When I think about some of the most iconic films in the Geek universe, one immediately comes to mind: V For Vendetta. The film itself is 9 years old, but it’s actually based off of a novel series that first appeared in the early 1980s. The original theme of the novel was about anarchy against the English government (having been penned by the English author Alan Moore), and the character “V “epitomized chaos and destruction with no hidden agenda whatsoever beyond overthrowing the English government that ruined his life. The film, on the other hand, slightly modified the premise and turned V into more of a freedom fighter trying to liberate English citizens from the tyrannical rule of their corrupt government. To experience the distinction, you would need to read the entire series first, but I can highlight a few areas where the deviations can be found in the film adaption.
Guy Fawkes is the basis for the mask that V wears. In reality, Guy Fawkes was a co-conspirator in the failed Gunpowder Plot which occurred in the early 1600s. As a result, he was executed for his participation and was regarded by some as a symbol of anarchy in later years. V (Hugo Weaving in a flawless performance) is a romantic and well educated individual. He mainly wears the Guy Fawkes mask to hide his injuries sustained while being experimented on by the English government, but it also represents his desire to overthrow the government that captured him and so many other citizens. The film evolves V into a character more sensitive to others who are being oppressed by the English government, and also a man less concerned about violent revenge. He is very polite and understanding with his vigilante justice and the guilty victims he has targeted (he even converses with them prior to their deaths), but also very resolute and satisfied in the performance of each dispatch. The movie omits V’s computer hacking ability that was present in the novel, and this element is what the group “Anonymous” most likely identified with in addition to the anti-government tone of V For Vendetta. Evey Hammond, V’s protégé (Natalie Portman with an equally riveting part), befriends V after he rescues her from an attack. She shares a very torrid relationship with V that keeps things grounded and realistic by exposing the fact that V has vulnerabilities. She is basically to V as Kryptonite is to Superman.
My favorite segments of V For Vendetta were any fighting scenes involving V . The Wachowskis (directors of The Matrix trilogy) gave V an exceptional skill level of fighting abilities and finesse in each sequence. It’s a film that you want to watch over and over again. It was one of the best translations of pulp fiction I’ve ever seen, and though the author of the original series was not entirely pleased with it ( he felt it was too Americanized politically) , it is a quality piece of true Geek cinema. I highly recommend V For Vendetta if you have not seen it. I pinpoint its release as the defining moment of the Internet revolution.