(from an extended feature, copyright 2006 Michael F. Hopkins)
Few literary masterworks offer more narrative wonder,
and more frustration to adapt to the silver screen,
than the socioculturally-charged V FOR VENDETTA by
writer Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd. Its
mix of Fascist horror, Romantic adventure, and
Science Fiction contemplation, has thrilled readers
of Sequential literature and a world of enthusiasts
for over 20 years.
The questions posed by its pages, particularly the
point at which Terrorism becomes the State, or the
crucible in which Dissent can be compelled to fashion
the tools of Rebellion from the State's own Terror,
still await finer resolutions in the trouble-torn
world of the Here and Now.
As ambivalent as the tones of a William Blake painting,
V FOR VENDETTA strikes as aggressively for the souls
and minds of thinking, caring people who refuse to
settle for any quick emotion, and easy answer.
These are the focused aims superbly met by the wondrous
film from the shapers of THE MATRIX Trilogy. Larry and
Andy Wachowski spent many years forging their prodigious
script, and director James McTeigue brings the momentous
tale to stunning life.
Not a word-for-word adaptation of what is perhaps Alan
Moore's signature work, the film masterfully embraces
Moore's questing spirit; holding true to the original
author's vision while imbuing the film with a life and
character all its own. Its myriad inquiries into the
nature of Faith and Wisdom in a bigoted World run by
Lust without Ethics, and Reason gone mad without Virtue,
mark the cinematic V FOR VENDETTA as a classic tale of
the Human spirit prevailing against all odds.
Those who love to look within the shaping of such
presentations would do well to purchase V FOR VENDETTA:
FROM SCRIPT TO FILM, a handsome coffee-table book
(Hardcover, as well as paperback) from Rizzoli's
Universe Publishing which offers the film's complete
shooting script, a wealth of photos and pre-production
art from the movie, along with invaluable insights from
director McTeigue himself.
Edited by Spencer Lamm (who edited THE ART OF THE MATRIX)
and Sharon Bray, the volume is a massive tribute to the
power of gifted artistry; crossing idioms to make even
broader points to ever-growing audiences with unimpeachable integrity.
If there continues to be confusion regarding author Moore's
disavowing of such a landmark adaptation of his work, it
is hoped that this volume will make the adaptation's
worthiness crystal clear, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Perhaps only Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa
Boyens (LORD OF THE RINGS) along with Ray Bradbury
(John Huston's MOBY DICK) had a more imposing task of
Those who admire both the Literary original and the
Hugo Weaving-Natalie Portman tour de force can respect
-if not agree with- author Moore's disavowal of film
adaptations. By the very breath, one can only hope that
the excellence of this motion picture -ably reflected
by this book- will earn Mr. Moore's respect, in turn.
Differences between parties notwithstanding, the film
is a masterpiece; one which ably complements the book
from which it came. Each holds wonders for all. Time
for the idiomatic skirmishes to end.
Come in, and be enlightened.