V for Vendetta
Utopic and anti utopic movies and novels have always interested writers and directors from all over the world. In some sense, it is interesting to create new worlds, with new social and political systems. On the other hand, it is interesting, as well, to look for disadvantages of modern society and try to improve them. People were always striving to create a better world, even with words and images. In the past several years, there have been many movies devoted to the issue of future alternative reality.
This essay is devoted to one of the alternative reality movies. V for Vendetta was shot in 2006. However, not many people know that in 1982, there was a graphic book V for Vendetta. The movie was based on that very graphic book. The main idea of the essay is to compare and contrast both the movie and the graphic book. The essay will consist of several parts. The first part will contain the analysis of the reality described in the story about V. the second part will be devoted to the comparison between the movie and the graphic book, whereas the in the last part I will contrast them. The idea of the essay is to prove that the movie has almost nothing common with the graphic book and only spoils the impression of the good story.
Sometimes, watching a movie about the alternative reality, one thanks God that it is only a fiction. Some alternative realities pleasure the audience, whereas the others scare. The reality described in the movie V for Vendetta is cruel and scaring. The action takes place in the post nuclear war England. The government is taken by the fascist. The main motto of the country is that strength can be received through the purity, whereas the purity can be obtained through faith. Religion and conservative principles are reigning in the country. However, there are always those who struggle against the existing system. In this story, V was the one to struggle for human rights.
“I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent.” (Gramsci, 58)
Obviously, a person should not be indifferent. V wanted to protect himself and the citizens of his homeland. When reading the graphic book or watching a movie, there is always a question: why was V the first to struggle? Why did not the citizens of England came out to the streets to protect themselves? The answer is rather clear for those who know at least something about philosophy and psychology of human minds. The point is that there was a strong ideology in the post nuclear war English society. However, in one of his book, Althusser mentioned that
“an ideology always exists in an apparatus, and its practice, or practices. This existence is material.” (170)
Ideology has become such a strong part of the society that it became the culture. Culture s something that every human being accepts and tries to follow.
The alternative reality showed in the movie and the graphic book V for Vendetta was cruel. However, I should admit that people allowed fascists to create such ideology, such culture and everyday life.
There are only several similarities between the graphic book and the movie. In my opinion, the only similarity is the title, the names of protagonists and the plot. For this essay, I have read the graphic book, as well as I have watched the movie. The similarities listed above, are the only that are visible. Besides, it is worth to mention that the creator of the graphic book prohibited to use his name in any promotional material to the movie. This is the very first sign that the movie and the graphic book have few common features.
The first difference is the names of the parties, and, consequently, the main ideas they represent. In the graphic book, there is the contradiction between the Fascist party and the Anarchy movement in the country. On the contrary, in the movie we see the struggle between the Neo Conservative party and the Liberalist party. Both parties represent ideas that differ greatly from the original idea.
Violence. Hollywood movies are made in such a way that an observer knows from the very beginning who bad and good is. In the graphic book, the author tried to show that there was no good government, no good actions on the war. Both fascists and anarchists were using violence, and overusing their powers. On the other hand, in the movie, we see that the picture is totally different. Neo Conservatives are violent, whereas V was doing only good things.
The appearance of V is changing from time to time in the graphic book. In some episodes, he changes his masks and costumes. Moreover, he takes off his mask before the death. In the movie, V does not remove the mask ever. Besides, he has the same old black costume on and the same old mask.
Hollywood film makers like to add some love episodes to their stories. This movie was not an exception. In the graphic book, Evey is fifteen years old and she is very naïve. On the contrary, in the movie, we see a young woman. We do not know her age, however, she looks like she is about twenty years old. In the movie Evey is not naïve.
One of the main scenes was changed as well. the scene where V kills Prothero. In the graphic books, V kidnapped Prothero, brought him to his residence where showed the Prothero’s collection of dolls, the burned collection. On the contrary, in the movie V chose simply to walk into the Prothero’s house and kill him with a lethal injection.
The essay was aimed at comparing, contrasting and analyzing the graphic book and the movie V for Vendetta. In the essay, I proved that the movie cannot be compared to the graphic book, because of many small details that were omitted. Obviously, every person is free to choose whether to watch a movie or to read a graphic book. However, I should admit that the graphic book V for Vendetta showed all the cruelty of the alternative reality brighter than the movie. Besides, the book leaves a reader some ideas and thoughts to think about and to consider.
Althusser L. "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.". 1970. La Pensee.
Gramsci A. “Prison letters”. 1996. Pluto Press.
Horkheim M., Adorno T. The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” Original copywrite 1944