V for Vendetta

29 Jun

This is not a review, but rather an exploration into the basic subject matter of the film.

First, a disclaimer.  I do very much like this movie.  The acting is phenomenal, the dialogue is excellent and including the 1812 Overture is a surefire way to make my day.

Secondly, a pseudo-disclaimer.  I am aware of the fact that movies get things wrong on a regular basis.  Machine guns never run out of bullets, car chases jump streets fairly regularly and Keanu Reeves can’t emote.  I’m well aware of this, and actually kind of enjoy it. However, after a round of Wikipedia-surfing today, I uncovered something about V for Vendetta that was so mind-bogglingly wrong that I had to restrain my laughter.

Part of the basis for the film is that the main character wears a Guy Fawkes mask.  Guy Fawkes, for those of you who do not know, was a man who several hundred years ago tried to blow up the House of Parliament in England.  The movie portrays the historical figure as a “freedom fighter”, a man dedicated to the idea that the government shouldn’t control our lives.  V (the main character in the movie) waxes eloquent to anybody who will listen about the power of an idea.  He insists that we “Remember, remember the fifth of November” (the historical day on which Guy Fawkes was caught trying to blow up the Parliament).

So where’s the problem?

Guy Fawkes was no freedom fighter.  He was an agent for the Catholic church in Europe.  England was resisting the control of the church in favor of their own Parliament, and a system of government based on a little document called the Magna Carta.  The Magna Carta, for those of you who don’t remember, is a document that provided a basis for the Constitution of the U.S.A.  So Mr. Fawkes wasn’t fighting for individual rights from a tyrannical government.  He was trying to overthrow the government that ultimately provided the inspiration for our democracy in favor of the INCREDIBLY repressive rule of the Catholic church.

Oops.

For Attebiz Movie Reviews, I’m the J-Man.

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