We went to see V for Vendetta on Friday. I was worried that I might get scared (yes I AM a wuss!) but in fact it wasn't the kind of scared that I was expecting. Yes there was violence and blood but it was the possible future that was most terrifying.
The story follows a Great Britain that has elected a storngly nationalist party in response to some terrible terrorist attacks. The descriptions of the little creeping things in the early stages that led to the world in which the film was set was far too unnervingly familiar - imprisonement without trial of those "suspected" of terrorism or political activism, increased control and reduced personal freedoms through CCTV and even curfews.
However in the world that was lacking in freedom (and black people, homosexuals, muslims, any objectors etc) there were some incredible acts of defiance through sheer guts, through humour, through the seemingly small act of graffiti on government posters by a young girl. It was awesome.
I found it hard to think that the UK could have ended up in this situation after witnessing Nazi Germany and thought it plausible after we had sided with Germany instead of siding against them. Some reviews believe, wrongly apparently, that it was after we "lost" the war. My issue is that I don't think we would BE that intolerant post Second World War as our society was far more cosmopolitan even then. It was fascinating to watch a film that had no black faces because it really did seem TOTALLY strange. So much has changed since the 1950s. In our present day, I think it unlikely (which is a reassurance) yet still possible in a country that has elected BNP members of councils and allowed human rights to be compromised through near martial law special measures for terrorist suspects.
If you can cope with some violence (spurting blood and implied torture) and more crucially if you can cope with some psychological discomfort through the shaking of your surety in the solidity of our society and freedoms.
For a more phiosophical review (and with knowledge of the original text), have a look at Michael's site.