Judgments at 24 Frames per Second: ‘V for Vendetta’

“Remember, remember the fifth of November.”

“V for Vendetta,” a 2006 action-thriller movie from which this quote is taken, takes place in a futuristic, dysto­pian society: a society in which an au­tocratic government reigns freely to no opposition, those capable of catalyzing change are corrupt and citizens are at a loss of individual liberties.

What may seem ironic is that, although this movie is categorized as taking place in a dystopian society, it shares a striking resemblance to our cur­rent political state.

With all that has occurred of late sur­rounding the National Security Agency, it begs the question of whether we’re far from such a state of affairs.

This may be a single example, and our political system is far from a fascist regime, but where is the line drawn?

The protagonist of the movie, V, is a masked vigilante who works to bring order to society and re-establish power among the people.

While others seem to either be con­tent with their lives or feel powerlessly incapable of making a difference, V serves as the lone figure able to bring about the change paramount to restor­ing individuals with a sense of freedom.

Throughout different scenes of the movie, V’s actions instill virtues of free­dom, liberty and social justice within the political regime and, more impor­tantly, the people.

For those within the political system, V is seen as a cancer that must be termi­nated – while to the oppressed citizens of society, his actions serve as a catalyst for large-scale action.

This duality in what his actions mean to both those of the political system and citizens of society highlights the extreme nature of how dictatorial their govern­mental system is.

Under our political and judicial sys­tem, this freedom of speech would be protected in part by the First Amend­ment.

Under our Constitution, we are able to speak our minds, voice our opinions and rebut those we disagree with.

This is not the case in the movie, however. In the movie, the actions of V, in his attempt to restore power to the people and speak out against the gov­ernment, are seen as heinous.

In this dystopian society, individuals are punished for speaking out and ex­ecuted unfairly by the government for even the slightest disagreement with the political agenda.

People fear their governing body, and because of this, the voice of the individ­ual is lost.

This is just one of the many flaws that V identifies within the political regime: “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Aside from its value as a source of en­tertainment, this movie does an admi­rable job of shedding light on struggles that exist today.

In addition to their loss of voice, as mentioned earlier, citizens of this dystopian society also suffered from this conflict of social order versus their individual liberty.

While the cogs of this society may have coexisted in a seemingly mutually beneficial manner, it came at a steep price: the reduction/loss of individual liberties.

Other themes this movie touches upon throughout its course are the necessity to question the media, government and other authoritative fig­ures, as well as the power that one indi­vidual has to perpetuate change.

“Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.”

In a society and world built upon this need to compete and pit ourselves against one another, it is often easy to forget that we are all special, and each of us carries the impetus for change.