A very silly title, wasn't it? I suppose that's the best I could come up with, attempting to get W and V in the same sentence tongue-in-cheek. Right, then; onwards.
At any rate, why W and V? W is the initial of the last name of many famous people, such as Andy Wachowsky, Larry Wachowsky and Hugo Weaving, to name a few. Where am I going with this? And how come there's a V in it as well? What is the V for, why should there be a V, why, why?
Why, for Vendetta, of course.
(And that's what it's all about. A whole rant just to introduce yet another movie review. Well, then, here be slight spoilers, none of which about the plot (and most certeinly none about the gunpowder plot), yet some about the other aspects of the movie. Read on.)
First and foremost, Hugo Weaving makes my skin crawl. In a good way, that is. Every single line he delivers my hair stands on end. Picture that, sitting next to a porcupine at the movies.
Before the review, how about an overview? The place is London; the time is in the near future, most likely in the next 20's or about that time. A totalitarian regime has taken over the United Kingdom. Media, politics and police are all about a single goal, that of a single man; a Chancellor set on total domination of the people of England. Enter V, a man behind a Guy Fawkes mask, a man who wont sit and be spoon fed whatever laws, whatever lies "they", whoever they might be, see fit that he abide by. Enter the villain.
Despite being set in the future, this is no Sci-Fic flick.
The shooting and directing is much like those of The Matrix (as one would expect), with great results as well. Unlike The Matrix series, however, great emphasis is put on the little things, or rather lack thereof. Not that there aren't any little things, for they are many, but because the little things are not allowed to be or remain little. (I still have Mr. Weaving's voice in my head. Try to read this paragraph as though Weaving were delivering it.) Every little thud or tap of small objects being dropped, flung or merely knocked over is emphatised and exagerated until it becomes quite simply and delightfully ominous, grown or overgrown to a thunderous boom.
The main character draws from several sources, not quite copycatting any yet merging several elements with all which is only his own to a most exquisite result. First and foremost there is the black cloak and hat from which shines a white mask, à la Phantom of the Opera. Also the cloak and mask, the colour black and the fact the V is more than merely man, but the icon of a concept, a recurring theme of fear and hatred, that he is no more hero than anti-hero, that he is such a charismatic villain, that his voice was probably dubbed in in post producing (I should think that it should be rather hard to accurately record voice from beyond the mask of from within it, for that matter)and even that his name is the letter V spell out Darth Vader. Besides the impecable conception of the character is Weaving's spectacular performance, not just as vocal talent but also as physical talent. Unlike David Prowse's interpretation of Darth Vader, V is hardly the masked character that makes you wonder weather there's actually a person underneath the costume; Weaving's body language convey every last little twitch that his face would, were not for the mask.
Other elements drawn upon are mainly of historical nature, most strikingly, a very deliberate resemblance to Adolph Hitler whenever the Chancellor is seen adressing the public and (skip the remainder of this paragraph, lest you read spoilers) in the scene when thousands of ordinary people don Guy Fawkes masks and black cloaks and hats to join in the revolution, which draws upon Mahatma Ghandi's gathering of 4000 people to collect a bowl of sea water to produce their own salt (which, if you recall your history, was illegal at the time).
Where the movie really shines, however, is in its music. Not just background, taylor-made music for any specific scene (which I have nothing against, on the contrary), but the usage of music an element of a scene, particularly classical music. I won't go in much depth, but, again, mind the little things. The keyword is sync.
The lighting is to be commended as well. Hard contrasts of light and shaddow are cleverly applied to establish moods and even mislead the viewer for some more plot twists. Softer transictions set different moods, some with warm lights to express comfort and intimacy, some eerie shadows to induce a sense of mistery and deceit.
Much powerful imagery was used to great effect. Many short shots of episodes of violence, passion, death and love succeed masterfully at conveying simple concepts in flashbacks and minor subplots.
Right, that's enough. Just go and see the movie. It's well worth it.
Sighing for the streets of London... Farewell.
ArabianShark will now be setting off for a journey towards the North Sea, up the Thames and off to a little vacation in London... In his dreams.