Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Totalitarianism in Britain

I just watched V For Vendetta. Overall, I thought it was a very good flick, and timely. The comic was written as a response to Thatcherism, but the heavy handed political commentary seems entirely appropriate today. Our government does tortures people, after all. The Bushies are not the megalomaniacs portrayed in "V for Vendetta", but you get the point. Do not to trust the government. The most poignant, and arguably the best, scene in the movie involved a lesbian couple who died in a concentration camp.

Ultimately, the film is a little too Hollywood. It becomes to much good guys vs. bad guys. The fascists are interesting, but not complex. The "Voice of London" is a propaganda minister who reminded me eerily of Stephen Colbert (unfortunately he is quickly dispatched). Similarly, the second-in-command of the felt like a stand-in for Dick Cheney. We forget also that V is a morally ambiguous character.
Ultimately I think Brazil and Children of Men, both also about Orwellian states, are deeper films, Brazil because it is a biting satire of the banality of evil, and captures the true essence of creeping authoritarianism, Children of Men because it is a more complex and more damning indictment of modern society. Both these films are necessarily more depressing than V for Vendetta, which gave us a relatively happy (Hollywood) ending.
Still, I enjoyed the movie and recommend it.
(Posted by Ewan)

1 comment:

Matt said...

to read the book version, I recommend Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem" and maybe some of her other books that I am ashamed to not have read yet. yet.