V for Vendetta: An admiration
This movie is a cinematic masterpiece, that focuses on the issue most of us have forgotten. The power of the people. The story was first told in a graphic novel and presents intriguing ideas.
Set in the futuristic world of the late 2020s, it talks about a lot that has gone wrong in just a short span of time and where the citizens can do nothing about it. The concept of democracy seems to have been long forgotten and an authoritarian society similar to that of the Nazis has been ruling the country. The trust and faith in the existing government and administrative system seem to have taken a toll a long time back. It presents before us a very stark reality that if people don’t stand up and voice their rights very soon this is what the future might look like. What seems to be more astonishing is the fact that it runs very parallel to the current COVID-19 pandemic as well. The movie talks about a St. Mary’s virus which had taken the lives of many leading to a series of wrong decisions and eventually an economic downfall and civil war. The pharmacy sector seems to have played a very important role both in determining the spread of this virus and in containing it as well. The current world is depicted by fearful citizens, curfews, surveillance on the actions of citizens being considered as normal, forcing people into following a state-sanctioned religion, locking up citizens, and the absence of independent media.
The movie subtly transforms a terrorist into a nation-wide loved hero, who in the end eventually dies. But before dying he brings in with him a revolution. A revolution of ideologies, thoughts, and actions. The thought that ‘violence can be used for good and can change the world’ is encapsulated in the terrorist-tuned hero of the movie who himself has been on the receiving end of the cruelties of this government. The very apt dialogues from the movie such as, ‘People should not be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of the people.
This resonates with the definitions of government, administration, and the people. One must note that there are only two possibilities when politics and administration can work hand in hand. Either it leads to destruction or it will lead to a more smoothened process.
The screenplay questions the existing norms of integrity and the relationship between the four pillars of democracy which seem to be non-existent. It makes people aware of the power they hold and also makes the government beware of the same power. A modern world where news is being fabricated instead of being reported and the essence of transparency has completely vanished out of the system. The government does not hold itself accountable for its actions and tries to blame them on the administration. This thought alone walks away from the very basic norms of what defines a democratic administration. Often when all of them come into the same picture citizens are not involved. The contemporary London as described in the movie has moved away from the idea of public accountability which seems to be only existing in theory and not in practice. It is surrounded by economic crimes such as scams, corruption at every level of bureaucracy, and even terrorist attacks. We can say that whether it is a revolution or an economic crime both of them have an extreme effect on the minds and the lives of the people.
The movie depicts quite a clear message for each one of us to ponder upon which is, ‘People, when united, have the power to change what is wrong.’ This idea is portrayed by an imaginary scene in the movie where when an innocent little girl is shot dead by the military then the whole city comes out together against the militaristic force which is into power. The movie is quite affecting and particularly highlights the fact that institutions are held responsible for their transparency and accountability. They are ones whom the citizens trust but the people running these institutions will always want a rule by fascism. It indeed takes a lot of effort to defend democracy, fight for it and even stand by it.
These are a few of the many dialogues which left me in awe of this wonderful movie.
‘There are no certainties only opportunities.’
‘To fail is to invite doubt for everything we believe and everything we have fought for.’
‘Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the last inch of us but within that inch we are free.’