Wednesday, March 22, 2006

G for Get On With It

***This post contains spoilers, so if you plan to see the movie V for Vendetta, and you haven't figured out the ending already from watching the trailer or seeing the posters, then stop reading.***

Okay, so maybe it's not about the ending, exactly. But when they finally blow up the Houses of Parliament, you've been expecting it for almost an hour and a half, and it comes as less a solution, or, as the movie would lead us to believe, a new philosophical (and perhaps actual) beginning, than simply the scenes you watch before the credits.

How can a movie with so much visual appeal, and so many thrilling ideas, be so boring? And the most confusing part is that it's not that boring. It's the worst kind of boring, meaning that it just lumps along (not allowing you to be so bored that you leave) and asks you to suspend so much disbelief that by the end you've both simultaneously forgotten what happened earlier, and you've figured out how the last 30 minutes will play out.

However, I enjoyed it despite all this. Mainly because it's about terrorism as a force for good. And this is an idea that's worth thinking about--especially since in these times we're so often being force-fed permutations of that word--terrorism, THE terrorists, the war on terror. And V for Vendetta asks us to believe, or at least consider, a permutation of our perspective on violence. What if the symbols we hold dear are made more precious by destroying them? Can that destruction kick-start us into action? And what do those symbols really mean?*

The whole time I'm watching V for Vendetta, I keep thinking: Wow, if this movie were better, it might actually change people.

And another thing: Are we to really believe that he tortures her for a year and then she forgives him for an ideaology? I'm always suspicious when art asks us to place our minds over our flesh when we all know in reality that if someone sets you on fire for some idea, we'd stop, drop and roll, and the fuck with all ideas.

*Perhaps a more interesting approach to these ideas are found in the films The Weather Underground, A History of Violence, and The Fog of War.

1 comment:

SmokyMtnMander said...

I see your point, and would add the famous Star Wars example. Luke, and all of his cohorts in the rebel alliance, was a terorist.

A fanatical, right-wing, extremist group hell-bent on changing the universe through the application of violence against the "Empire".

Empire = established, militaristic, governing body who's views, from the perspective of the "rebels" are based upon their own morals and enforced through occupation.

Do you see a similarity?

We cheer for Luke when he blows up the Death Star, but isn't evil just a matter of perception based on one's own beliefs?