I watched V for Vendetta again because I missed it. Anti-hero is a fairly stupid term. I have yet to meet a character that isn’t, from word or scene one, the embodiment of audience sentiment. How much more romantic could V be anyway? Horribly burned, loves art / dressing well / Natalie Portman, and only uses knives to kill people. Find me a single person that didn’t wish to be behind that mask.
On my first trip through any film the journey is largely emotional. Seconds are for analysis of theme and craft. I’m somewhat curious how I got swept up in this film enough to ever want to watch it again. There is an interesting story here. A skeleton of one. But it’s bound, shackled, and roughly shoved through the Hollywood Machine. The tension is remarkable. Everyone save V acts as though they delivered their lines at gun point. You can see they know how bad everything is. They know their lines are shit. Their throats constrict and attempt to deny the foulness spreading . But these aren’t bad people! They know! They can see and feel the actual story, the better one, but they have to move point-to-point along the Hollywood Horseshit Trajectory. Finding love where it doesn’t exist, good guys in hiding that switch alliance for the flakiest reasons, and villains who corral the masses without a hint of charisma.
All throughout V flows without giving a shit. Credit to Hugo Weaving for not overacting despite the full body armor. I know it’s a temptation. He plays with and humors his fellow actors / actresses. At once moving the story along while calling “bullshit” on all those strangled lines and performances. He’s not immune, what with his ridiculous alliteration or his hideout that is trying so hard the reek of desperation will fill whatever room you’re watching this film in. Whereas everyone else has an undercurrent of “I can’t believe I’m doing this”, V wears this mockery of heavy handed manipulation with such easy pride he invites you to make sense of it as though there IS something deeper. Yes, it’s ugly and stupid. That was easy enough to see. Dig deeper. Do you see anything else? Are you as dumb as everyone else in this film? All mass produced media is suspect, including this film. The underground delivers their message, never overtly, can’t be found that way, but bobbing and weaving along this mess. You can’t, no matter how “anti”, divorce yourself completely from the society you live in. Impossible. Anti is still attached to the thing it despises at arm, or hyphen, length.
V smirks at your dismissal, when you take anything seriously, at the stupid, the bits hidden beneath. He goes into a shootout wearing armor that was abandoned precisely because it could not withstand firearm attacks! He is an empty vehicle. The message a mad lib for you to fill in. You will not get anything new from this film. But it may swirl your own thoughts around just right to extract something. A new combination of ideas or feelings.