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- Okay, at the start, V kidnaps Evey. This is revealed at the end to be so she can become his successor as V, when V the Terrorist is no longer needed and the symbol of V instead needs to act as a guide and aid during the reconstruction after the collapse of the government. At the end, Evey kidnaps her own protege... but what will she need him for? Is she grooming him in case things go wrong and they need V the Terrorist again instead of V the Rebuilder? Just so that there will be someone to take up the identity if something happens to her? Something more arcane? Don't really follow that bit.
- IIRC, somewhere in the comic it said that the progression to true anarchy take 4 steps, V is step 1, Evey represents step 2. So they would end up needing 4 V figures in total. Or, maybe V just wanted an assistant (Doctor Who style). And the kidnapping is a good way to book end the story and symbolize Evey's transition to V (English class answer).
- I don't really see the problem with keeping a spare in case something goes wrong. Or better yet, if Evey is the rebuilder, then the next V should be the leader after rebuilding, the one who leads in the time of prosperity.
- But isn't the whole point of anarchy a lack of a need for leaders?
- V doesn't want a LASTING anarchy, he wants anarchy in order to usher in a new government. His job was to tear down the existing system and he left it to Evey to help build a new one. Presumably someone other than Evey would need to lead it.
- You're either thinking of the movie or you've missed what V and Anarchy are all about. The entire idea of Anarchy is no leaders and no top-down government of any kind, regardless of whether it's ostensibly democratic or a dictatorship; all of society is to be based on voluntary cooperation and all decisions are made from the bottom up, with the highest focus on individual freedom and the rejection of anyone's right to control and make decisions for anyone else. Or at least that's what V would be all about if he is modeling his philosophy after real world Anarchism; the comic never gets that in-depth into it. Suffice it to say, for V, Anarchy is almost certainly not chaos.
- For is not to be chaos you'd have to get a lot of people willing to cooperate. I don't see it.
- Then congratulations, you're not an anarchist. But just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's incorrect; that is the basis, in broad strokes, of anarchist theory. The idea expressed in V is that to reach the point were people will be willing to cooperate at that level, first the old order must be destroyed (by V) and then people will have to learn how to be civil and respectful of others (which is Evey's role).
- Keep in mind the person Evey kidnaps is Dominic, who's currently the head of the country.
- I both watched the movie and read the comic. The cooperation you describe is what V visualizes, but it isn't government. It's not government without leaders or without the ability to coerce. Part of V's point is that there can be order born out of voluntary cooperation without the people needing to be forced into it by a government. You are right anarchy is not chaos in his view; hence the scene with all the looting where Evey asks if that is what anarchy is, and he says that it is not anarchy, but chaos. V doesn't want a new government after an era of anarchy; he wants permanent anarchy after the necessary era of chaos. And in an anarchist world, according to V's view, leaders are not necessary.
- Leadership is not necessarily enforced by government. A figure who leads by voluntarily persuading lots of people to follow his example and teachings is consistent with anarchism. That's the role Evey is apparently stepping into, and she may feel that there will always be a need for someone to fill that role.
- V's idea of Anarchy is very close to it's orginator's, Mikhail Bakunin. Even to the point of NOT wanting a massive bloody revolution (though some violence is necessitated) like his contemporary Marx insisted on. But to me the V figure (and it's procession of bearers) is necessary less as a leader and more as a guide to prevent some new group of authoritarians from gathering and subjugating the people again. The four steps as I would see them would be 1: Revolution 2: Rebuild 3: Renaissance 4: Revolution. Every so often the new V would have to go about tearing up all the systems again and starting over from scratch. "Whatever the form of government may be/A class restricted society/Will be the end result/No reformation without revolt" Against All Authority, Bakunin
- V never said that Evey had to be the only one in assisting them in rebuilding society, just that she was a rebuilder whereas he was a destroyer. Nothing preventing Evey from getting a little help - after all, there is a whole new order being brought in...
- Isn't the point kind of that V is handing over to Evey and, through her guidance, society as a whole, the choice of whether they want government?
- I just figured that there being a new apprentice was part of the circular nature of the story, and ties in nicely to V being a symbol and an idea. V could have been anyone and he can be everyone, and I think the idea of there always being a successor is that the character lives on, because, y'know, you can't kill an idea.
- The film version plays fast and loose with the level of surveillance available to the government; understandable because there would otherwise be no plot: If the government has total surveillance as the plot indicates, even a single appearance of V could be traced back to its point of origin through the simple expedient of running the tapes back.
- He mainly appears on rooftops, where presumably there are no cameras.
- The government's main form of surveillance is not cameras, but electronically monitoring communications and using mobile listening posts to literally "hear" what people are saying. These methods are intended to spy on the populace to prevent dissent, not to track down fugitives. Plus, seeing as how V always seems to be Crazy-Prepared, he most likely has ways of eluding or countering government surveillance tech.
- In the comic book, V had hacked their supercomputer Fate. I'm not sure, but I think it's implied he did it in the movie too.
- How did V not die after he was burned at Larkhill? He obviously couldn't have received any medical attention, and Delia says that as far as she could see, he had no eyes. And as far as the viewer can see, he seemed to have, uh, developed a case of Barbie Doll Anatomy. Okay, so he's pretty tough, but is he really that tough? 'Cos... holy crap. Also, normal people basically cannot survive the sort of burns he seemed to have without medical attention. And how did he die at the end, then, if he's so tough?
- She's using hyperbole when she says "he had no eyes". She wasn't anywhere near him, and saw him in sillouhette. And the burns might have been entirely superficial, or at least not life threatening. You can be deformed by a lot less than what will actually kill you. As to why he died in the end? He was shot. Like, a lot. He might be stronger than the average man, and can ignore pain to an extent, but he's not bulletproof.
- As for the anatomy, either his genitals were burned off, or the fan theory is true and V is actually Valerie.
- He bled to death. Even the strongest muscles need blood flowing to operate. At Lark Hill, he didn't suffer any punctures or cuts that would have caused serious bleeding. In the subway, he suffered four or five said shots.
- No seriously, who was it that we saw shaving her head? He is mostly certainly not V. If it was just seeing a pair of arms or something it would be fine, but look at the page image for Traumatic Haircut. We see his entire face. V is one i burn scar with no eyes. Who was that?
- He does have eyes. V isn't blind! He can see. That was just a metaphorical hyperbole to make him seem less human. Delia Surridge just couldn't see his eyes.
- Well, the page image aside, we don't see that person's face in the actual movie. But I have always wondered, not only about that, but about the other prison personnel (guards, interrogator, etc.). Did V play every role himself, or what?
- Yeah, the picture is just a production still. The movie does crop it so you don't see his face. And yes, V did play every role (aside from the occasional dummy). He was a one-person organization, after all, so there's nobody else around to play those other roles.
- If you recall when he was making eggs, his body is one big burn scar. How could he pass himself off without wearing some wacky human costume you'd see in a cartoon?
- Well do you recall the first time Evey sees his burns on his hands? He's wearing pants, a long sleeved shirt, and his mask/wig. So the only exposed skin is on his hands. Now think about how many government/military type outfits use full sleeves and gloves. And almost all of them (keep in mind that MOST government/military uniforms are for show and decoration) have hats that can be worn with it. So in a very shadowy basement, where Evey is FAR too scared to be really think about getting a good look at her captor's faces (she's under the impression that the government has abducted her, so it's not like she has no idea what's going on, she's just mistaken about who is behind it), all V would have to do is wear a mask. Something he's quite well-acquainted with, I believe?
- No, I don't mean her seeing his hands. I mean us seeing his hands. They were normal unscarred hands in the camera's view.
- The actual hands physically cutting Natalie Portman's hair belong to an actual stylist — they had one chance to get the scene right, so they put Natalie's hair in the hands of a professional rather than Hugo Weaving's. I suppose one could say that V put makeup on his hands to prevent Evey from recognizing them, since she took note of his hands in an earlier scene.
- ^ Really? They couldn't think to just give the stylist a pair of gloves or something so we the viewers wouldn't notice?
- ^ Um...the stylist IS wearing gloves. Watch it again.
- ^ Clear plastic gloves, which clearly show normal hands. Admittedly, they could be part of the glove.
Igniting the bomb
- How could V have ignited his mustard gas and napalm in the first place? There wasn't even a single light bulb in his cell.
- There are many chemical combinations that cause a rapid exothermic reaction (fire).
- Basic chemistry win for The Man From Room Five: ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil) is an explosive combination of two very basic elements; chemical fertilizer, and diesel fuel. V talked them into giving him fertilizer for his rose garden, and the diesel fuel was probably for a hedge trimmer or something.
Surveillance and V
- There is one particular part in the comic that has always puzzled me. At the beginning of part 3, "The Land of Do-As-You-Please", V destroys the BT Tower and Jordan Tower, the seats of government surveillance, and proclaims to the people of Britain that they're now free from being constantly seen and heard by Norsefire. This seems like a very inspirational and touching moment. Later however, it turn out that all the cameras and microphones still work and they are now in fact controlled by V through his own surveillance network, who can watch and hear people while they erroneously think no-one is monitoring them. Now, this seems like it doesn't exactly mesh with V's condemnation of government control and surveillance of its people, as he's willing to do the same for his own ends. I've always interpreted that scene as the comic presenting V as a hypocrite, especially since he's not exactly a saint in the rest of the book. Does anyone else know if this was Moore's intention or is there some other meaning to it?
- I don't really think that makes him a hypocrite. The cameras were there to control the city. If someone was doing something Norsefire didn't approve of, they'd be sent out to fix the problem. V merely observed them, he didn't influence what they did in the slightest, so he wasn't applying any sort of control. It's not much different from V simply looking out his window at the world and seeing whats going on, just on a far larger scale.
- Actually, he did use the cameras for his own ends; he spied on Helen Heyer having an affair with Alistair, recorded it and then sent the tape to Conrad Heyer, in order to break up their plans to install a new post-Adam government. Sure, it was for a "good" purpose, and its nowhere near the scale of the things done by Norsefire, but it still shows that he's willing to use surveillance to spy on people and control things from behind the scenes. This even leads to a moment of Fridge Horror: since Evey will inherit the mantle of V, she will presumably have access to the same network, which can be used for espionage in the same manner. After all, why would you set up this huge personal network to watch on people if all you ever wanted to do was watch? It would make more sense to use it to identify potential threats to your anarchist society and "remove" them.
- You're missing that V is just trying to get people to rise up against the government in order to force the government to crack down harder and thus cause an even greater uprising. He's not trying to free them from surveillance or any other little gesture like that. He's trying to destroy society itself so that maybe something better can take its place. Lying to said society in order to trick it into destroying itself isn't hypocrisy, it's a tactic he uses consistently and effectively throughout the series.
- Where does V find the resources for his bombings, and how does he manage to plant the explosives all by himself?
- No answer for the planting of the bombs, or from the book perspective. But in the movie, it's mentioned that his explosives are mixed from common chemicals (no real explosives signature) and that he tends to supply himself by stealing from government convoys (remember the scene where he cooks breakfast for Evey; he mentions that he stole the butter from the High Chancellor's supplies). If he has enough knowledge of chemistry, it wouldn't really be that hard to find, steal, and mix up some kaboom.
- ANFO accounts for 80% of the explosives used in the US every year, and is stupid easy to make, using chemical fertilizer and diesel fuel, both of which aren't the least bit suspicious by themselves.
- As for how he plants them, he's clearly got a lot of time on his hands. In the movie, at least, he mentions it took him a damn long time to clear out the tracks under Parliament; presumably, he makes use of other such no-longer-in-use pathways throughout the country.
- "Africa is gone!"...Um, why did either side find it strategically necessary to fire their nukes at Africa? There are no allies on that continent important enough to barbecue!
- Like a lot of things this is probably Norsefire propaganda, it's very hard to tell what has and has not actually occured in the world as the only source of information is the propaganda stream.
- It couldn't be propaganda. This was something Evey's mother repeated from the news, before Norsefire came to power, or apparently even existed.
- Did they say who took out Africa? Maybe several of the countries in Africa got The Bomb and ended up nuking it out amongst each other.
- Maybe they just ... left?
- It's tempting to think of Africa as a poor continent, despite its bountiful supply of 'in demand' raw resources, but if you take a hard look at some of the worst African nations you'll notice that they are awash with military hardware. Given the chaos of a war, it's not hard to believe African nations would source WMDs of all sorts from fallen ex-super powers.
- Sure it is. On the one hand, trekking hundreds of kilometers across a blasted nuclear wasteland to find and retrieve such weapons would be difficult at best for a well-supplied first-world power, to say nothing of a resource-strapped African nation. On the other hand, even granting the success of such a risky venture, CBRN weapons aren't like small arms, which practically anyone can pick up and figure out how to use, or even like artillery or tanks, whose operating principles a sufficiently clever person can work out with a bit of skull sweat. In the 1980s, the only African nation with the necessary know-how was South Africa, which already had nuclear weapons in any case.
- Consider when the original was written. There was a pretty large presence of Soviet troops across central Africa, and back in the day they were part of the targeting grid. With Egypt, Libya, and others in the Soviets' pocket, and the southern part of the country heavily controlled by western Europe, it too would have been a battleground. Diamonds, oil, gold, all kinds of stuff to fight over.
- That point is well reasoned, but it proceeds from some pretty questionable assumptions. Soviet presence in Africa was largely limited to the provision of arms and a few "military advisers" in places like Angola, none of which came anywhere near the criteria for targeting with strategic nuclear weapons. Quite aside from the potential political consequences, domestic and abroad, of targeting a neutral nation in a policy which might well later be leaked or declassified, by the 1980s the doctrine of mutual assured destruction was well entrenched between the only two powers capable of producing a classic nuclear World War III, and it would be a waste of good warheads to blow up any uninvolved third party which happens at the moment to host a few battalions' worth of your opponent's infantry and artillery troops.
- The premise: This has always bugged me about V in its entirety. Liked the film and the graphic novel, but it presents anarchy is a most unrealistic light. Government may not be the most fair way for people's interests to be addressed, it's certainly the most efficient and the most practical. It's the logical evolution from agrarian society, which is itself an evolution from hunter-gather groups. By destroying the government, V has effectively destroyed his society and replaced it w/ a form of "leaderless leadership" that the majority have never experienced. The basic considerations of food distribution, clean water supplies,providing shelter and medical care,etc would handled by who now? The more complex considerations like security, trade,etc would be regulated by...? This is why anarchy fails as anything more than a theoretical concept. It's impractical for anything other than small groups and even in those groups, people would eventually create hierarchical structures if for no other reason than to get things accomplished. The finale of this film is basically the beginning of multiple small and large scale conflicts, famine and pestilence. It seems odd that no one in the film's (and the novel's) universe seems to acknowledge that.
- Yeah, the film was given a happy ending, but part of that ending includes Evey being there to help rebuild. As for the graphic novel, pretty much everything you said is considered, and Moore made the whole thing deliberately ambiguous as to whether or not what V did was a good thing.
- Did the film even mention anarchy at all? I got the impression that they watered it down into a standard "overthrow an oppressive government" plot rather than an "government itself must be overthrown" one.
- When the two detectives are talking about what's about to happen, and it keeps cutting back to shots of that stuff happening, there's a cut from them saying "This is what he wants...he wants..." and then cuts to a guy shouting "Anarchy in the UK!" and shooting up a convenience store. That's about the closest the movie ever comes to it, I think. It definitely makes the 'anarchy = chaos' assumption.
- To the OP: I don't know, maybe you should have a look at the long history of anarchism as a social philosophy and a social movement over the last 170 years (there is a meticulous anarchist FAQ online, for starters) if you sincerely don't know how we would go about answering these "objections". The fact that someone else disagrees with your assertions about what is and isn't "practical" is not Fridge Logic; it's more like YMMV.
- This. Anarchism isn't just the idea of a revolutionary killing a country's leaders and saying "right, run the place yourselves".
- Well, no, it's a lot more like communism in its theory, which holds essentially that the best possible social structure is an organic one that coalesces spontaneously from the bottom up, rather than being imposed from the top down. Then there's a lot of stuff about how it's necessary for committed anarchists to educate people into understanding that the best possible social structure is in fact anarchism, which seems a little odd in light of all the rhetoric about how ordinary people are entirely suited, indeed better suited than anyone else, to govern themselves, which would seem to obviate the need for a lot of careful indoctrination on the subject of anarchism. Further, little anarchist theory seems at all to address the question of how to resolve conflicts between fundamentally irreconcilable interests, such as how best to employ a limited resource. a major concern in practical government of any stripe, self- or otherwise — indeed this may be said to be the fundamental concern of any form of social organization, very little of which is necessary in the absence of such conflicts. Perhaps anarchist theory offers a plausible explanation of how such decisions could be made, in practice, and in accord with anarchist principles. Such explanations seem regrettably difficult to find.
- A lot of people think of anarchists as bad guys, like how V sees himself. However, V figures that there are better anarchists in the world, who will solve the problems themselves, unlike him, who is simply trying to solve problems.
- As much as it pains some of us to say this in the current climate it can't be understated that most ideologies splinter and develop into different "schools". In theory terms are supposed to make differentiating those different schools from each other easier. The problem is many in Academia love to fight battles by messing with their opposition's terms so that people can't really understand what they represent. Anarchism and communism are loaded with people with very anti or lukewarm to authority and morality ideologies, but academia have done a good job muddying the waters to what the terms socialism, anarchism, communism and chaos mean and where they should be divided at. If we take two people in example. Person A's anarchism is about removing the top down government to rebuild a new bottom up self-governance with a moral worldview. Person B's anarchism is about removing all un-needed forms of authority and morality to level the world for equality. These two people are nowhere near on the same page, but you will find examples of both using the same term to describe themselves. This is the dumbed down version in reality there are many other splinter groups and ideologies that will in some cases use the term. People can't really have a equal conversation about what they want if they can't understand what the other side even wants. And fortunately/unfortunately this is how a lot of those authorities are still in power.
- In the movie, how in the hell can V find the time, resources, and manpower to manufacture Guy Fawkes masks and matching black cloaks and Elizabethan-style hats for practically every man and woman in London and then send it through the mail and not get busted or at least found out by the big Orwellian government?
- According to Word of God, he spent many years making those masks, as well as ordering them from factories in other countries.
- But how in the hell did he manage to pull off mailing them all to all of London with nobody getting suspicious?
- "At least the trains all run on time, but they don't go anywhere." One of the keys of authoritarianism is that people do not ask questions when given orders. The postal service received a massive order of packages to be shipped, and rather than any one postal worker questioning the bizarre event, each of them assumed it had been checked and verified by their immediate superior, and thus went about their assigned task with nary a trace of incredulity. Due to the bureaucratic nature of the government, by the time any sort of "Hey, this is really weird" report got up to the top of the chain, it was already too late and the packages had been shipped.
- As anyone who has had the pleasure of working for a large bureaucracy can tell you, the above is actually the exact OPPOSITE of what happens. Supervisors constantly micromanage every aspect of their organization because they know they'll be held responsible for any mistakes or, in this case, sabotage that happens under their watch.
- They micromanage those below them. But they absolutely enforce orders from the top without question and micromanage to enable those orders without question.
- V is a very clever strategist and observer, he has been planning this for years and he has access to security footage all over the country. Is possible that he studied which of all government offices was the most lazy and which of all forms of communications was the least supervised, besides people doesn't use the traditional mail much using more phones, emails and the like so probably the government focus attention in that media and not in mail. It was, after all, a surprise for everyone to recieve the packages; expect the unexpected, no one really expected that the "terrorist" was gonna use the least common method of mail.
Gordon and humiliation
- Did Gordon REALLY think he was going to get away with humiliating a fascist regime who's known for pretty much purging anyone who looks kind off on national TV? Judging by his reaction "Oh, I'll just apologize and give the Norsefires some money and it'll be fine," he did. But WHY? It's even more stupid considering he had a room full of some of the most illegal stuff in the country. He should have known he'd at least get searched. It would have made more sense if they'd at least written him as being so depressed and tired of living under fascism that he wrote that show as his swan song: He just wanted to humiliate The Party on national TV even though he knew he'd get the firing squad for it.
- He was one of the most famous and beloved public figures in Britain. He thought that the government couldn't just make him disappear or anything like that because while he might not have had actual power, he was a public face that would definitely be missed. He clearly overestimated the protection that gave him, however.
- Also, what's to say he isn't extremely depressed and deliberately pulling off a self-destructive stunt? Being forced to repress homosexuality for almost your whole life can indeed do that.
- He probably could have gotten away with it before V started his subversive activities, but the government had by this time switched into "zero tolerance" mode.
- If you watch the movie again, you'll notice that the comedy show scene comes immediately after a short bit with Sutler chewing out his inner circle and making it plain that things won't be going well for them if they don't start getting immediate results on something. So yeah, they were feeling a lot more touchy and trigger-happy than normal.
- It also seemed that Gordon was inspired by V's example of defying the government. He probably would have never considered pulling a stunt like that in normal times.
- It definitely seemed, at least to me, that it was a product of the sudden seeming-shift resulting from V's broadcast, but that Gordon was perfectly aware it was likely to spell his death. He just didn't care any more, making that whole stunt not Too Dumb to Live but him exercising his clout as a TV producer in one last act, that of open satire and protest on film, before accepting death.
- Though if that's the case, why didn't he consider the fact that Evey, a known fugitive, is in his house? Did he not consider the fact that she'd likely be arrested too, and that he'd be taking her down with him?
- He probably overestimated the amount of time he'd have to get her out of the house, thought that she would leave of her own accord somehow after seeing the program, or yes, forgot about her entirely when he made the switch in scripts.
- Some chat shows are actually taped a few weeks or days in advance, so that episode could have been filmed before Evey even came to his house. And when he's on the phone after the episode aired, he's not too worried about the backlash - because he thinks he'll just get a slap on the wrist and have to make some public apology. So he clearly thought he would be punished but not severely.
- He might have been trying to make a martyr out of himself for V's cause because A) He clearly believed in it enough to do something as risky as releasing something on TV to the whole nation about it and B) Because he knew he'd go down one day anyway for all the illegal things he kept in his home, so why not make some good out of it? Nothing moves people like a (already extremely popular) martyr.
- V says that he was pretty sure Gordon would have got away with just being arrested and was only executed when they found his private collection. So if Gordon had pulled this stunt at any other time hed probably have gotten away with the apology and boring fundraiser
Laughing at Gordon's tv stunt
- In the film version, it seems odd to me that everyone we see is so eager and ready to laugh at Sutler in Gordon's TV stunt. Any totalitarian state like that typically has a huge personality cult around its leader (and we see that this state does, with the flags and the picture of Sutler in the old people's home), and that leader is treated with utmost respect (or at least fearful obedience). The old people I might be able to buy since they presumably remember a time before Sutler's way, but the children? It's the only thing they know. History has shown that totalitarian regimes (such as Mao's China and Hitler's Germany) brainwash people and none are more affected by this than the young.
- You've definitely hit the nail on the head as to one of the film's dumbest ideas (and the mere idea that Gordon thought for a second he could get away with it seems like terminal stupidity).
- Sutler hasn't been in power that long — Larkhill was twenty years before the start of the film, and the "terrorist" attacks came after that. He's not even that popular or terrifying — it's Peter Creedy people are afraid of, and even then only those in the know. There's also no evidence that the government is actually brainwashing people aside from withholding certain bits of information and airing Prothero's show, which is obviously not directed at children. Furthermore, the parents of those kids who laughed at Sutler's satirical portrayal are the kids who watched their parents and friends dragged away in black bags two decades earlier, so I doubt they've spent the time since indoctrinating their children. Finally, Dietrich's show was the most watched in the country and presumably the most popular even with kids — anything he makes fun of, they'll laugh at.
- As history showed us numerous times it takes nothing but few months to become a nation-beloved leader under totalitarian systems. It's as easy as it gets. That was my biggest issue with both comics and film - that Norsfire is running the country for decades, yet the peoples' mentality is shown like they took the power yesterday. So if Britain is run like North Korea, why people have a pretty much liberal-democratic approach to life and politics after all those years? It's simply impossible, Milgram experiment and things like that proved long time ago on scientific basis that people can be molded into whatever you want with just giving them orders. Yet most of Westerners are so used to "democracy is natural" that they simply can't comprehend the idea of not rebelling against totalitarian governments. And it shows in V for Vendetta like nowhere else in pop culture.
- This also comes after all of V's very public attacks against the government, and his nationwide "The Reason You Suck" Speech against both Norsefire and the regular citizens. The police even explicitly state that public opinion of V is skyrocketing while Norsefire is taking a nosedive.
- Hmm, we have some very authoritarian governments in the West too. Some people may consider Thatcher's era an example, though not at the same level of Mao or Hitler of course. Berlusconi is another example, not to mention cases like Venezuela and Mexico (yes, Latin America is part of the West), and people in those countries still mocked their presidents and had comedic programs making fun of them. Yes, the dictatorship shown in the movie and comic is more authoritarian than these examples, but I'm under the impression is not as hard as Mao's China or Hitler's Germany, more akin to modern China, an even less democratic Venezuela or a place like the US or the UK if people like Bush or Thatcher just suddenly said; screw it, no more democracy nor election, now we run the place permanently (yes, it will be a dictatorship but certain degree of freedom, including mocking the goverment, will remain).
- It's pretty likely also that, since the assumption is that everything aired is government-approved (and that it's been that way for the last twenty years or so)then since this show obviously is to then it's okay to laugh at the jokes presented there. Either that or that the people are meant to laugh at it (it is a comedy sketch), although the former is more likely for that point in the film/current events.
- Another possibility is Sutler's regime just sucked at the brainwashing aspect of doing business. They came to power through fear of terrorism and apparently succeeded in rooting out what they advertised as the culprits: Islam, homosexuals, counter-culture movements, etc. What did they do for an encore once the threat was gone? They just stuck to the fear, violence, and propaganda. Hitler came to power in a nation falling apart and united them through a rebuilding program that had an ever-present set of scapegoats (Jews, Communists, and neighboring democracies). They also included a vast indoctrination program. His presence in their daily lives was overwhelming and a generation grew up revering him. The Norsefire indoctrination scheme seemed to be limited to the propaganda tools. Sutler did not appear to have that messiah-like effect on the U.K. that Hitler did on Germany so the people more easily transitioned from needing him to just fearing him to brushing him aside.
- Perhaps a lot of the laughing is out of shock. Given how oppressive the state is, it's unlikely any of these people have even seen such risque humor on network TV. So it's a sort of in universe "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny; it's not that funny to us, because we're used to people taking the piss out of government leaders. But this is the first time a lot of them are seeing that kind of comedy - so a lot of the laughs could be of an "I can't believe they're doing this" sort.
- Sutler has been running a low key sort of dictatorship, people have been left to their own devices and their quiet little lives as long as they dont speak out or make trouble. There doesnt seem to have been too much effort in the personal images of any of the government figures, all the propaganda we see is about how its all for your own protection. Sutler says near the end that he wants everyone to remember why they need us and the public wasnt used to it and it was all too full on and too much.
- While Sutler's government doesn't have full-on personality cult going on, it does by design control ALL information coming in to people's homes. They block or filter all information coming in from outside Britain and every television in the country can be controlled with a single switch. They certainly have the opportunity to brainwash and instill a cult of personality. The folks in charge of Norsefire media seem competent, but Creedy and the rest of the enforcement branches of government are thugs without a subtle bone in their bodies.
- So at the end of the movie, V lets the bad guy shoot at him with a lot of bullets, then as they're reloading kills them all and reveals he had on a bullet-proof vest and he soon dies from his many wounds. Why did he stand there and let himself get shot? I mean, what if one of them aimed for his head, boom movie over. He could have attacked while they were shooting and he would have been hit less.
- He was trying to make a point, and planning on dying anyway. And several bullets do hit his facemask (you can see the marks), but his facemask is apparently also bulletproof.
- "I'm done, and glad of it". He doesn't wish to live past the confrontation with Sutler and Creedy. What's harder for me to believe is that he chooses to go with his original plan despite having fallen in love with Evey. Someone as resourceful as him would have ways of killing Creedy and his goons without dying himself. Then again, perhaps he considered himself too monstrous to ever have anything with Evey...
- It's not just that he considers himself monstrous. V is an Ubermensch, and he wants a new world to rise from Norsefire's shadow, but he also DOESN'T want this new world to be based, defined or dependant on him. Likely because he doesn't want to repeat Jesus' mistake, trying to guide people and then having people run away with his beliefs and corrupt them to try and lord over others, or be made into a leader and then become as corrupt and despotic as Sutler. Like he tells Evy, the new world needs to be shaped by new people, and the choices must be their own, without any influence. Which fits the True Anarchy concept, of society ruling itself without the need of leaders or religions to control what they view as right or wrong. Movie!V is still an anarchist, only a more subtle one than Comic!V.
- but he also DOESN'T want this new world to be based, defined or dependant on him.- If that was true, he shouldn't have sent out all of those masks or done public broadcasts, or groomed Evey to be his successor etc. People will absolutely see him as an Anarchist Jesus, in all likelihood.
- He was serving as a symbol to rally around so he could spearhead these ideas. His death in the movie is an altered version from the comics (on a side, people perverting Jesus' teachings is not Jesus' mistake, the onus lies on the people who do so and a lack of understanding about Jesus whatever your views on Him. Such a claim is Flame Bait, either use Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement or avoid the topic altogether).
Blades instead of guns
- Is there an explanation as to why V never uses guns but prefer blades?
- See Rule of Cool
- He was a fan of The Count of Monte Cristo and could possibly have been trained in fencing (he's seen doing it with a suit of armour) so using blades might have been A) easier for him due to his training and B) something symbolic. Plus bullets in guns run out and if they run out in the middle of a fight, you have to take time to reload them. Knives however can be much more dangerous in hand-to-hand combat. Also if one gets knocked away, you simply draw another one and keep enough on your person so you never run out. You can always pick it up if it gets knocked away as well. Plus V is a bit of a show-off and he wants to be seen. Fighting with blades is a bit more elegant and showy than shooting guns. Also think of it this way, someone threatens you with a gun there's always a possibility it's not loaded. But someone threatens you with two knives and you know they're going to be able to cut you.
- Symbolism. Guns are weapons, and are used only to kill. Anything V uses against the government, being it knives or explosives, are tools, that can be used to destroy or make things, depending on what you want to do with them.
- At one point, it is said that the virus mutated his body, giving him super-strength and speed. Guns are the favored weapon of the ordinary person, since they require little strength or skill to use. Knives on the other hand, are the favored weapon of people who are fast and strong, and the insane (they like the hands-on nature of carving up their victims), and since V is both, these work. Think about it, if he is standing still he is an easy target, but someone as fast and skilled as he is, can actually do more with knives than guns.
- This is Britain. Firearms, handguns especially, are so controlled that their Olympic pistol team has to go outside the country just to practice. I can only imagine that under a regime like Norsefire, even getting a plinking rifle would be nigh impossible for all but the party insiders, which V isn't, or those willing to risk buying them on the black market, which, by making him known to someone already targeted by the regime, would imperil V's purpose.
- The "Anarchy in the UK!" guy is sporting a pretty nice piece. I'm sure V wouldn't have any trouble getting whatever guns he wanted, if he wanted them. He just likes knives and isn't sane. There's probably not that much more to it.
- What is it he says to Creedy? "What you have are bullets and the hope that when they run out, I will not be standing" - guns are a bit of a nuisance if you're using them long term, since they require reloading and constant stocks of ammunition. And if you run out of ammo, you're screwed. The knives on the other hand are easy to conceal, easy to replace and a good deal quieter if he wanted to take someone out by stealth.
- Any reason why, in the comic book, nobody notices what would be a drastic voice change at the end?
- This is Wild Mass Guessing on my part but at one point, Evey wondered if V wasn't one of the lesbian women from Larkhill. It seems there would be some reason to assume V could've been a man or a woman. Perhaps the mask distorted the voice somehow.
- The voice is at most masculine and at least androgynous, since Evey believed V was a man (that whole "I am not your father" bit in the comic). She could have also been speaking in a lower register, and there would be further distortion because of the speaker system.
- It's possible V, who planned for everything, left a recording of his speech.
- V is an extremely good actor. He could have been deliberately putting on a gender neutral voice just to up the Mind Screw and unnerve people, not to mention it dovetails into his promotion of an idea over being remembered as a person. Chances are Evey can make her voice roughly the same; Crossdressing Voices is a trope for a reason. It's not hard to pull off if you're willing to work at it. Throw in an outfit that disguises body type well and you have a very good example of deliberately invoked gender confusion.
- I haven't read the comic but in the film, Evey has a theatrical streak. She wanted to be an actress when she was younger, and starred in some school plays. V even recruits her for help with the bishop because of her acting experience. So if Evey has this backstory in the comic, and she had a good ear then she could feasibly imitate V's voice.
- As noted on the Mary Suetopia page, the Londoners in the film seem a bit too complacent to rise up against the government at the end like they did in the comic. Whereas the citizens in the comic were mostly poor, frustrated survivors of a post-nuclear hellhole; the ones in the film — those who aren't religious or sexual minorities, at least — live in a thriving, comfortable London, government surveillance notwithstanding. Why did they revolt exactly?
- Crapsaccharine World. They still lived in fear of Finger Men catching them out on the streets after curfew, things were apparently heavily rationed (Evey says she hadn't had real butter since she was a little girl) and it seemed like the police could shoot you or attack you just if you looked suspicious. Plus, both Finger Men and the surveillance agents are portrayed as evil sadists who enjoy rape and abuse of others(i.e. the Finger Men who try to rape Evy, and the surveillance van agents who chuckle when they think Lilliman is raping another kid). The people lived in fear and wanted a change. The situation is not as dire as in the comics, where most of the world is a North Korea expy after a nuclear war, but people are still miserable, and being fed the Propaganda Machine. As soon as V starts shaking things up, people start rousing again. During the year before 5th of November, V was probably leaking information to the people, such as the truth behing St. Mary and Three Waters, as well as Gordon's execution(If it wasn't a public one, which would be yet another reason for revolt). Then that Finger Man shot that girl, and blew up the powder keg.
- Bread and Circuses is all you need to remain in power, no matter what is your political option. As long as you provide people a decent standard of living, you can do as you please. Just look around the world. Every single revolution and revolt in recent history was caused by powerty, food shortages and extremely poor living and working conditions. And Norsfire is providing both bread and circuses. There is virtually no reason to rebel outside of "our government is not a democracy". Then why 2/3 of world's population aren't revolting right now?
- That's not quite true, we've seen cases like the Arab Spring which happened in countries like Egypt and Libya that had very decent standards of living, for the Middle East standards at least, especially Lybia that had one of the largest middle classes in Africa, some rebellions in Latin America were made purely out of ideological reasons and motivations especially between liberals and conservatives and these rebellions were generally made by people from the middle class up (as, naturally, most liberals and other ideological fighters tend to be educated and have enough standards of living as to have time to think about politics and ideology). Ukraine is another example of a country with pretty decent standards of living that had popular uprisings. There are many examples of countries with authoritarian governments but reasonably good way of living were popular uprisings happened.
- It happens gradually, over a period of several months. And the inciting incident is when the Finger Men shoot an innocent little girl just for spray painting the V symbol. When a child dies, it brings out some very heated emotions. The girl's family and friends would have rallied to rebel when they realised they wouldn't get any justice for her murder. And it's also implied that things got stricter and harsher the more time went on - so the government were cracking down on things in the hopes of catching V. So that would have given people more incentive to rebel.
- In the montage of events leading up to the 5th of November, the news states that water rations will have to be cut. One of the older bar patrons says "can you believe this shit? It's been nonstop all summer." Sutler ordered his regime to put the screws to the people to remind them why the government was required in their lives. The bread and circuses was beginning to crack and the oppression was ramping up.
- In the graphic novel the Government collapses and Norsefire rises from the getting together of 'Some corporations' and far-right groups. The government bit is Hand Waved away without so much a mention of the Armed Forces and Police. If the government collapses, Quite alot of whose personell are motivated by much more than money. Particularly in the case of the Army. How in the heck do some corporations survive when their existence and loyalty of the workforce is only guaranteed by profit?
- Who said it's a willing workforce? Nobody says Norsefire wouldn't make people work for them.
- How old is Evey in the movie? She certainly looks a lot older than 16.
- Because...she's obviously a lot older than 16? Generally speaking, personal assistants to well-known television personalities aren't 16-year-olds. She's probably in her late 20s or early 30s.
- Natalie Portman was 24 when the movie was filmed, so around that age is possible.
- The Norsefire bodyguards are way lacking in firepower. You're dealing with British's most dangerous terrorist and all you're wielding are submachine guns? I understand they outnumber him 13 to 1, but if I were one of those Fingermen I'd have asked Creedy for something bigger, something like an assault rifle or even flat-out machine-gun.
- It's Great Britain, a notoriously gun-free country (this has slipped somewhat, at least in the movie, but the number of guns not in government hands is still low, even for Europe's standards), and V is known to use no guns. They assumed it would be overkill against a single man using knives and martial arts, having absolutely no idea this guy, even with a Bulletproof Vest, would be able to stand after being shot with so much firepower, including Creedy's .357 Magnum revolver. That is why they were so scared when he remained standing.
- They were in no way lacking in firepower. You know what happens in real life when 13 people empty fully automatic weapons into one person? That one person dies.
- There are a freakton of soldiers wielding assault rifles around the Parliament. No reason why Norsefire's most elite bodyguards wield anything less.
- submachine guns are typically used in closer quarters then assault rifles. IMO given the meeting point was in a confined space submachine guns probably are a better tactical choice.
- Creedy runs a secret police force, not a military organization. It's very likely that they prefer to use more portable and lower key gear.
- They did kill him with what they had - just not quite quickly enough. They combed the area for traps and the like to make sure he didn't have something nasty in store, but it was a perfectly reasonable assumption that if it came down to shooting, 13 professional killers could take down one man.
- When the civilian surround Westminster you can clearly see from the aerial shots that they right up at the perimeter of the building on Bridge Street and St Margaret Street. The explosion is quite big. Anyone at the front would have been killed by flying debris.
- Because of the fact that if it did, it would ruin the film's ending. Seeing the revolution's frontrunners dying because of debris in the front would have just looked extremely stupid even though it's probably in-character for V.
- The major problem I have with this movie is the timeline. There is a political power that rounds up people to make a biological weapon, then uses that biological weapon to become a powerful political power that can round people up to make a biological weapon... it seems to be a circular plot hole that can't be resolved? This is quite plain when V talks to the police, and when the actresses story is told, the timeline falls apart, the biological agent is needed by Adam Sutler to claim power, but couldn't have had the power necessary to create the weapon to claim power. (sorry if i'm repeating myself) One the surface of the story it makes sense, but when you put the timeline of both the story Rockwood tells the police and the Actresses story, it falls apart.
- The allegory here is how Hitler came to power, but it would be like the Nazi party rounding up Jews and killing them before they had even claimed the ruling party in the German government.
- You're mistaken — the St. Mary's virus is not what they were developing in the camp V was in. They were trying to do other things, then that research was failed and lost when V burned the place down.
- "Rockwood's/" story, and the journal from the female scientist would say otherwise. The journal says V was the one case that gave her hope that all of her research wouldn't be lost, then in Rockwood's story he talks about how they developed the virus from V's blood. Even if that were true that would mean they were starting over after V and that doesn't make sense how they came into power in the first place to round up the people.
- Simple answer is that they were already in power to a certain extent, just not in complete power. Sutler, Creedy, and others were all government or military officials with enough pull to get the Larkhill project up and running and cover it up, but they didn't run the country entirely. The country was apparently already going pretty far right with Sutler's conservative party sweeping elections, but it seems before the St. Mary's incident it was at least somewhat divided.
- This is supported during Valerie's letter, in which there's a newsreporter talking about the new proposal of the Under-Secretary of Defense (a prime position for doing something like Larkhill) Adam Sutler. The election involving the viral outbreak results in Adam Sutler becoming Prime Minister, so there's a clear Rank Up going on.
- Pretty much this. The rounding up of "subversives" appears to already be happening under the Conservative government with Sutler egging it on from his position in the Ministry of Defense. He's able to keep it all under wraps enough to gain control of the virus created from V's imprisonment and use it to overthrow the government. Delia said her research was destroyed, but it's possible what she already produced was enough to move forward with the big plan.
The Count of Monte Cristo
- After Evey watches the 1934 version of the Count of Monte Cristo with V, she says that she didn't like how Edmond wanted revenge more than Mercedes. Its been a long time since I watched the 1934 version but I'm pretty sure Edmond still ends up with Mercedes at the end of the story and it was in the book that Edmond and Mercedes are still separated after he got his revenge. So wouldn't it make more sense for Evey to say that if her and V just finished reading the book instead.
- Evey says she feels sorry for Mercedes and that she felt he cared more about revenge than her. It still works with the movie's ending, since he gets his revenge and gets the girl. Evie seems to be feeling sorry for Mercedes because she ended up with him, even though he appeared to care more about revenge than her.
- In the movie, when Evey's been kidnapped by V, where does she get the clothes that she wears from? Did V just happen to have a random stash of women's clothing around, specifically in Evey's size? I didn't see her bringing a bag or anything with her.
- Perhaps he did have women's clothes lying around, since he appears to have given Evey the outfit she wears for the bishop. As for them all being in Evey's size, Acceptable Breaks from Reality. The director, producers, studio or whoever don't want the lead actress to spend a good portion of the film in oversized clothes that might distract from her attractiveness or sex appeal, so they just go with it and hope no one in the audience notices.
- V might also be good at sewing, and altered some of the clothes he did have if they didn't fit Evey.
- Or acquired some clothes for her after the first time she was in his home because he wanted to make her a bigger part of the plan.
Susan As Leader
- How in the hell is the socially-awkward shut-in Susan the fascist leader of the entire country? The man has less charisma than wet cardboard and seems like he'd have trouble ordering a meal at a resturant without getting nervous, nevermind becoming leader of an entire fascist movement.
- It's possible he wasn't the big "face" of Norsefire when it first took over (even in present day Norsefire's got someone else doing all the day-to-day propaganda), but rather a forgettable bureaucrat with the skills to make the actual machine work and/or root out all opposition. Lots of modern-day dictatorships are run by relatively unimpressive people who merely managed to remain the last man standing in a circle of backstabbers.