When V shows Evey his rose garden for the first time, she asks if there's a rose for Mr. Susan. V replies, 'Oh no, for him I have cultivated a very special rose.' It took me a few read-throughs before I realized he was referring to Rosemary Almond, and another read-through before I realized that this meant that V was probably responsible for everything awful that happened to Rosemary - the death of her husband, the government refusing to give her widow's pension (after all, he can hack into FATE, who says he can't change those records), probably even arranging that the only job she gets is as a dancing girl. V deliberately arranged for Rosemary's life after losing her husband to be as horrible as possible, to expose to her how privileged she had been, and the lie that she had lived - as well as how truly corrupt and vile the Susan administration could be, and to give her the motivation to kill Susan. In other words, V really did cultivate a very special rose for the Leader.
Her husband's death wasn't planned-after all, Derek Almond did catch V with his pants down, and had he remembered to load his gun he would have killed him then and there. That said, I agree that V manipulated Rosemary to get her to kill Susan (and did kill the man providing for her after Derek's death, leaving her no choice but whoring herself), what we can't know is if he was planning that since the start (hence he had already planned to kill Derek, it just came earlier than expected) or if he decided to do it after killing Derek.
Evey's name is subtle foreshadowing. "E-" as a prefix means "from."
One of the recurring elements of the story is that V is an exceptional person who's emerged from a transformational event. While the people involved in the camps believe it was their experiments upon him responsible, V goes out of his way to force Evey to endure something else: reading Valerie's autobiography while in a concentration camp environment. Given her reaction, it's clear that V himself considers Valerie to be his Start of Darkness.
Now that Evey has taken V's mantle and chosen Dominic as the new apprentice....does that mean that she will also at one point viciously torture him in order to become free? Just because she refuses to kill, that doesn't mean she refuses to do morally ambiguous things....
Oh, it got worse. Just after V's speech of how he was going to break the chains and let the people have a choice, we get Evey's speech how she has to 'help' her people (she disclaims leadership, but isn't that what revolutionary leaders always do?). V just has set up a new leader. And with the moral ambiguity you just mentioned this shades into Fridge Horror alright.
She probably wouldn't need to do that to Dominic though (leaving aside whether she actually could or not). Remember, V wanted to open Evey's eyes to the way the world was under Norsefire, and to confront her with beautiful, scary freedom. But thanks to V, Dominic's actually living in that world now. No Norsefire, no architecture of social oppression, just a blank slate England. He's literally just lived through that experience.
I realised this at around 20 to 2 this morningIn the comic, when Evey is imprisoned by V, she mentions in her narrative having an invasive search done of her genitalia. Now, this sounds nasty but not necessarily that bad until you remember that Valerie says in her letter that she hid a pencil "inside of her", which means that in the original prison, which means they weren't doing cavity checks to that extent, so it can't even be justified for realism's sake..
Remember V's speech over the news, saying how disappointed he was in humanity, and that he'd give them two years to shape up? How is he the good guy again?
Consider how long Valerie's chapter is, and the medium of its presentation. Imagine how thin concentration camp toilet paper must be. Imagine how long it took Valerie to write her life story without destroying the paper. Imagine the dedication and the despair and the need behind the act of writing it, and how difficult it must have been for V to keep it safe after he received it.
V's dominoes sequence is very cool and visually striking, but also has a secondary meaning; it represents the idea that one action (him striking the first domino/starting a revolution to overthrow Norsefire) can begin the unstoppable chain of events that leads to the revolution's victory. One domino is left standing after all have fallen, symbolizing the final event (Evey pulling the lever to send the train to destroy Parliament) that must occur for the chain of events to be complete.
In V for Vendetta, there's a scene where Evey tells V that she doesn't want him to die, and he replies that that was the kindest thing she could have said to him. It took me a few viewings to realize that it was because she knew nothing about V, and that he was the personification of everything for which he worked, that it meant so much to V (he could rest assured that she would continue his work). She had fallen in love with an idea, not a person.
The shipping service in the film uses fingerprint scanners to verify the identity of its recipients. It's also a brilliant way to get everybody's fingerprints on file for the government's use, if they're already not on a database.
From the sketch: the scene where Sutler unmasks V, only to find that the terrorist is actually himself. Brilliant because in a totalitarian system, the government is the one that's terrorizing the people. Also the fact that they both order the soldiers to open fire, and end up dead - a totalitarian government essentially destroys itself.
The satire also suggests that V is a false-flag operation, which is how Norsefire came into existence in the first place. That Gordon is unaware of this might be why he was so certain there wouldn't be serious repercussions despite clearly being very very wrong. Sutler may not have been reacting to being mocked and instead silencing someone he thought might know too much.
When V gives Sutler a rose for "the only thing he has left", it may fly over one's head at first. But remember what Valerie said in her letter? Something along the lines of "Our integrity may be a small part of us, and it's all we have left next to our lives. But even if we die, it still remains." This makes it a very meaningful (or ironic) call back. Basically, V is telling Sutler that he has no integrity, that all he has left is his life, which he is about to promptly lose to Creedy.
Every time you see Sutler on the big screen in Norsefire HQ, his pupils are expanded to the point where his iris is a millimeter band around it. Deranged much?
I always figured he must be a drug addict of some sort. He lives in an underground bunker all by himself with everything he wants being transported to him, and probably is so paranoid and egomaniacal he takes something to deal with it. Which shows the main flaw of most dictatorships: creating a Cult of Personality around guys that qualify as The Ditz or The Caligula.
It also hits home that everyone in a society like theirs is living in constant terror, even the ones who ostensibly control the tyranny they'd engineered.
At the end, when the massive crowd takes off their masks to see the fireworks better, people who have clearly died during the film Dietrich, Valerie and her lover, the glasses-wearing girl, Evey's parents are present unmasking themselves. So, how much of this film is all in Evey's head?
Or it's symbolic: even those who died in the pursuit of liberation are metaphorically participating in V's moment of triumph.
V's calling-card for his assassinations is the Scarlet Carson, a rose specially grown by Valerie's lover for Valerie. Since her story was the only thing that kept V (and later, Evey, although this is unrelated) somewhat sane during V's incarceration and torture at Larkhill, maybe the assassinations themselves are V getting his revenge for her as well as for himself. Oh, and, of course, to bring down the government and to stop anyone identifying him.
Look carefully at the jukebox when V first considers asking Evey to dance with him. He presses a button emblazoned with the number 5. Now, what's 5 in Roman numerals?
Holy crap, what about the symbolism of the letter V?? Evey, Valerie, November the 5th...I'm sure there's more...
Evey's name: E (the 5th letter in the alphabet) and V.
And Y is the 25th letter of the alphabet. 25 is 5 times 5.
The source material played very heavily on the Fifth of November motif including a copious amounts of 5s and Vs all over the place, some meaningful, some just thrown in because it could be done and because strengthening the motif made the meaningful bits more meaningful. The film downplays this somewhat but still strives for the same effect.
What appears in November that doesn't appear in any other month? The letter V.
And in English alphabet V is the 5th letter starting from the end. Implying that V is Evey's polar opposite, anyone?
Sutler's last name, while it sounds close to Hitler, also sounds close to the word subtle. Kind of makes sense with all the interpretations behind Adam.
"Penny for the Guy?" While it's an awesome way for V to make an entrance at the showdown with Creedy's men, the fridge brilliance comes from the history behind the phrase. Children in London, using this same phrase, would ask for money to buy fireworks around every November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day. On that day, a mannequin of Fawkes would be burned amid a fireworks display. Remember the ending of the movie?
The scene where the Ears are listening to Lilliman's murder. One of them says "Children's Hour at the Abbey." Then they chuckle as they listen until they hear Lilliman calling out for help. Think about how they laugh and listen for a minute and of the comment Children's Hour at the Abbey....you're welcome.
V very well may be making up the story about the plague being created by the Norsefire government. He was horrifically treated in the extermination camps but the only person whose word we have to trust is his. Which, of course, is perfect because he's trying to teach us to trust no one completely.
When people believed in V, they found the will to unite against Sutler's reign and got enough power to successfully overthrow it. So the Norsefire slogan (Strength through unity — Unity through Faith, in case you just forgot), backfired really badly. Hell of irony, anyone?
High Chancellor Adam Sutler is briefly treated as a faceless villain, breaking a glass in a shadowy room when something displeases him — odd for someone who gets so much face time. However, this is the only time the camera is properly on him, present day... until he gets dragged into the street by his enforcer's secret police and shot. (For that matter, the scene that got him so mad involved a funny lookalike on the stage, sitting down to an interview before being bamboozled by an enemy.)
The same old democratic government that had faked a terrorist attack and killed thousands of civilians to get an excuse to become totalitarian. It was to be destroyed and built anew.
The destruction of the Houses of Parliament is retained from the source material (though in the graphic novel it happens near at the beginning and 10 Downing Street receives the underground explosion treatment) where V is much more actively portrayed as an anarchist (per Alan Moore's own politics) and his goal is not the reform of government but rather the destruction of it as a whole.
He's a guy with a fondness for explosives going around London in a Guy Fawkes mask. The question about blowing up the Parliament was not if, but when.
It's been years since I read the comic but I think another reason he destroyed the Parliament was because it was "just a building" and its existence is meaningless if democracy doesn't mean anything either. For example, if America turned totalitarian one day, then what's the point in keeping the Statue of Liberty?
Blink, and you'll miss it. When Finch tells his partner about the virus, he calls it the worst biological attack in the country's history. Almost 100000 people killed. Not world history, not European history, but English history. What happened to the rest of the world?
Wars are frequently mentioned, so likely, a whole lot of the world is screwed out there. You think England's got it bad? Most likely, the other countries have no government, or are gone.
There's several mentions of the former United States, in the same way people in real-life talk about the former Soviet Union. If the world sucks so much that even America is in bad shape with its almost ideal geographic position to become strong and stay strong on the world scale, you know you're in trouble. Of course, much like another dystopian Britain, who's to say that the world is really in such bad sorts as Norsefire's propaganda lets on?
The film's V seems to have been given Adaptational Heroism. However, the hostage early on, dressed in his outfit, was shot and killed in the comic, with no real indication that he's a hostage given by V. And it wouldn't be out of character for V to intend for the hostage to die...
On the other hand, it also wouldn't be out of character for him to select a particularly odious individual to be that sacrifice-hostage. Like, say, someone who'd gotten his position at BTN by ratting out another employee for complaining about the censorship.