V Is For
V is also for Vendetta. I dragged my sick arse across to the cinema last night to catch it - it only opened here yesterday. I don't do reviews anymore because all a review is is one person's opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. Informed opinion? Possibly. But it's just a matter of taste. One of my all time favourite albums, Booth & The Bad Angel got bad reviews when it was released, yet I think it's a masterpiece. Same with the U2 albums Zooropa and Pop. If I were to review any of those albums I'd tell you that your collection is nowhere near complete without them, however the next person will tell you something totally different. Make your own mind up and don't be led by reviews.
With that disclaimer in place...Despite the problems and controversy that have surrounded this movie, predominately Alan Moore's insistence that his name be removed from the film and the liberties taken with the source material, this film is incredible. The direction of the movie is nothing special, nothing flashy and that workman like attitude only serves the film for the better. A more established director, a Spielberg for example, would have been more interested in stamping his own style over the film and thus diluting it. The film itself would have to be one of the most important movies released in the post September 11 period - it asks more questions than it'll ever have answered, and it staggers me that such an anti-Government film can be made, let alone released by a major studio onto a world stage. I'm not going to give anything away, but to say that you need to see this film. Go and watch it. Absorb it. Enjoy it. Keep your mind open though.
One thing that did strike me was the performance of Stephen Fry. I've been following his career now for decades ever since I first saw him the Young Ones as Lord Snot. From his early efforts playing Oscar Wilde, his Shakespeare performances, his shows with Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson, one thing has always leapt out - he's a damn good actor with the right material and motivation. Unlike his peers, say Kenneth Branaugh, Fry has made a lot of crap movies over the years. For every series of Blackadder there's shit like Spice World or Harry Potter. For every Gosford Park there's pus like Thunderpants - the list is endless. Just when you write him off though he makes a movie like V For Vendetta and gives the performance of his life. It did strike me though, that if this movie were made in the mid to late '80s, then it's quite possible that he'd have been playing V, or, like Hugo Weaving, supplying the voice.
Sorry - other than perhaps three scenes I don't believe that Hugo Weaving appeared in the movie proper. But that's apt, this film wouldn't be right without it's own conspiracy theories. Go and see it, if you really, really don't like it, I'll refund your money myself.