Thursday, July 5, 2007
V For Vendetta is a thrilling and capturing movie to watch. There's intrigue, action, explosions, and a Shakespearian speaking Guy Faulks masked man. Set in the future, the movie has two sides battling for the control of people. On one side is the Totalitarian Government, that uses faith (namely Christian faith) as a foundation for their actions. On the other side is a lone man, victim of the State that used 'undesirables' to experiment on, who in all essence is a terrorist that seeks to 'free' the people from the Totalitarian Government.
The movie raises some interesting questions on what is the Governments role, what are peoples roles, and what is terrorism. Even though, in the 'Making Of...', the director states that the movie is suppose to leave its meaning open to the interpretation of the viewer. Thus, each viewer interprets the movie differently and each interpretation then is correct. Yet I would disagree, the film's vision and direction does not leave the interpretation open. In the graphic novel written by Frank Miller, which the movie is based, contains a statement by Frank Miller on the purpose of the graphic novel. The statement clarifies the movies purpose. Those purposes are to show the extreme of the State taking over the rights of people by using fear. The second purpose is through narrative to expand on the concept of tolerance.
Here is why this movie can be particularly dangerous. The State is seen as specifically Christian. This gives in to the fear of what Christians really are about, making people 'behave' and having control over other people's behavior. While some history may support inklings of that concept, i.e. the Nazis, the focus of true Christianity is lost. Christianity is not a set of moral behaviors or rules. Christianity is about God sending His Son to die for the sins of all people. Christianity is about Jesus Christ. Ironically, in the movie the character V uses fear on Evey. Although he says that this is what the government would do to her, this is really a form of brainwashing. This is a similar method that Cults would use to initiates to become part of the group, to establish a way of thinking. Yet V is still portrayed as the Hero throughout the movie, his cause just and right.
The second purpose supports the first, namely that Christians are against tolerance. This is seen through the Government casting out 'non desirables' in the name of faith. "Strength through Unity, Unity through Faith". The movie emphasizes that tolerance should be given to every one and for every thing. Yet Jesus Christ displays a different kind of tolerance. He comes to the sinners and the "undesirables" but he still calls them sinners. His message is one of forgiveness, not denial or acceptance of what they have done but forgiveness. Jesus calls a thing what it is. He calls sin, sin. But He also give forgiveness to the broken. The message of tolerance is really seen at the end of the movie as the credits role. There a voice over states for every one to reject the roles that they are 'born into' or the roles of society and to create their own roles. Yet this is impossible nor should it be attempted. I am a Son. That is a role. I can not, no matter how much I deny it (don't worry I don't), stop being a Son. I did not choose my parents. Like wise you did not choose to be male or female but were born one and you will live your role as one. If you begin to deny the roles or as Lutherans would say "Vocation" then thing do not fall into place. This is what the movie promotes: 1. Create your own roles 2. Tolerate every role and 3. Christianity just suppresses our roles and behavior.
In the end, V for Vendetta can be a potentially dangerous movie that is done quite well. Young adults and teens can watch this movie, be entertained and also drawn into the message that the movie give without even realizing it. Knowing the movies message can help those filter it out and see if the movie is truly beneficial or not.