Friday, November 07, 2008

V for Vendetta as Orwellian Victory

In honor of the recent passing of November the Fifth and the recent passing of power from one tyrant to the next, I just finished watching the movie V for Vendetta, one of my personal favorite films. V is excellent on so many levels, but only if you have the eyes to see.

"So if you see nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the Fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what i see; if you feel as i feel; and if you would seek as i seek, then I ask you to stand beside me."

This time, I was struck by how closely V resembles Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four. There is one critical difference, though. In Orwell, the bad guys win. Orwell missed something fundamental about human existence: the indefatigable human pursuit of liberty. In the end, tyranny cannot survive. In the end, truth wins. The Remnant will remind the world of what we were meant to be.

This is what excites us about V. The face under the mask doesn't matter, it is truth that stirs our passion.

"Beneath this mask is more than flesh. Beneath this mask is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof!"

Orwell's world ends with the protagonist's death and no hope in sight. It is nothing but a warning against a compelling and frightening future. That image has served us well, but it is not enough. V picks up the pieces and correctly constructs the philosophy that takes us forward.

"His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words - they are perspectives."

Do you get it yet? If you understand, you are one of the few. Freedom forever!

Edit 11/10:
Interested in the original graphic novel of V for Vendetta? Buy it on