V for Vendetta (Thriller)

• Cast: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, John Hurt, and Stephen Rea

• Direction: James McTeigue

• Showing at Kumari Cinema

Kathmandu:

V is no more vestigial. For V now stands on a different pedestal other than for vainglorious value judgements. V now stands for the variegated picture of vision and virtuosity. And of course, Vox populi that has the power to vindicate terrorism (if that’s what you’d like to call it!) perpetrated on the other side of the fence — upsurge unleashed to thwart state atrocities! That’s precisely where V for Vendetta gets vivid and vociferously provocative against its vehement criticism of totalitarian regimes and eloquently vouchsafes a world order that’s as close as can be to utopia.

The political thriller based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, pivots around the premise of how an ordinary populace is subjected to subjugation under autocratic state authorities. But the icing on the cake is how V garners support for the act of ultimate defiance drawn from a cowed citizenry, who are eventually willing to sacrifice security for freedom. Central to this transformation is Evey (Natalie Portman), who under the tutelage of V (Hugo Weaving) becomes the ultimate crusader in V’s rebellion against the state.

The moment V appears on stage with his eloquent enunciation of ideas (that the barrels and bullets has hardly ever tamed), he’s long defunct if not for the grotesque mask that masquerades the idea that’s hidden underneath. Evey herself is part of the propaganda machine (manoeuvred in most rogue states), who nearly becomes the victim of state atrocities, had it not been for V who comes to her support. As her fears subside, she becomes witness to the blowing-up of the Old Bailey house that’s perpetrated to propagate reaction from populace fallen under the spell of stupor. This act of defiance is to follow with the explosion of the parliament building on November 5 (Guy Fawkes Day). However, in the meantime, V works to transform Evey, who can maintain the dignity and grace of an empress even as she suffers endless travails.

Now lets take a closer look at the picture of modern rogue states, where minorities are still raising their heads for their voices to be heard. The cacophony of the voices is deafening as it rises from the remote legions of the state. And without ever being preposterous the characters beautifully interweave the symphony of stifled yet vivacious voices. At one point though, you’d wonder if terrorism isn’t a menace anymore, as long as you’d no longer have misgivings about its inherent legitimacy. But aren’t we subjected to terrorism of one kind or the other? That’s where the movie demands the audience to cudgel their brains and respond.

While Weaving as V, portrays a bravura image not even betraying the subtlest nuances, he also proves his panache for a power-packed performance. Its awe-inspiring how he manages to do it all without being overtly rambunctious and without even revealing the scarred face behind the mask. Natalie’s portrayal of a tortured and hapless woman (the other V for vulnerable) is tormenting and evokes rebellion against fanatical fascism. A thought-provoking political thriller that hits theatres not very quite often.