Sunday, March 19, 2006

V for Vendetta's box office

With the weekend almost over boxc office grosses for the weekend have V for Vendetta as the most seen movie in the country. Of course the full tallies won't be known for another day or so, but the movie seems to have pulled in some twenty-six million dollars, half the movie's budget, in its first three days of release.

This should be good news for Warner Brothers, not to mention Natalie Portman for securing the top box office spot in her first leading role, and James McTiegue for making his directorial debut a successful one.

I've gotten lots of requests for my own thoughts on the movie, but I'm sorry to say that I'm going to be staying quiet for now. I want to collect my thoughts first and present something cohesive, which means my own take on the movie probably won't be placed online until I complete the revision to the movie section of my site, which is roughly one to two weeks away.

Shrine was the first V website on the net, and it is still the best. I can wait for you...
Oh sad, sad. I'll be patient too.
It's odd... I thought there'd be fan sites popping up everywhere once the movie opened.
V for Vendetta for me is one the best movie this year. Btw do anyone know whats the title of the music used while they blow up old bailey and the parliament building?
It's the 1812 overture!
Let me guess: you're disappointed that Evey's character, and her relationship to V, were completely changed, that Fate had no part in the movie, that the Head wasn't nearly as oppressive as it should have been, etc. etc. etc., but still felt it was a pretty good movie, so you're torn?

Or is that just me?
Oh, it's not just you at all. When I got up to leave my initial thoughts were "eh, they changed a lot..." and wasn't sure if I liked it but after discussing in the car on the way home with my friends I decided that I loved it. It was great! It just was...different. =/
I haven't heard from anyone who wasn't simultaneously overwhelmed and confounded by the film. It took me several hours to decide I loved it. I loved the book too, of course, but they can be respected as individual entities. I found the changes gutsy and often strikingly relevant. Yes, I wish certain points had been eludidated or elaborated, but they crammed more ideas and questions into 2 hours and twelve minutes (and did it more entertainingly) than any film in recent memory.
I found it odd that many reviews leave out the political aspects, the film itself is "political" with obvious intent to point out numerous parallels that exist in today's world and V's world. The scene in which Sutler rants about reminding "the people why they need us" and then cuts to the news headlines is obviously parallel. Turn on CNN Headline News lately? It's the same thing. The vibe, the stories, the intent to impart indiscriminate fear to it's viewers are identical.

The plot itself, a big pharma company creates a virus to which it owns and sells the only cure. Is this too far a stretch for our reality? Did you know Avian flu was bio-engineered by the CDC to become transmisable to humans? They then shipped it all over the world to other labs for "research" to find a treatment/cure. Does this make logical sense? Google it.
Oh, by the way, the song played at the very beginning is also the 1812 overture.

Yeah, the whole movie was very political - and that is strange. I hadn't noticed it but you're right, no one seems to be mentioning it a lot. Not even the people that I've spoken to that have seen it.
What's difference btw the comic and the new version novel from the film?

Well, i'm new fan of V for Vendetta from Thailand. i've decided to buy a book, and i'm not sure which one is better?
Gah I loved the much, in fact, that I'm going to see it a 3rd time. Sad you say? Maybe...but I like it!
I haven't read the comic / book version yet, but I'd be interested to do that now that I've seen the movie. Am I correct in surmising that it would available in any local book store?
I loved the political agenda of V and found myself (not unlike others, I think) rooting for his "terrorist" ways. Some people are claiming that V is in fact a reply to the US under the Bush administration - I guess I just don't see it like that.
On a different note, does anyone know the song that played on Finch's radio at 7 o'clock on November the 5th? :)
All in all - great movie and I can't wait to see it again!


Let me know...
Re the politics: in the GN, V is overtly an anarchist and spells out his philosophy and intentions with it in several of his dialogues with Evey (and, in one memorable bit, with the Justice statue atop the Old Bailey). The film makes only one joking reference to anarchy. Thus V's politics are a bit murkier, though still bent on individual self-determinism and endorsing violence and chaos as a means to achieve revolutionary ends.

Fans who embrace the anarchist elements in the film V's agenda will enjoy the GN because it takes more time to detail this (and defines anarchy in contrast with chaos; many confuse the two. And V isn't above creating chaos to promote anarchy.) But I respected the film for letting the audience decide for themselves what V represents. The message of individual will triumphing over government suppression of individuality is still very present. And the future is still left undefined. The people could embrace anarchy or some other form of equal self determination, or they could recoil in fear and seek refuge in the next cherismatic dictator who appears on the scene.
: claps :

Is that the anarchists on those sites are saying there was no anarchy in the film.
I am more inclined to sympathize with disappointed anarchists who thought the film let them down than I am with, say, libertarians who think V is one of their number :) (ditto liberals and conservatives...curiosly there has been an equal amount of love and hate for the film across party lines.)

Frankly while I thought the GN did a better job of explaining V's motivation, I knew anarchy wouldn't be a large part of the film's script. First of all, the Wachowskis got blasted critically for all the lethargy-inducing philosophical elements in the Matrix sequels. :) Then the film is obviously meant to be mass entertainment/provocastion, not a specific political tract. So there is a loss of nuance and subtlety in translation. But you could still argue that V acts along anarchist principles in the film version--he just doesn't spend as much time explaining them, and Evey doesn't hang around the Shadow Gallery to hear him do so. :)

The film did not give everytinhg directly, but the destruction (buildings) and construction (new society) anarchy points of the novel ARE in the movie. And "The destruction of a building can change the world" sentence is this! Terrorism, but anarchism too.

Good that we can discuss without the caos that become the IMDb´s forum. We need to call NYCboy and keep in silence... ;)

Dont confuse chaos with anarchy. The destruction of buildings is just that: destruction. It's an act of violence, and there could be one of a multitude of reasons behind it. Also whatever society that happens after the end of Norsefire (in the movie and the comic for that matter) may or may not be one built on anarchist principals.

The movie, despite a few surface allusions, does not espouse anarchy; it's more about oppression and freedom in the broader sense.
Yes criag. But terrorism, anarchy and society oppressin, in the V story context, they´re connect. Showed better in the novel, of cource! At least for me, I keep remembering that V quote up there.

So it is essential for people to read the novel. Like you said, anarchy was watered down in the film, But to tell there is none in the movie it´s just so wrong. . .

And thanks all for the polite and good conversation here. All of the internet V links now, are in total shit.
I still have to disagree with you, Boreli. The movie pretty much avoids any real discussion of anarchy. It does not discuss its concepts or its principles. V never once directly talks about it. In fact, the movie's only use of the word "anarchy" that I can remember comes when the robber holds up the convience store and shouts "anarchy in thge UK!" The irony is, of course, that that scene is not an example of anarchy--it's chaos (and, more directly, a criminal act). It's a common mispercetion that anarchy is synonymous with voilence and chaos, but while there is a relation, anarchy is not about either concept.

But back to point: the movie never discusses anarchy in any form. As I said above, it puts its politics strictly in "oppression versus freedom" terms. Empowerment of the individual is not a concept solely the domain of anarchy.

It's easy to look at the movie and the comic and connect to dots of where the two intersect thematically, but there are differences.
No script conversation does not mean there is none. Yes, It´s watered in the underlines of the flick! But for me, people cold understand it well reading the novel after...

BTW, I´d like to tell once more here that I´m not saying that anarchy and chaos are the same thing. Because they are not. NOT AT ALL! Just that in the story they are kind of connect. Anarchy, chaos, terrorism, politics & etc. Well, that my prisma.

Thanks for the good conversation, Graig! :)
Hi guys - interesting to see the fans are as split on their opinions of the movie as the critics appear to be. And, yes, I did decide to see what our gracious host had to say on the matter - he did create the finest resource available on the web to 'Vendetta' and I'm looking forward to his thoughts on the finished product, especially after the review of the initial script...

Personally, I liked it. I was impressed by exactly how much of the GN they managed to condense into the movie (I completely expected the whole Larkhill origin story to be jettisoned in lieu of the more political element. And to see that the 'Valerie' thread was included was staggering.)

***SPOILER***: However the one thing that I was most impressed by was the masking of the march of the populace on Parliment and their unmasking in the glare of V's final 'masterpiece'. To see the faces of the general public glanced at throughout the film, interspersed with characters who had passed on or clearly shouldn't be there (but, in spirit, deserved to be), really rammed home the (potentially flat) speech by Evey of V's identity. As 'V' is unmasked, he is revealed to be us all, standing side by side, kicking against the pricks. A nice touch, I thought.

Still prefer the book, though. But it was going to take one HELL of a movie to shake that opinion. In the meantime, this was better than it could have been and will do for the moment.

England Prevails.

Hey Boreli and Crowjane, nice to get away from the 'total chaos' the are the imdb boards. Thanks for the invite! (this is NYCboy btw). I feel like this sort of has nothing to do with the conversation at hand, but just wanted to say I loved the film. The first time I saw it, it seemed very... overstimulating. There was very quick pacing throughout the first part of the film, and I believe had I not read the graphic novel, I would be completely lost. Still loved it though. Loved it even more the second time, yet even more the third. I agree with a friend's comment, who turned to me after we had been sitting there silently through the end credits, "Whoa... that was better than sex."
Hi there NYCb!!! Here, we can talk in peace with a small group, but important, that really want do discuss the story.

Let the barbarians kill each other in the IMDb´s forum.
never heard of anything to do with it before today. i immediately went to see the movie.

i loved it. V is the classic hero

the poetic delivery of his stories with the illiteration and the classic way he subtly dleivers the facts

what a classy hero

love the ideology he stands for too

Happy to see a few other IMDb refugees posting here. ;) I agree that board has become chaotic, though eventually it may settle into a more agreeable anarchy. :)

The film is overwhelming the first time you see it. I'm gearing myself up for the IMAX version now. I've also gotten ahold of the novelization in hopes it might clarify a few points the film leaves underexplained. And frankly, I hope the Wachowskis don't play coy about deleted scenes like they did on their Matrix DVDs. If anything I wish V had been longer, with more dialogue between V and Evey about his goals, then how she changes him. (In the GN, Evey grills V about her imprisonment for several pages, thus her transformation is gradual and more plausible. In the film she calms down rather quickly. Of course I'm very glad that controversial plot point made it into the film at all. I saw people walking out after the big revelation at the first screening I attended.

I agree the new ending is beautiful, and bypasses the difficulty of Evey assuming V's identity without anyone noticing the difference. Re anarchy and chaos, it could be agreed that the initial mayhem once V's masks and costumes are distributed, and even the destruction of Parliament, are chaotic. But the moment the horde of V's converges in unison and takes off their masks, revealing their individuality, chaos has transformed into something more. Beyond the surreal and allegorical element ("we are all V") faceless masses become individuals again, albeit individuals united in purpose. The idea (of V and of those in the crowd) is important, of course, but so is the humanity behind the idea.

I do think the scene and film are more profound to those who've read Moore and Lloyd's book and know the philosophy detailed it in. Hence the schism between fans of the book who liked the film and those who didn't is unfortunate. I think each compliments the other in spite of some obvious differences.
The movie is very very very good! For me, for a hollywood one, it is on of the best in years.

But, of course, the novel will always be the TOP TOP TOP! So good to read the novel after I saw the movie! I feel the same with The Crow and Lord Of The Rings & etc. And here in Brazil, finally, they are realising that complete edition of 2005!!! :)
I sincerely believe that the W Brothers read your critique of their early script, and tried to address each point.

- No Almond
- No Derek
- Susan is very imposing, with overtures of Big Bro
- Finch's internal drama is deep and highlighted ... his resolution of conflict is really the resolution of the plot of the movie
- No Helen. We focus mainly on the main principals
- the Nazi-like government and the cruel Leader ARE enough reason to root for V
- the populace is very visible. Directorially, you come to care about slivers of one-dimensional characters that are memorable even if short.
- Valerie's part, even though almost a completely separate plot, is intact

And for those asking about the music, only Tchaikovskiy's 1812 traditionally combines high explosives with classical orchestra. I recognized it's opening from the first 2 seconds of the movie, and thought ... "whoa, this is movie going to seriously rock!"
For a (highly positive) serious political anarchist review of the movie,

For anyone interested in anarchy as a political theory, - and its companion commentary site,

Anarchy is not necessarily about grafitti and hedonism and blowing things up. Check it out, you might be surprised!

I never saw any sort of problem with Evey assuming V's role. In the comic, most of the population only knos V from video references. And as we all know, it's hard to judge a persons true hegith from watching them on TV ("Look, it's Tom Cruise!" "huh. I thought he'd be taller." etc.)

The majority of people who have seen V in person are dead, except for Finch who is going off on his own and clearly has no interest in V any more.

Given that, also, in the comic, V's words balloons are rendered in wispy shapes to indicate a very distinct voice. When evey address the crowd at the end, her word ballons are rendered in the same style, implying that Evey was imitating V's voice as well as his appearance.

Given these factors, it's entirely reasoable to assume no one would realize there's someone else under the mask.

And Boreli-- I'm afriad you'll have to be a little more specific. When you mean "novel" do you mean Steve Moore's adaptation or the comic? Too many mediums, too few descriptions....
Good points from Shaffer. He observed the underline anarchy in the movie. And he only needed a text to talk about. But many created sites to scream like rebel teens.

I will have sometime reading the sites. About the "grafitti and hedonism and blowing things up", we have discussed here, and already explained the views and the context in V For Vendetta. Suprised will be the "anarchy" kids. Oh my...
Graig, I mean the graphic novel yes. Not the book...

It's "Craig", not "Graig". :)
Sorry Craig! Sorry...

About the end of the film, that I really like, I have another ideia that would be closer to the comics.

Evey appearing with some recording previously done by V before his death, or something like that...

PS: Sorry for my bad english, people...
What about V's connection to the Matrix? Honestly, V is the Matrix in different form.
Yes, there are thematic similarities between V for Vendetta (film version) and The Matrix, but The Matrix in the end wasn't about overcoming a perceived enemy or enslaving system so much as learning to perceive the "enemy" differently (whether you're man or Machine) and learning to coexist. V for Vendetta clearly validates the destruction of certain forms of government. The heroes are morally ambiguous but the villains are not. I liked both stories but they have as many differences as similarities.

As for Evey assuming V's identity, it works in the GN because V is such an ambiguous figure to begin with. He and Evey are closer in size than in the film and some fans would even argue that V is in fact a woman in the GN. We're also given good reason to believe he has an extensive knowledge of recording and broadcast trickery, allowing for voice distortion or the use of prerecorded material. The reader's imagination plays a large role, but the reader has a lot of detailed infirmation to work with in guessing how the effect is pulled off.

The film's V is obviously male and much larger than Evey and speaks in his normal voice to a TV audience of thousands. Though we see V has some abilities in disguising himself and altering his voice, Evey doesn't really stay with him and learn his methods. V is less created in the viewer's imagination and is more human than in the GN. So I think each ending is well suited to the medium it's used in. Evey still plays the critical role of igniting the revolution in the film, and still assumes V's ideology. But her individuality and the individuality of every participant in the crowd also becomes important. V the persona/character is gone but V the idea lives on in all of them.
hmmm...I thought the Matrix was about "control". "What is the Matrix? Control.", says Morpheous.

Also, how about V being dressed in all black?
Well, Morpheus wasn't exactly objective. ;) I've always had a slightly contrarian interpretation of The Matrix, and I do consider the sequels an essential part of the story. I would say V has as much in common, or more, with Smith as with Neo (and I'm not saying this because Smith and V were played by the same actor). And EVERYONE wears black in The Matrix. The Agents, Neo, Trinity...pretty much everyone but Switch.

Morpheus says, and thoroughly believes, that the Matrix is an enslaving system. But if you look objectively, Zion is also a system of control, and Morpheus is considered a dangerous zealot by about half of Zion's population. There are similar power struggles within the Matrix (between the Architect and Oracle, and then between Smith and the system itself eventually...)

V does present the population of London as complicit in their domination, just as "blue-pills" in The Matrix are revealed to have chosen the Matrix rather than simply having it imposed on them. But only in V is there a fullscale populist revolt, and I know of no viewer who would think the fall of Sutler's government was a bad thing, whether they approved of V's methods or not. The Matrix ends in a truce, with the Matrix being necessary to and still chosen by the majority of the human population (and some viewers accept this ending, while others are eternally frustrated by it). Thus that trilogy is much more politically complicated than V.
“Ok, you have some skill” but there “is a difference between walking the path and knowing the path”. “Now, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way.” Not everyone wears ALL BLACK in the Matrix, only Morpheus, Trinity, Neo, and the Merovingian. However, you are right to call the sequels important (necessary might be better) but don’t forget the Animatrix, especially the 2nd Renaissance. In this you will find the beginning of the underlying contradicting theme/program of the Matrix: “the only choice”. Remember, remember that the Matrix is an “equation that constantly tries to balance itself out”. The purpose of the architect: “to balance the equation”. The purpose of the Oracle: “to unbalance it”. The ONE is a systemic anomaly (repeat: anomaly), “the remainder of an equation, if left unchecked could threaten the entire system itself and everyone in it”. V says, “They created me, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Evey responds, “Is this like an equation to you?”. Remember, remember “there is no coincidence, only the illusion of coincidence”. Like the Merovingian, says, “I have told you before, there's no escaping the nature of the universe. It is that nature that has again brought you to me. Where some see coincidence, I see consequence. Where others see chance, I see cost.” It’s time. I must go but I trust my hasty response has persuaded you to reflect deeper on the meaning of both movies. My final question: How many versions of the Matrix are there? Trust me there’s more!
I read about the film the day before I saw it and even in the cold hard cinema with the air conditioning turned up way too high (they jsut finished fitting it out and perhaps haven't tested it properly) I was perspiring right through the film. Mental stimulation, thoughts, connections, character involvement... about as much exercise as a 10km run, merely by exercising the ol' brain.

I loved the end credits, with the stones classic, often used in films to get viewers engrossed in the drive, flight or fight. I think Mel Gibson in Air America took off to it... ? any help?

Then the irony, just in case you were unable to think the unbearable, no banish the thought, that the British and U.S. governments are the new nazis, of the middle eastern beats pumping when half the cinema had walked out.

I loved the film, am pleasantly surprised and have gone a little way to regaining faith in humanity.

The worst thought I grappled with after the movie is that political satire will be a thing of the past (there is so little on popular media compared with the 1980s where Australians were saturated with it, as I believe were the British). I hope my children or grandchildren can be given equal opportunity to express themselves. The references to art were also gold (if only I could remember the quote).

Ummmm, where was I, yes, finally a note that gets no media attention in Australia right now... they are banning the burning of our flag. It will be a criminal offence. It is offensive to me that you can't burn a symbol of occupation and destruction. I thought I lived in a democracy with free speech. We don't even have a bill of effen rights as do the U.S.

What's worse, an oil and war fuelled boom is maintaining the buoyancy of the economy and heightening the complacency of middle Australia.

Protesters can't maintain any sort of effort, they'd rather forget about it and go home and drink another beer in their million dollar homes.

It would be good to know if the rest of the world is in similar situation.

Oh yes, the film is political.
Please tell me where can i find the dialogues of these movie
I really like this movie for it's Dialogues
Hi I'm new to this blog and i absolutely adored the movie.

I am eager to read the novel though i am not sure of the title. is the title of the novel (not the graphic version) simply v for vendetta?

Also, I too would like to know where to find some of the dialogue from the movie.

Wonderful movie and a message that the only real power goverments have, come from the very people that put them there. People Power forever
uh..does anyone know what the hell the ending ment? Why are people who are supposedly dead turning up at the end in the huge crowds? Is it purely symbolistic??????
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?