It was my first time watching V for Vendetta and I loved the film. Being based on a graphic novel, I saw the film as a hero flick before considering its more controversial political implications. What I think made me love the film was how different the character of V was as a hero.
From the very first appearance of V wherein he saves Evey from the fingermen, he appeared to be very different from the more traditional superheroes we grew up knowing. I particularly love his incredibly apt Shakespearean referencing throughout the film. He seemed to have an appropriate reference for whatever situation he might find himself in. This affirmed my agreement with certain points made by Iain Clark about the character of V. As the film progressed, V seemed to make more and more sense as we saw more and more of who he was and has become. The seemingly anarchistic methods of V being referred to as terrorism seemed to deepen my understanding and sympathy for his character because of how in control he always seemed. He had a plan and stuck to his convictions, seeming to have already come to terms with the solutions to every moral dilemma that could possibly be raised against his actions. V’s methods may be difficult to agree with, but that’s exactly what makes him appealing. Unlike the usual “I have to save the world” superhero, he seemed to be the complete opposite, wanting to blow it up – with rational reason for wanting to do so. Iain Clark stated this perfectly as he explains, “we’re not meant to blindly ignore his faults, nor condone his crimes. Instead we are asked to sympathize with his ideals.” I think this makes for an interesting hero for the same reason Batman was made more interesting in The Dark Knight. They both were able to realize how they were much smaller than the ideas they embodied, and their final acts of self-sacrifice were testament to that.
As for the political implications of the film, it may have been inaccurate in portraying what it wanted to portray, but if anything I think this made for a better film. The political activism involved in V’s campaign for change was romanticized just enough to elicit the support of the audience. The dramatic climax wherein what seemed to be the whole of London stormed the Parliament might have been unrealistic, but maybe that was exactly the point. Maybe instead of criticizing how unrealistic it was, we should just take it for what it is. V for Vendetta might not have been a historically accurate portrayal of the English government in the 80’s, but it was a story of fighting for hope and freedom from oppression. As with any hero story, the outcome was just as epic as can be expected, and I think that was good enough. It might not have been a blatant campaign against true to life events, but it reflected just enough for it to be effective.