I have recently watched the movie V for Vendetta for the first time. It was recommended to me by a friend, knowing my love of anything British and my curiosity of what the future holds. The things that stood out the most for me in the film, were not the basic atrocities that the English government had committed on its people, for an extreme right government secretly causing the demise of the previous world and blaming others in hate, is in all likelihood very plausible. What did stand out to me were three things:
- The use of very slender, all touch cell phones. The movie was filmed in 2005. Although smartphones had already been created, and I am sure they were well on the way to releasing touch screen phones, as of yet there was no such product available on the public market. I wonder if those who watched the film for the first time, having never owned an IPhone or Droid, even realized or wondered about the type of phones that the characters were using throughout the film. For me the the connection between such a corrupted world as the one portrayed in the film and the widespread use of the technology that is common place today, is a connection that is entirely too easy to make. How easier could it be to control a population than through technology that is indeed "smarter" than most people. A device that is connected to the world in every facet can also connect you to any facet of the world whether you want to be or not. Please do not misunderstand me. My IPhone is sitting in my pocket, so I will be a victim along with the rest of you. But it does make one wonder, did the creator of the movie think that far ahead about the future of the cell phone industry. My curiosity continues when thinking about the original storyline being created in the 1980s about the 1990s. I have not had the privilege to read the graphic novel series or to even see the illustrations. But I do wonder if the use of that sort of technology is depicted and if the author had the same ideas.
- Another very important message that I read from the film which was not overtly pronounced, is the lack of any racial variation in the people of this new Great Britain. There is reference to one black individual who is also assumed to be an homosexual. The film does point out extreme atrocities to both homosexuality and to the Muslim population. No part of the film ever speaks specifically of race, has only slyly recruited an entirely caucasian cast, aside from the singular black homosexual male. My curiosity here is not that such a oppressive government would not do hideous things to people that may at all seem different. My curiosity lies in the fact that I am not entirely certain that the lack of diversity was intentional. My hope is that it was purely intentional, and the director or creator did not want to force every message down the audience's throat. This hope is fueled when remembering the short scenes in Larkhill and the individuals on whom the virus was tested. Those scenes do have quite a bit more diversity than in the rest of the film, and were said to take place before the virus epidemic which eventually killed hundreds of thousands of people.
- My final thoughts about this film surround the idea that it all started because the "war in the United States spread to Great Britain." The United States is referred to as Godless and that the Colonies are just a giant leper colony. Does this reflect England's snobbery over us Yanks? Yet, one of the main characters is played by an American, Natalie Portman. Is this film a message about how connected we in the west really are, and if one falls we all fall then just start pointing fingers? With the European Union in the state that it is, the "Great Recession" still seemingly in full swing, and the "Communist" country of China having so much power, it is easy to think that we may very well be able to answer some of these questions first hand. Just a question of who will fall first and how far.