Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for Victoria!

What I really like about James McTeigue's V for Vendetta is how it veers away from the standard Hollywood formula of comic book adaptations, and offers a clear mirror of current events without sacrificing the overall spirit of the original material. Granted, Alan Moore's dark and verbose 1989 graphic novel is hardly superhero fare, it would have been easy for Hollywood to heighten the action and overdo the special effects to increase its commercial appeal. But V for Vendetta has only three action scenes that only pass muster, and none of the Matrix-level spectacle. In fact, it's a talkie movie. (I would watch it again to absorb all the dialogue.)

The overall texture of this Wachowski brothers-produced film is desaturated and foggy, something you'd expect from artsy European films. That coupled with actors like Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves, and Stephen Fry makes the experience more satisfying if European films are your cup of tea.

I must admit that I didn't feel much for the "terrorist hero" V when I read the graphic novel. Maybe because the rendition of his "Guy Fawkes" mask looked too much like a real face and thus struck me as cocky and unfeeling, plus the fact that it was hard to imagine his voice. With Hugo Weaving, however, V projected compassion, dignity, and an almost childlike quality. Natalie Portman was just okay; I expected more intensity from her.

Granted, the last few scenes tread into more commercial ground, and a number of the plot elements from the original book had to be omitted or altered, V for Vendetta's succeeds in painting a powerful what-if scenario involving a society strangled by a tyrannical government. It looks real and feels real. And it's disturbing.

6 comments:

Marc Ambrosio said...

Hello Carl. Marc here. Watched "V for Vendetta" meself. I found it surprising that a movie about political change and idealism, especially matters of directional anarchy, revolutions and a scary Christian totalitarian regime would be screened here and not banned because of suggestive themes to sedition given the recent climate here. I mean who would think of traipsing in a mask and blowing up Malacanang Palace with a vehicle full of explosives no? Dropping a line.

Carver said...

Marc...Eyyyy... :-) Well, I was thinking it wouldn't be much of an issue, since "V for Vendetta" might come off as too high-brow or lacked commercial appeal. (When I watched it, the theater was less than half full.) Then again, if it were banned here, it's like raising the "guilty" banner for the world to see.

Eu-Leh said...

hi! nice posts! i'm bloghopping and just checking your blogsite. Keep the blogs rolling!

nida said...

disclaimer: off-topic

hi carl! got the latest copy of Real Living... ganda! :D kakalaway ang boracay at ang mga accomodations, plus that ancestral house in san juan batangas... grabe. *sigh*

Dennis said...

Basta para sa akin ay ito ang ibig sabihin ng V: V is for Vergara!

Carver said...

eu-leh...thanks for dropping by! :-)

Nidaaaaaaa!!! Congratulations sa inyo. And thanks for getting a copy of the mag. I'll see you soon, dear! :-)

Dennis...Ang sweet mo naman. Heheheheh.

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