use of alliterations used throughout this film was fun, allowing V, the character, to use lots of words beginning with the letter ‘V.’
Evey Hammond, saved by V, gives the impression to be lost and astray due to not having any family support in her life. Her family had been taken away by the Norsefire party, most likely killed. Evey’s family was full of writers and artists; creative, unique people. Evey is requested by V to join him in watching his destruction of the Old Bailey, one of London’s criminal court. The demolition was complemented by fireworks and music of 1812 Overture.
Inspector Finch has now been asked to investigate the activities of V during which The British Television Network (BTN) is asked to report the incident as an “emergency demolition.” Coextensive, Evey Hammond works as an employee at government-run BTN. Instantaneously, V interrupts the broadcast encouraging all of Britain to rise above and against their own government in exactly “one year’s time” to meet him outside the Houses of Parliament on Guy Fawkes Night. The police attempt to capture V but Evey assist him helping him escape. This scene ends showing Evey knocked unconscious through surveillance video.
The Shadow Gallery is what V calls his house. V was able to avoid authority and took Evey back to his home. Informed that she must remain in the Shadow Gallery for the lasting year, Hammond is distraught. The first night, V disappears into the night to then kill Lewis Prothero, the Norsefire’s chief propagandist, in addition to Anthony Lilliman, the Bishop of London. Evey proposes her help and makes use of her opportunity to escape. Hammond is able to flee to the home of her boss and talk show host, Gordon Deitrich. In return for Evey trusting him with her safety, Gordon reveals prohibited materials, treasonous paintings, and a historic Quran.
Now without Evey, V continues revenging, moving on to Dr. Delia Surridge. Delia was a woman who had conducted many tests and multiple experiments on V, which has resulted in V. This all took place 20 years prior to ‘Larkhill Concentration Camp’. Awoken by the sound of wind and V in her bedroom, Delia knows instantaneously he is there to kill her. Dr. Surridge is overwhelmed with emotion, feeling remorseful and ashamed of everything she and the government ever did to V. Apologetically Delia asks V; “is it meaningless to apologize now?”; he answers with of course not. After apologizing to V, Delia falls asleep and soundlessly passes.
Storming into Dr. Delia Surridge’s residence a minute too late, Finch reads to finds out V is the result of human experimentation in Delia’s journal. He is able to trace V all the way back to the “bioweapons program in Larkhill”. Finch learns the corporation was directed by Sutler himself, who at the time was the Undersecretary of Defense. Sutler’s failures resulted in the creation of the fatal St. Mary’s Virus, therefore leading us to believe Sutler is V’s next and last victim.
The Norsefire has now been anticipating this November 5 for a total year at the present and security is largely fortifying ever building and every street. V, using his innate intelligence, distributed thousands of Guy Fawkes masks as November 5 inches closer. On the eve of November 5, Evey finally visits V. Leaving his full trust in her, V leaves Evey with the “explosive-laden train in the abandoned London Underground”. Evey is left with deciding whether to use or to not use the explosives. Finally joining with Party Leader Creedy, whom he made a deal to turn over Sutler, V has the man he has been exploring for. Creedy, himself, was the one who lethally shot Sutler. With bigger fish to fry, Creedy now stood face to the mask of V the Terrorist. His Fingermen shoot and gravely wound V. With the remaining life left, V ferociously kill the residual men initially to finish personally breaking Creedy’s neck. V stumbles into the London Underground where Evey is waiting. Ultimately, V expresses to Evey that he loves her before dying from the multiple injuries.
As Evey assembles V’s body aboard the train, she is found by investigator Finch. Evey is able to convince and persuade Finch to comply and give authority to send the train off to destroy the Houses of Parliament. Thousands commence the march towards Parliament. All protestors were costumed such as V be masked in Guy Fawkes face; and in like manner, all were unarmed. The military received no orders demanding the termination to the protest, since Creedy and Sutler are deceased. The crowds continue to pass, allowing the march to end with a perfect view of the inauguration to a possible utopian Revolution. Lastly, Finch questions Evey regarding V’s real identity; to which she replies, “He was all of us”.
The character V is extremely smart with incredible intellect. He is an expert in nearly everything and anything; including arts, computer hacking, literature, philosophical intellect, etc. With great body strength, dark-brown hair, and an outfit consisting of; black gloves, tunic, trousers, boots, conical hat, floor-length cloak, and always a mask; the face is never shown. The weapons V usually would conceal include daggers, explosives, and tear gas. It is believed V took his name from Roman numeral ‘V’ number; which was the number of the room he was held during experiments while living at the concentration camp. We are informed those who were imprisoned and executed in the camps were people categorized by attributes like; political opponents, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and homosexuals.
The film V for Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue and accompanied by the Wachowskis screenwriters, story follows a man named ‘V’, seen as a “gangster”, while representing anarchism and fascism through visuals in this utopian motion picture. Evey Hammond states in her opening and closing monologue; “you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… Ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love…And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the fifth of November. A man that I will never forget”. V is the man who made her remember.