Historical Aspects of a Fictionalized World

         Movies are usually easy to understand when they take place in places that we know. When there is a fantasy element with a different world, it takes a bit more explaining. However, in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta graphic novel, the world that we know is not what we know. Germany won World War II, the United States of America is impoverished and disease ridden, and England is ruled by a fascist political party. The same applies for the film adaptation of the same name, directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski brothers in 2005. Despite this, there are several historical and accurate aspects to the movie that a close view will show to the reader.

         One of the most memorable aspects of the movie, the Guy Fawkes poem, is an actual poem about an actual day in history. On November fifth, 1605, Guy Fawkes and other Catholics, planned to destroy the House of Parliament in London. They were caught, however; but their legacy remains on November fifth, Guy Fawkes Day, where people recite the poem from the film.

         There are many other things that tie this fictitious world to our own. There is part of a television compilation talking about the America’s war growing worse and on the screen they show a clip of Baby Jessica being rescued from the well. Also, there is a fictitious talk show, which plays homage to “The Benny Hill Show” where they often used high-speed footage and played the “Yakety Sax” music.

         The artistic aspect of the film is also historical. Throughout the film, there is classical music being played or real life paintings being shown in the background. An interesting fact that most people will not catch is that when the character V plays Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the first four notes are “V” in Morse Code. This was also a popular song in England during World War Two with the Allied slogan being “V for Victory.”

         Although this movie is based on the what-ifs of history and of the future, it is greatly supported in fact and actual history. I believe this is what makes the movie so believable even though such fantastical events are happening. When you base something in fact and things that are known to be true, it makes it easier for someone to believe in it. The depth and dedication that was made to make this story based in our actual world is one reason it is one of my favorite movies, but the pure ideology that governments should be ruled by their people and that ideas can go a long way is what really makes it stand out in my mind.

Lorrie Veach

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