Na Mahatma Ulimwengu

Remember, remember, the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. For I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

V for Vendetta is one of those classic movies that is filled with inspirational sentiment and a dire warning to citizens all over the world. The world portrayed in the movie is one of a repressive society, with a tyrannical government, overtly religious politics and a lack of freedom that is ever-so-pervasive. The movie itself premiered in 2005, but it is set in the late 2020s. That’s the spooky thing about the movie. It has so much credibility that the story itself might just come true in the near future. As weird as the movie is, by 2005 it was easy enough to predict how the downfall of society could happen – War, disease, plague, pandemic, and religiosity. Are we that far off from that scenario?

A bit of backstory…

The movie is an homage to ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ of 1605 that Guy Fawkes tried to instigate. The Gunpowder Treason plot was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of English Catholics, led by Robert Catesby. They sought to restore the Catholic monarchy to England after decades of repression and persecution against Catholics. Among the group of conspirators, the plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on November the 5th, 1605. Fawkes himself was tasked with the responsibility of handling the explosives beneath the parliament building. The treasonous plot was discovered by authorities after an anonymous letter was sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, who himself was a Member of Parliament. The night before the famous 5th of November, on the fourth, a thorough search of the House of Lords was conducted, during which Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder – which was more than enough to blow up the entire House of Lords. Fawkes was promptly arrested, with his fellow conspirators fleeing London once they learned that the plot had been discovered.

You have to hand it to the English, only they could take such a shockingly treasonous event and base an entire ideology around it. The 5th of November is celebrated annually as Guy Fawkes Day, with fireworks and that famous poem, Remember, remember.

V for Vendetta as a movie captures the spirit and essence of this seditious plot. The main character, who goes only by the letter V wears a ‘Guy Fawkes’ mask for the entirety of the film. Hugo Weaving brings about one of the most mature performances put to screen, all without his face ever being seen. His theatricality, his verve and his idealistic ponderous vision of breaking the chain that binds them all is well-received by audiences – as relevant comparisons can be made by the tyrannical government portrayed in the movie with any pseudo-dictatorship out there.

Natalie Portman plays Evey Hammond, an assistant to a propaganda news network who gets swept up in V’s rebellion plot. She portrays the innocent bystander who takes up arms herself to fight for something just. Without getting too much into the spoilers, V for Vendetta is a brilliant and seamless blending of different genres and themes. The film is action-packed, with quiet moments of reflection. The film speaks to lofty, political ideas, whilst representing the sheer terror of a people who have been captured by their government. Finally, the inspiration that the film displays comes not from the acts of heroism from the main characters, but a concerted effort by the general public to fight and push for justice, freedom and peace within their time. For all these reasons and more, V for Vendetta gets a strong recommendation from me.

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Hello, I'm
Detricia Pamba

A Digital Journalist, Content Creation Executive at Mwananchi Communications Ltd and Chief Editor of Mwananchi Scoop. I'm also writes stories around Technology, every Wednesday on Mwananchi Scoop. My other famous segments on Mwananchi Scoop include LISTI and WHO’S HOT.

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