V for Vidiculous

*Sunday evening was our allotted time to take in the year’s – and possibly the decade’s – most arrogantly stupid movie. It hardly matters if V for Vendetta has an audience in front of it or not. That’s how full of itself it is.The central character is a combination of Zorro and de Sade. His big romantic affair involves imprisoning and torturing the woman he loves in a Nazi-style prison. This causes the victim to love the fiend more than before – especially after he says it hurt him more than it did her. It is a film about how anarchy is a more preferable state than conservative government and that it is right to unleash violent and mindless revolution upon a citizenry when a sociopathic killer judges their lives to be complacent and boring. V for Vendetta is also about the absurd radical politics of the USA and Western Europe during the 1960s. While it endeavors to be weighty, it succeeds only in being inane.Along the way we are “educated” about things like why the United States deserved to die – as it already has in the context of this movie – and how politicians and big business interests in Great Britain came to release a deadly virus among its population in order to win an election. We also are “entertained” by a Catholic bishop who is revealed as a pedophile and how religious faith is used to buttress political propaganda – except, of course, for Islam, which gets a pass in this film.Childishly one-sided ideas like these are the kind of adolescent and post-adolescent fantasy that animate comic books and video games. V for Vendetta has its origin in a pretentious comic book. (I don’t see any worthwhile reason for me to repeat all of the insignificant details of the history of this silly tale and its current cinematic iteration – so I won’t.)The ideas and rationalizations that inform the film mean a lot to many young people and those who are not young but who desperately want to be thought of as having “young ideas.” They are standard themes of exploitative entertainment. Psychological compensations for feelings of powerlessness and alienation, such as hatred of authority, romanticism of the anti-hero, and Dionysian rebellion against Apollonian order course through this film like candy commercials through Saturday morning cartoons.I was comforted by a single thought as I exited the theater. Much of the audience for this kind of movie experiences life vicariously, via mass-produced products, legal and illegal drugs, and advertised concepts. Their absurd ideas pose no more threat to society than does their taste in entertainment. As long as they are stupefied by advertising, fashion, and mass-media mindlessness – they are harmless and we have no necessary interest in snapping our fingers and waking them up. Real life does that eventually anyway.*V for Vendetta official web site

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