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V For Vendetta

The story is set approximately 20 years in the future, where Britain appears to have been taken over by a regime that is akin to Nazism, with a degree of Orwell thrown in. Those that are deemed "different", such as political activists and homosexuals, are carted off to their deaths. Everything that is said or done is monitored. Fear is used to keep the public at bay and interestingly enough, modern day topics are used to keep the fear running in the press - avian flu, terrorism, AIDS and political spin. They're all there and strangely enough, the film does a good job of reporting them. It's all reported with a sense of stiff upper lip. The tag-line is always "Britain will prevail".

The story starts with the bombing of the Old Bailey. The character claiming the glory for this activity - "V", wears a Guy Fawkes mask (although he does look a bit Zorro). V crosses paths with Evey (Natalie Portman) when they encounter some "Fingers" (members of the ruling party) during the nightly curfew. He goes on to infiltrate the state-controlled TV station and broadcasts to the nation his intent to destroy the Houses of Parliament on November the 5th of the following year. He's an aspiring modern day Guy Fawkes.

John Hurt plays the Chancellor - another part well played - so very 1984. I'm starting to wonder if he ever does a duff part. The middle of the film surrounds the game of Cat and Mouse between the Chancellor's men and V, which is where the story unfolds. Yes, there is a story here - and it's a good one.

The final chunk of the film goes into the plot to destroy the Houses of Parliament using a Tube Train packed with explosives. Does he succeed? Well, that would be giving things away. You're going to have to watch this one and find out. As you might have guessed by now, this film takes modern day fears and shows a possible outcome of those fears. Sure, there are special effects there, but they add to the story - not become a replacement for it. The film takes an awful lot of chances. It includes topics such as civil unrest, terrorism, homophobia and xenophobia to name but a few. Additionally, Stephen Fry (a personal favourite) does a good job as a chat show host who pokes fun at the Chancellor - the kicking he gets ensures he promptly regrets it.

An enjoyable film. It was good to see something that took on some taboos, yet was entertaining. Go and have a look.
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