This weekend past, my husband and I rented "V for Vendetta." The movie is about a Guy Fawkes-like character living in England, in the future, under a totalitarian regime. It was interesting, well-acted, and not over-powered by special effects.
I like a good science-fiction film. A good science-fiction will explore the possibilities of "what would happen if we lived under circumstance X." Good examples are "Minority Report" and "Aeon Flux."
But, I have to be honest. I did not enjoy "V for Vendetta." I did not appreciate the underlying message of the film and I felt that the world examined by this particular brand of science fiction was dishonest. The film was carefully designed to exploit a particular fear, one that is often fuelled by the mainstream media.
That underlying fear is the infamous hidden agenda of any "Conservative" party.
The basic premise of the movie is that religious, right-wing, Conservative party members take over England. The Prime Minister becomes supreme Chancellor and inflicts his view of the world on everyone. All Muslims, homosexuals, dissidents and anyone with any "liberal" leanings are imprisoned and/or killed. The country's motto is "Strength through Unity, Unity through Faith" and the party symbol is a big, red, Orthodox-style cross. This supposedly "Christian" government at one time performed experiments on its own citizens, seized power through questionable means, fabricates stories, controls the media and does everything else one expects religious, right-wing extremists to do. I would also like to point out that the government appears to be Catholic in nature, since it keeps Catholic priests on its payroll. This may seem like an odd thing to point out, but if you know who Guy Fawkes actually was, then the connection is obvious.
Along comes the "heroic" Guy Fawkes to break the power of this corrupt government and restore freedom to England. He does this by assassinating various members of the government and by blowing up government building. His actions culminate in the destruction of Parliament.
But who was Guy Fawkes really? He was Roman Catholic, born in York, England, famous for his plot to blow up Parliament. He was not remotely interested in restoring "freedom" to England. He was interested in re-establishing a Catholic presence on the throne of England. Curious how the movie omits this central aspect of Fawkes' character. There is good reason for this of course. Once you establish Fawkes as a religiously motivated extremist, you lose the ability to demonize religion in government, the point of the movie.
I really hated the fact that an entire movie was devoted to the warped notion of the "Conservative" hidden agenda. Apparently, there is an entire comic book series devoted to V. It is no wonder that people have an irrational fear of right-wing conservatives. How could you not, when that fear is so openly fuelled by the mainstream media and the entertainment industry?
All in all, I am glad I didn't bother to see this movie in the theatre. I would have left feeling ripped off.
Pirates of the Caribbean 2?
Now that was a good movie.
Edit @ 2:12pm: Sorry. I added "is" to the title by mistake.