"You're burning both sides of the rope and just pulling." - The Roots, Water
V for Vendetta's futuristic England is an all caucasian country. Apparently the neo-conservatism masquerading as fascism in the film involved the complete white-washing of what is currently a pretty diverse community. Dark skin is no where to be found. It's odd for me that the Wachowski Brothers would make that choice (or allow that choice to be made by the director). One of the reasons I connect and enjoy the Matrix trilogy so much is that it's a world of many hues with the heroes, to a person, reflecting that multicultural aesthetic. I know that Alan Moore's source material serves to guide this choice but if they're going to gloss over the big picture concept of fascism vs. anarchism -- the two extremes that are the base of everything within the comic books -- and essentially bring it down to a question of neo-conservatism vs. revolutionary action, then maybe we could have had some brown people on the screen. Modern Day England has roots in the Middle East and Africa and those groups are growing. Surely, a near future UK would be even more culturally mixed.
But enough of my race hangups.
Or maybe not. It's interesting when we, as Americans, are confronted with revolutionary images we can sympathize with. After all, our country is built on the overthrow of one government for the creation of our own. Those images don't reconcile well in a post 9-11 America but V is compelling. He's seeking to overthrow a government who lies to its people, who institutes curfew, who seeks to keep order by opression and suppresion and the populace goes along with this very easily. My mind kept going to John Brown. How important were his "terrorist" actions at Harper's Ferry and before in moving the cause of abolition forward? Is he a hero or villain or something in between?
The same can be asked about V who uses violence and destruction to move his cause forward. The film is supposed to be raising the question of whether or not this push towards revolution, which is fueled mostly by vengeance, should be celebrated but doesn't really. Even at the key plot twist, we aren't really left with questions about V's "goodness".
There are some thought provoking elements to the film, however. Afterwards, there was a deep discussion about torture and terror, death penalties and revenge. For that I'll forgive the silly and unnecessary love story elements at the end, the sometimes ridiculous dialogue and the pacing of the flick. It felt longer than it should have and took far long to get to the hook of the story. But, for all its flaws, it's a good film and worth the money.
Just remember 2 things: In the future, the cool guys wear masquerade masks and speak in iambic pentameter and a revolution without dancing is one we don't want.