When the science-fiction epic V for Vendetta hit theaters ten years ago, there was a lot of disappointment from fans over the changes made from the much loved Alan Moore graphic novel. I was one of the many people who went to see the movie without ever reading the source material. I was also in my early twenties, serving in the military, and for me the V was an odd, but terrifying story. Its message and plot seemed a little too prolific. For a lot of fans, it is still considered a fail when it comes to comic book movie adaptations. The message of both the comic and the movie are still relevant today, possibly even more so given the current political climate in the United States.
It is no secret when the Wachowskis’ adapted the graphic novel for the movie they used the second Bush administration as the inspiration for the tyrannical British government rather than following Moore’s commentary on Thatcherism in the Ministry. V hit theaters in a world living five years in a post 9/11 time, the changes were necessary to make the story more credible to current issues. The Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, and the threat of terrorism spurred the public to give their power away to the government and bloat an already broken system. V for Vendetta is about a terrorist/activist (depending on your political view) who incites the citizens of England to stop ignoring the problems created by the government and mindlessly following what the media/government is telling them. To wake up and take back the power needless given away in fear.
The impact the character V has had over the last ten years has been fascinating. The Guy Fawkes mask created for both the comic and the movie has served as a symbol of resistance against a tyranny and greed. Most of us remember seeing them on the news prominently during the Occupy Wall Street protests back in 2011. The well-known hacktivist group Anonymous uses the mask during their video statements. V’s political ideology has served as an inspiration to the organization. A copycat like mask was used for the hacktivist group inspired by Anonymous in the brilliant USA series Mr. Robot.
Ten years after its release, V for Vendetta stands for civilian unrest and right now in the US there is a lot of civil turmoil as the presidential campaign charges on. Those who are tired of the status quo are looking to vote in a buffoon spouting hatred and fear. Those who do not buy into boisterous and empty platitudes are left with a pure product of a broken system, a true bureaucrat in the worst way. No matter who is elected, more Guy Fawkes masks will be seen in protest in the future.