V for Vendetta (2005) Poster


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  • V for Vendetta is a film adaptation of the comic book series of the same name by British writer Alan Moore and British comic artist David Lloyd. The first portion originally appeared as a strip in the British magazine, Warrior in the early 1980s and was later completed as its own limited series later in the decade in the United States and published by DC Comics and is current kept in print as a single bound volume under DC's Vertigo Comics imprint. It was adapted for the movie by screenwriting siblings Lana (formerly Larry) and Andy Wachowski. The screenplay was subsequently novelized by Stephen Moore (no relation to Alan Moore) and released as a mass-market paperback. Edit

  • Alan Moore had always disdained the idea of his work being adapted for film, and he furthermore suffered a bad legal experience prior to V for Vendetta when his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was adapted. After that experience, he vowed to remove himself completely from any film adaptations of his work, including financially and in credits, to ensure that he would never have to endure that kind of legal trouble again. Moore also specifically didn't like this particular film because he felt that its message was different to the novel. Its release angered him to the point that he actually left his publisher, DC Comics, since they are owned by Warner Bros, the film's production and distribution company. Edit

  • Guy Fawkes was one of the English Roman Catholics (led by Robert Catesby) who tried to blow up Parliament (with King James I and the Protestant aristocracy in it) on the 5th of November in 1605. This is known as the Gunpowder Plot. V is loosely based on Guy Fawkes, and his plot to destroy the parliament building is similar. However, the movie's depiction of Guy Fawkes is not historically accurate, due to a few minor details. For example, the beginning of the film shows Fawkes being hanged until dead, but Fawkes actually leapt from the gallows and broke his neck in order to avoid being hanged, and then drawn and quartered by his executioners; which combined with him being caught in the act is likely what contributed to his celebrity, whereas his notoriety stems from his failure and eventual revealing of information about his confederates. Edit

  • V wears a Guy Fawkes mask and used his story as a role model in his quest to end the Norsefire rule. This was because V felt Guy Fawkes was right in trying to bring down what he felt was an oppressive government during his day. Similar masks were/are traditionally used for Fawkes effigies on Bonfire Night in the United Kingdom when the effigies are burned. The burning, and accompanying use of fireworks, is the traditional centre-piece of the festivities. Fawkes is the victim in this ritual; it is daring, and initially puzzling, for someone to take the mask on himself, as if saying "here is the one you have killed" and "here I am to be killed." V also briefly explains the significance of the mask when he says: "This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished." Edit

  • They are Creedy's special police force. They do the black-bagging and interrogations, as well as having the authority to make on-the-spot judgements for offenders, without due process of law. Finch is the leader of the Nose, which is essentially the regular police force—they sniff out criminals. Sutler might be considered the Brain. The Fingers do the dirty work. The Eyes and Ears are visual and auditory surveillance (led by Heyer and Etheridge respectively). The Mouth is the news outlets, the propaganda machine (led by Dascomb). Together they make up the Head and the five senses, though only the term "Fingermen" survived the novel's translation to film, with the Nose, Mouth, etc left unmentioned by those names. Edit

  • In the film, breaking curfew is a crime for which Fingermen (the secret police) get judicial discretion on dealing with suspects (in effect, acting as judge and jury, meting out punishment themselves). The men Evey runs into in the film were planning to use this discretion to rape her with a legal seal of approval. Part of their mentality is that of seeing curfew policies as existing to protect against such things, and they will go out of their way to ensure that such things occur when curfew is broken (which the media outlets can then spin with expressions like "See what happens when you break curfew?"). In the graphic novel, the charge is prostitution and the Fingermen clearly state they are going to rape and kill Evey. Edit

  • The Old Bailey is the Central Criminal Crown Court in Central London, and yes, it is actually known today as "The Old Bailey", although, officially, "The Old Bailey" is the name of the road on which the Court is located. Edit

  • It is Latin for, "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe." Although V attributes the phrase to Faust both in the graphic novel and the movie, it doesn't occur either in Christopher Marlowe's Faustus or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust but in fact was a motto of the 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley, who likely had as much of a fascination with Johann Georg Faust as Marlowe and Goethe yet isn't known for explicitly writing about Faust in correlation with the motto. It could be speculated that V was in possession of an unpublished and furthermore esoteric work of art of some kind that linked these, but for Evey's sake, V's attribution was dubious, since she being an ordinary civilian would have no awareness of the hypothetical artifact. Edit

  • V and the other prisoners were injected with a virus that was later used at St. Mary's, Three Waters (water treatment plant), and a London tube station. More specifically, the Larkhill prisoners were the "lab rats" in Norsefire's experiments while the party was attempting to develop a super-bioweapon. There is an implication that the St. Mary's virus came from the blood of V himself, since he was the trial which gave the coroner hope and since he was the only subject who survived the Larkhill explosion. This would provide another reason for his vendetta against the government, since he felt partially responsible for the virus. This is seemingly contradicted by the diary of Delia Surridge, who claims that all her work was destroyed in the explosion at Larkhill; however, she might have been writing that as merely an assumption, as she afterwards distanced herself from the project and might well not have known if any data had survived. During the "flashback" scene it was rather definitively implied that everybody who was injected died—except for V. Thus, we may assume that for whatever reason he is unique, or at the very least an extremely rare specimen in some biological or physiological sense, and that most people would not develop as he did—or else Larkhill would have been overrun by V-type super-people. The movie does seem to imply V is given some sort of superhuman ability by the experimentation at Larkhill, as Delia's diary says: "the mutations seem to have triggered the abnormal development of basic kinesthesia and reflexes." Those responsible for Three Waters and St. Mary's also came out with a miracle vaccine for the virus that made them very wealthy and allowed them to be saviors in a time of fear and utter chaos. It would stand to reason that this vaccine would be developed from V's blood, as he was the only one able to resist the virus. V's role in the viral attacks would then be as the originator of the vaccine. This would explain how V knew of the history of the virus and vaccine that he relates to Finch and Dominic. The graphic novel merely implies that the prisoners were experimented on with no real purpose, like the Nazis with Jews in World War II. The super-soldier story line is the Wachowskis take on the purpose of the experimentation. Edit

  • This is explained in an expanded voiceover of Delia Surridge's (the coroner that V killed) journal, which exists in the original script but was cut much shorter for the final product. While at Larkhill, V was allowed to tend the garden there, for which he had access to chemical supplies, grease solvents, ammonia, and fertilizer. He used those to produce napalm and mustard gas. Edit

  • There are two theories. (1) The doctor is talking metaphorically, i.e. she couldn't see his eyes because of the fire but knew he was looking at her. Throughout the movie, V can be seen reading books, watching movies, and visually noticing people. (2) Yes, he is blind. You can clearly see his face around his eyes is caved in and completely black on the close up, with no flames distorting your view, and it can be assumed that his enhanced kinesthesia is the way he views the world now, with no need for visual perception. This would, of course, necessitate an expanded definition of the the meaning of the term 'kinesthesia." In the comic book, however, it mentions (in the Doctor's Diary), that he has eyes, and is not blind: "He looked at me today as if I were some sort of insect. He looked at me as if he felt sorry for me." This is the part where the Doctor is beginning to go into more detail about him. Also, when V explodes the facility, the Doctor again mentions him looking at her, and it describes the gaze, so you would assume he has eyes, and is not blind. Edit

  • This is explained in an expanded voiceover of the coroner's diary that exists in the original script but was cut shorter for the final product. In it, she explains that V was allowed to tend the garden at Larkhill, where he "grows roses. Beautiful roses." Therefore, she knew it was V when she saw the rose Finch handed to her. The scarlet carsons were grown by the lesbian lover of Valerie, the actress in The Salt Flats, who wrote the autobiography on toilet paper that she passed to V during their incarceration. That autobiography inspired V to live without fear, and he used those flowers as a signature for the killings he committed as retribution for Larkhill. The flowers in the movie are Scarlet Carsons, but the graphic novel claims them to be Violet Carsons, another connection to the letter "V". Violet Carson [1898-1983] was a British actress most famous for playing the role of Ena Sharples in the soap opera "Coronation Street". There really is a Violet Carson rose, created in 1963/'64 and named after the actress. Edit

  • It's hard to tell through the latex gloves whether or not the hands are scarred, but it is supposed to be V shaving her head; he just used makeup to disguise his hands. In reality, however, since they would only be able to shave Portman's head once, they had to get the shot in one take; therefore, they had one of the hair dressers do it. The person actually shaving Evey's head is Jeremy Woodhead (hair designer/stylist) for the film. Edit

  • No, V is a master of disguise and he's able to disguise his voice as well. In some shots, the "interrogator" moves briefly into the light and you can actually see that it is Hugo Weaving. In the dialogue where he tells Evey that all the men want is one piece of information and subsequently that she is free, it is clearly Hugo Weaving. The graphic novel explains that V wore masks to look like different people in the shadows. Edit

  • No digital effects were involved. The dominoes are corporeal props, and the effect is largely physically unmanipulated. Weijers Domino Productions proposed and designed the pattern including the falling sequences as well as the coloring effects. It took 4 professional domino assemblers 200 hours to set up 22,000 tiles. Each tile is 1⅞″ tall by ⅞″ wide and ¼″ thick (4.8 cm × 2.2 cm × 0.6 cm). According to Cinefex #106, the domino scene involved only minor finessing, such as slightly extending the photography in the top shot (leaving the dominoes themselves untouched), and a simple splitscreen effect in the final shot, when the dominoes come to rest in perfect symmetry with one domino still standing. Edit

  • The man visible in the mirror is Inspector Finch. Edit

  • This is the most controversial point in the interpretation of the movie, and the comments below show very different points of view. It contains the secret of the question, "Who is he?", and you will get very different answers depending on whether you take it for a return of the dead or an image for the film audience of the many people who make up V that is not "real" in Evey's and Finch's reality—they could not walk out and meet Valerie etc. The plain reading is that they were dead before but alive and real at the end. They are those he promised to vindicate in the V-monologue and the vigilant, that is, those who wait at midnight. In this reading, the death of V has raised the dead; consistent with a good deal of messianic images and the Paschal tone of the final scene. If so, it's grounded in a Gnostic or Arian Christology. The "new world" is not shown, but is more than a political change. Alternatively, they aren't there physically and it's not a film blooper. They're there in spirit, carried in the hearts and minds of those who really do stand there. It's also notable that this is the only scene in the film (apart from the flashbacks) where any black people are seen. The graphic novel was more explicit about the fact that the Norsefire party had performed extensive racial cleansing in England, whereas the film merely hinted at it, focusing more on the persecution of homosexuals.

    This is a physical representation of one of V's guiding principles: that you can't kill an idea; each of them represents part of the idea of freedom and self-expression. An idea, literally, is a form or archetype—so this is physically shown in the people's being antitypes of V. The obvious symbolism here, coupled with that present from the beginning of the movie with regards to a Guy Fawkes comparison and the constant mention of "ideas" suggests that it was an intentionally symbolic scene. This "idea" being the most important element of the movie, it makes sense that it would be steadily expanded upon and culminate in its most visceral representation during the movie's climactic final scene. V leads into it himself, during Creedy's death, by suggesting that he is still alive due to the fact that he is not just a man: "Beneath this mask there is more than just flesh... Beneath this mask, there is an idea," despite the fact that we have alternative and deliberately presented reasons as to why he is alive, if only briefly. With the explosion of the Parliament building, the "idea" culminates in the visual depiction of various individuals who fought for this idea—people we know to already be dead. The people are still dead, but the idea is alive, the idea has triumphed. This scene can also be interpreted to illustrate what Evey said to Inspector Finch at the finale: "He [V] was Edmond Dantés [the hero of The Count of Monte Cristo]... and he was my father. And my mother... my brother... my friend. He was you... and me. He was all of us, " meaning that V did it all for them (Gordon, the little girl with glasses, Evey's parents, etc). In this sense, V symbolized the victims, both living and dead, of the government's atrocities, especially those who had questioned or fought against the oppression of the government.

    The most literal explanation would be that none of them actually did die; we never see any of these characters die on-screen. Gordon is black-bagged, the girl is only shot once, and the two lesbians are killed/black-bagged in a possibly subjective flashback. However, this explanation stretches plausibility for a number of reasons: While we never see Gordon die, he is arrested and beaten, and it seems highly unlikely he would have simply been released, in light of his collection of forbidden items as well as his mockery of Sutler. We do see Valerie's body in a mass grave in an earlier flashback, one not based on the contents of her letter, and she and Ruth appear in the crowd without having aged at all in the twenty years since their arrest. Finally, we would also have to believe that the parents of a child suffering a gunshot wound to the chest would take her out of the hospital and involve her in a potentially violent conflict with armed soldiers. Moreover, judging by the view on the little girl's body right after she is shot (immobility, non-living eyes), it's very fair to assume she is dead. While the girl did not die (and was not shot) in the graphic novel, Ruth, Valerie, and Gordon definitely did. An alternative literal explanation would be that the people in the crowd are lookalikes of the dead people (signifying how much human beings are alike), and that the proximity among the relevant/familiar faces is only an amazing coincidence.

    This is a theme along the lines of, "an idea never dies." For instance, from Evey's first lines: ...We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love... And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man... A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget. And then the scene with Creedy emptying his pistol trying to kill V : "Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof." By showing the people that have been slain, it shows that their idea, the idea, lives on. Edit

  • It's the finale of the 1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is a programmatic piece celebrating the victory of Russia over Napoleon, and the big theme is the old Russian anthem: "God Save the Czar". Edit

  • "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph. Also regularly used in the old British comedy series The Benny Hill Show. Edit

  • There are several songs that play during the end credits. In order, they are (1) "Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones, (2) "BKAB" by Ethan Stoller [with excerpts from Malcolm X and Gloria Steinem], and (3) "Out of Sight" by Spiritualized. The remainder is original score from the film composed by Dario Marianelli. The song most folks seem to be interested in is "BKAB" by Ethan Stoller. For more information, please see his Q&A. Edit

  • Specifically, it is a bit of both the 7th and 8th tracks from the sound track. It starts with a section of "Valerie" and then blends the tail end of "Evey Reborn". This is a rare soundtrack as it actually contains the theatrical score. For example, there is a Rolling Stones tune from the movie that is not included on the soundtrack CD. Edit

  • John Hurt plays both doubles. However, it is unknown who in the movie world plays the doubles. Edit

  • No. Director James McTeigue, in the book V for Vendetta: From Script to Film, indicates that Hurt's prior performance as the protagonist of Nineteen Eighty-Four played into the deliberately ironic casting of him as a Big Brother-type figure in this film. Edit

  • Edmond Dantès is mentioned near the end of the movie in the exchange, "Who was he [V]?' 'He was Edmond Dantès, he is you, he is me...." He is the main character in The Count of Monte Cristo—V's favourite movie. The film was based on the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, and tells the story of a man who was wrongfully imprisoned, eventually escapes, assumes a new identity, and begins to exact vengeance upon those responsible for his incarceration. Read Count of Monte Cristo online here. Edit

  • No, V states within a minute of meeting Evey that he is a man (twice, in fact). The doctor's diary also refers to V as the man in room 5 (V). Edit

  • Yes, Valerie Taylor (1913-1997) was an American author of books published in the lesbian pulp fiction genre, as well as poetry and novels after the "golden age" of lesbian pulp fiction. Edit

  • This depends entirely on your point of view. To the government in the movie and under current legal definitions in the US and UK, he is a terrorist. To the people of London in the film, to Evey and Finch by the end of the film, he was a freedom fighter. It's possible that he was both; for instance, the Sons of Liberty in the American Revolution were a terrorist group fighting for American freedom. However, Alan Moore, who wrote the graphic novel, would disagree with both of these. One of Alan Moore's problems with the film was that it painted "V" as a freedom fighter when he is in fact an anarchist. Anarchy is far more important to V's character than terrorism or freedom, but it is hardly even addressed in the film. There is of course still V's symbol, an upside down anarchy stamp with the horizontal line of the "A" missing. Edit

  • 2027 and 2028. About 1:30 into the film, the news anchor mentions the St. Mary's terrorist attacks "14 years ago." In the following scene, the detectives discuss two covert intelligence agents who suspiciously died "the day after" those attacks, and the computer screen reads their deceased dates as 06.05.14 (May 6th, 2014). So the film ostensibly is set from November 5th, 2027 to November 5th, 2028. Edit

  • Influenced by, certainly, as Alan Moore quite clearly states in the Afterword to the comic book. However, just because a work is similar in subject does not mean it is plagiarized or a "rip-off". Nineteen Eighty-Four was itself largely influenced by Yevgeny Zamyatin's We and, to a lesser extent, Jack London's The Iron Heel, and all dystopian novels ultimately stem from such classics as Thomas More's Utopia and Plato's Republic, which depict "ideal" societies that many people today would find oppressive. Nineteen Eighty-Four was also largely influenced by world events occurring at the time it was written (1948), and this is clearly true for V as well. Fundamentally the stories are actually quite dissimilar, as V for Vendetta tells the tale of a revolution planned, announced, anticipated and then carried out. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, there is no revolution. The rulers are never threatened and the status quo remains constant. There is a brief moment of recognition that a revolution would be beneficial for the masses, but before that thought is given a chance to grow it is swiftly snuffed out by a brutal and torturous form of systematic mind reconditioning. Edit

  • Not a direct attack, no. Art, as a medium, is often too subtle for such methods. It tends to run to the sort of scathing sarcasm and derision that undermines its target rather than attempting to assault them directly. On the other hand, the fact that we have asked the question demonstrates not only that the designed purpose of the film and its story is to enlighten the viewer while exposing cheap political demagoguery and social elitism for what they truly are, but that it succeeded in achieving that goal as well by actually stimulating the thinking processes which is ultimately the true goal of all art.

    The original comic book was written by a Briton named Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, starting in 1982 and published through 1988. It was aimed directly at Margaret Thatcher and Fascism. Alan Moore took umbrage with the film adaptation, making comments to the effect that the filmmakers did not have the courage to make an out-and-out attack on Bush, so they decided to adapt the story he'd written for their own purposes. In one scene, a protestor is carrying a sign which appears to have the word "BUSH" written on it. Plus, to account for the Doc Frankenstein comic series the Wachowskis created, they seem very liberal (i.e. socially democratic by European parlance), so the question isn't that far-fetched. Nevertheless, it does bear remembering that the script for this film was in development as far back as the mid-nineties, well before Bush took office.

    The visual imagery of the Norsefire party, with its red and black flags that used an old, largely outmoded religious symbol as it chief device and the scenes of Sutler campaigning with fervent shouting and gesticulating seem clearly designed to evoke recollections of the Nazi regime rather than any modern political situation. The slight alteration of the Leader's name from the novel (originally Adam Susan rather than Sutler) also seems to be a deliberate attempt to reference Hitler. The party's practice of marginalizing and shipping ethnic and social minorities to detention camps is also a clear reference to the Third Reich, rather than modern America. Of course, certain details from modern times were included to make the story more identifiable to a modern audience, such as Prothero's similarity to various media pundits with staunch conservative viewpoints (or extreme derision toward the details of social "justice" ideology), as well as the brief reference to an avian flu outbreak and the general notion that the media exists to distract and worry the public rather than inform them of the facts. The Nazi references in this movie were far more obvious and deliberate than any disparagement of George W. Bush. Edit

  • This dish goes by various names, but the one used in the movie is called "Egg in a Basket," or, as Gordon calls it "Eggy in a Basket" (Alan Moore especially disliked this detail, finding it unauthentic). Butter both sides of a piece of thick bread. Cut a hole in the middle, using a cookie cutter or glass. Drop a small bit of butter into a skillet or frying pan on low heat. Place the bread into the pan. Give it a few moments, and put 1 egg into the middle of the hole. When the egg begins to set, flip the whole thing over. Keep flipping until the egg is done the way you want. Keep the heat on low and don't get impatient; you'll have ashes on charcoal if you put the heat up too high. If you make more than one, put more butter in the pan each time. As a slight variation, you can put a slice of your favorite cheese and/or a deli thin slice of ham about a minute before it's done cooking. Do not flip once you've put the cheese on. This is also known as One Eyed Toast or an Egg in a Frame (in the southern parts of America). A similar dish using Italian bread and peppers is made in Moonstruck (1987) (1987). The source of the aforementioned recipe is here. Edit

  • No, V is not related to Gordon nor do they ever meet in the film. The similarities are there to illustrate that the two men are similar in their respective situations: V was sent away to a detention camp, Gordon would likely be similarly sent away if his identity as a gay man (a sadomasochistic gay man) were publicly known. Both are forced to hide their "true faces" in order to survive. It's also likely that, in the earlier scenes of this nature, that Gordon is being set up as a red herring for a possible secret identity for V, though the film points out rather quickly that this is indeed not the case. Additionally, V is unusually tall and thin; Gordon could not possibly fit into that costume, and, having seen the DVD image, he must know it himself, and know that Evey can see this as well.

    The similarities drawn between various people in this film—which have led to multiple questions along the vein of "Is this person also that person?"—are intentionally designed to demonstrate that everyone is human. Everyone is "the same" in that they are deserving of freedom, justice, and the chance to live. This would be meant to stand against the Norsefire government's message of minorities, sexual "deviants" and others being a threat due to their perceived differences from the majority group. In the book, V is referred to as an idea/concept, and this could be applied to other characters in the book; no matter how "normal" you try to make people, their individualism will always show through. Gordon had a secret room and was homosexual, the man in charge of "The Head" was in love with the computer that fed him information, and it is implied (towards the end) that he masturbates over it, which could also be deemed non-"normal" behaviour. Edit

  • They are homoerotic pictures of muscle-men in intimate moments. At a glance, it would appear that they are photos in the style of Robert Mapplethorpe's work. Edit

  • [‡] The two-barred cross appearing on the red-and-black Norsefire flags, as well as nested between wings at the base of the "Strength through unity, unity through faith" posters similar to the Cross of Lorraine. Carried by the Knights Templar and still used in modern Freemasonry, the cross also was associated with Joan of Arc, and denotes the rank of Cardinal in the Catholic Church. This may be a subtle reference to the infamous "blood flag" of Nazi Germany, which had a similar color scheme and also used a cross variant, the fylfot, as its chief device, now known almost exclusively as the swastika. The cross could also be seen as a St George's Cross (representing England) and a Nordic cross (representing the "Aryan" race) placed together. In the graphic novel, the posters (which originally read "Strength through purity, purity through faith") used the traditional Christian cross. This change may have been an attempt to avoid offense. Some viewers have suggested that the Norsefire symbol signifies how the party has double-crossed the people. Edit

  • The scrap of paper was the one she grabbed before going out the night V found her. It had Gordon's address (and a time to meet him) on it. For some reason, she still had it the next day when V took over the TV station. She wanted to escape V's lair and she felt she would be safe at Gordon's. She told V all the background stuff to help convince him to take her "out" with him so she'd have a chance to escape. Edit

  • During Finch's "everything is connected" speech, we see various shots of events past and those yet to come, including Gordon throwing a lighted match into a waste basket and burning something. What you're seeing in that moment is Gordon burning the censor-approved script that he told Evey he'd "thrown out" when he wrote "a new one," i.e. the show lampooning Sutler, which got Gordon arrested. If you look closely, the paper in the basket is stamped with the word "Approved." Edit

  • "Balls!" It's British slang, the equivalent of "bullshit" (or "horseshit"), similarly implying "I don't believe this; it's lies!" or "you're talking rubbish." Can also be used as an exclamation like "Damn!" If you are "talking bollocks", then you are being accused of lying or speaking nonsense/absurdity. It literally is a slang term for testicles. It is very much more commonplace in the south of England, where it is used a great deal. "The dog's bollocks", on the other hand, means "excellent", the total opposite of every other context that bollocks is used in, and may be a crude equivalent of "the bee's knees". Edit

  • When Prothero is on the phone complaining about the DoP, he says "In the morning, the Paddy will be gone." The term "paddy" is a derogatory term to describe an Irish person. It comes from the common Irish name of Patrick and is often used as nickname. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Yes and no. The injections he was given at Larkhill have the result of increased "kinesthesia" among other things in him: improved reflexes, agility (motor skills), and a reduced sensitivity to pain. However, if you listen to the coroner's exact words, there is a suggestion of superpowers having developed: "The mutations seem to have triggered the abnormal development of basic kinesthesia and reflexes." It's possible that The Wachowski brothers misunderstood, or decided to expand, the definition of kinesthesia, which is in fact that sense that allows us to determine the physical positions of our extremities in relation to ourselves. For example, it allows us to touch our nose with our eyes closed. In the case of V, we are perhaps expected to believe that he was able to comprehend his position, and the position of other objects, in the physical universe with greater speed and claity than an average human. This, combined with his increased strength, does suggest he was a form of superhero.

    In the graphic novel, no such mention of "increased abilities" is made, nor are we given any reason to believe that he acts with any abnormal capability. He is not presented as a "superhero" in the classic, "spandex-clad-with-no-visible-means-of-support" sense. In the source material, V is described as "a psychopath... in its most precise sense." The experimentation at Larkhill had no physical effect on him, but rather altered his perception of the world and how he occupied it. It essentially removed the subconscious censor that we all have between thought and action. Our minds/bodies work on a sequence of perception-evaluation-planning-conscience-reaction (we see a threat, we take a moment to work out how dangerous it is, then how to counter it, then we have a moment's doubt, and then we defend/attack/flee/hide). V has lost the middle steps of the sequence and as a result, his body reacts instantly and instinctively, doing exactly what he needs to in order to counter any threat without conscience. To "normal" people, the ability to act without fear of the consequence may seem inhuman-but not superhuman.

    There are some elements that might be seen as supernatural, although the surface asserts a purely natural narrative; the inexplicable appearance in the swept and secure Victoria Station is one. Sending out hundreds of thousands of tight fitting costumes and tall boots, all of which appear to fit the wearers, might be another. Most of all, the image with the dominoes, intercut with Finch's psychic perception of the pattern, suggests at least a supernatural relationship to causality. Edit

  • This has not been revealed, but many believe ultimately it doesn't matter, believing that their purpose was never to kill/hurt people. Instead, they were to be a tool to scare/force people at the station to allow V access to the airways, and then later, to keep them busy while he made his escape. However, if they were real, Dascomb's ability to disarm them was due to either: (1) The bomb's set up wasn't so intricate that there was a right and wrong wire to be cut. If any part of the setup was disconnected, the whole thing wouldn't work. (2) He has prior experience in working with explosives, perhaps as part of military service or employment by the police. (3) He simply got lucky and guessed the correct wire. If they weren't real, then it didn't matter what he did, or did not do, as nothing would have happened either way.

    Common arguments for them being real: (1) Killing well-known news anchors, as well as destroying their main news studio, would have stirred up more emotion amongst the government and populace than the deaths of people they've never heard of, or buildings no one cares about. (2) V knows that as soon as possible after his message is broadcast, the BTN will surely play some sort of message against it, either the disheartening "terrorist captured and killed" response we saw, or something similar. By destroying the country's main news studio, as well as its top anchors immediately afterwards, it delays the time the BTN is able to broadcast a response, giving the populace who saw it more time to think it over and inevitably discuss it amongst themselves. The BTN's response will also be less believable due to the delay and in hearing it from lesser or completely unknown anchors. (3) Any single terrorist act, especially subsequent attacks (remember the first attack being the destruction of the Old Bailey) will always cause an erosion, at least temporarily, in popular support for a government.

    Common arguments for them not being real: (1) If they had gone off, V could have been close enough to have been killed/injured in the explosion. (2) An explosive of that size would not have been great enough to cause significant damage to the building and/or BTN's propaganda apparatus. Consider that even if the explosion had destroyed the studio and a good part of the surrounding floor, surely BTN has other studios available, at other locations, which could broadcast whatever they want in a matter of minutes. (3) V displays a tendency to not kill without specific reason. Therefore, it isn't likely that he would blow up a room full of civilians who hadn't harmed him personally. However, a good counterargument to this third point is that V's Domino Plan involves inspiring violent anarchy in the UK. This will result in civilian deaths/casualties as Norsefire will undoubtedly commit even further outrage-inspiring atrocities in an attempt to restore order. Also, V clearly does not have any problem killing Fingermen and police officers who work for the state. As such, office personnel at the BTN could easily be considered among those working for the state, and therefore part of the problem. Edit

  • No one knows as it is not stated in either the movie or the graphic novel. Furthermore, V says that he lost his memory while at Larkhill, so during the time frame of the movie's events, even he didn't know why he had been sent there. It's only stated that he was an "undesirable", which could mean that he was not heterosexual, a non-Christian (perhaps not the right denomination of Christian), that he had possessions that were deemed offensive, that he spoke out against the political regime, or that he was/did anything else the totalitarian government prohibited/feared. In an interview, Hugo Weaving did with IndieLondon, he offered the following:

    You understand that he's been tortured and physically abused and that's what has created him. But at the same time the reason he was imprisoned in the first place was, I would suggest, because he was some kind of political activist. And I think he was probably an actor so he has very strong opinions.

    The original graphic novel's Larkhill was based loosely off of Hitler's concentration camps and the Nazi atrocities, and it is left open whether V is a member of a racial minority, is homosexual, or that he was taken for his political views. However, it's possible that he was not being specifically punished, seeing as he was placed in a group that was almost certain to be unceremoniously disposed of. A man who can fashion explosives and destroy a detention facility in which he's being held captive is likely to make authoritarians nervous wherever he goes.

    Throughout the film, V exhibits an intricate knowledge of the workings of the Norsefire regime, and it's possible that he knew these things before being shipped off to Larkhill, thus it wouldn't be unreasonable to suspect that he was a some kind of strategic agent of the executive branch, perhaps the Sutler's administration or ones prior. He could have been a serviceman, a commissioned officer or a covert operative. This ties in with the symbolism of him impersonating William Rookwood, along with the symbolism in the unmasking of Dietrich's parody V revealing a parody duplicate of Dietrich's parody Sutler. And furthermore, the number five pops up in consideration of the concept of a fifth column emerging within Sutler's dictatorship. However, for this to work, it would mean that Sutler's loyal forces were unaware of the extent of the security clearance held by the man who would become V, for they surely would have killed him instead of imprisoning him, in order to maintain their party/state secrets. Nothing in the movie suggests that the transition from the previous administration to Sutler's was not smooth, but there is no telling how many state employees were sloppily fired and not murdered or executed. Edit

  • In his conversation with Inspector Finch, William Rookwood spells out the plot hatched by the government to seize control of the country, and responds to Finch's suggestion that he be placed in protective custody by stating, "If you want that recording, you'll do as I say." However, it is never made clear what recording is being referenced here. In the screenplay, there is an omitted piece of dialogue wherein Rookwood indicates that he recorded the conversation when Creedy came to him with the assignment of taking the virus to St. Mary's. This line was dropped from the finished film, but the subsequent mention of the recording inexplicably remained. Later events would have revealed that the recording did not exist, and was merely part of a ploy to get the police to place Creedy under surveillance, contributing to his worry that Sutler did not trust him and was spying on him. Edit

  • It is the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, on the bank of the River Thames in London. The structure serves a similar function as the United States Capitol building, which houses Congress, but in the film the Houses of Parliament are no longer being used since the British government no longer contains a legislature. The building's famous Clock Tower displays clock faces on all four sides and contains enormous bells which sound four times each hour (the moniker of "Big Ben" belongs to the largest of these bells, which weighs over fifteen tons). Edit

  • Just because somebody wears body armour doesn't mean that it can stop that many bullets. If a bullet is shot at that close range, such as we see in the film, it can probably pierce through, especially if it's already filled with holes from other bullets. Body armour also only tends to protect against penetration by diffusing the impact across a larger surface area. Getting shot with body armour is comparable to getting hit at the same speed with a baseball instead of a bullet, which can cause internal bruising and bleeding, and after enough hits, just the impact alone can be fatal. You also see him getting shot in the hands, arms, shoulders and back, any of which could also harm him, as these hits coupled with his extensive movement immediately afterwards as he fights would cause an extraordinary amount of blood loss. The armour visually quotes the angels' armour in "Wings of Desire"-cited in "V4V from Script to Film"-and symbolically, when he removes it, he puts off something transcendent, just after the Matrixy shivering of the background that intimates a shift of realities, descending to ordinary mortality. Hugo Weaving, in an interview, described V as "a kind of angel". Edit

  • After V refuses to remove his mask, Creedy orders his men to fire. After being shot repeatedly, and mortally wounded despite a metal plate in his vest to protect him, he massacres all of Creedy's men, including Creedy himself. He then removes the metal plate and stumbles out to Evey. The two share a tender moment and V tells Evey that it is up to her to decide if the train filled with bombs should blow up Parliament, as his exile has made him no longer part of the people. He dies in her arms. Evey places V's body inside the train and is interrupted by Finch. She refuses his orders to stand down, and convinces him of the country's need for hope. Finch lowers his gun, Evey pulls the switch and the train goes off. A mass of people approach in silence, orderly but not in marching order, outside in V's mask and cape, overtaking the guards. As the 1812 Overture plays in the background, Parliament blows up while fireworks burst into the air in the form of a "V." (The "metal plate" is in fact the breast-plate of the armour from the full suit in V's hideout-the one he used for his sword fighting practice.) Edit

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