This beautiful and inspirational film can be better understood if viewed symbolically, or what my brother and I like to refer to as the 'story within the story'. My brother Glenn and I co-wrote a book a few years ago that revealed the hidden symbolism in over 50 of the most popular films ever made, and although we did not include V for Vendetta in this work, today is a very special day when we remember the 5th of November and honor Guy Fawkes for his brave stand against injustice. So let us discuss the symbolism of this most inspirational of tales, as our Occupy movement sets a most appropriate backdrop. If you haven’t yet seen this marvelous film, save this symbolic essay for another day and run out in the snow, naked if you have to, and bring this masterpiece of filmmaking and storytelling home.
In our beautiful story, a masked individual finally reaches the breaking point and fights back against the injustice and oppression of his, or should I say her, government, as we shall soon discover. In our opening scene, Evey, our heroine, tells V, our hero, her name, and he replies "Evey? E.V. Of course you are", and adds he does not believe in coincidence. This is a clue for the viewer to look a little closer at our scene, perhaps even symbolically. Here, our story teller wants you to realize Evey’s name (E.'V') is not a coincidence by any means. our story teller could have chosen one of a thousand names, but chose E-V, why? Because symbolically Evey is V! (Remember, we are actually watching two stories unfold at once. Our movie, and our movie hidden within our movie, and it is essential to keep these two stories separate from each other, as if we are viewing them in a multi-dimensional plex!)
Let’s look at the clues left for us to discover that Evey is 'symbolically' our masked hero V. We never see V's face, but in the opening scene Evey and V are simultaneously dressing before a 'mirror'. This is a clue that Evey and V are a mirror image of each other. It is then Evey is caught walking after curfew, only to be saved from the government 'fingermen' by V. But where would V have come from in the middle of the night? A bit fortuitous, wouldn’t you agree? When Evey was asked by the guard at her job at the television studio about the packages she was delivering, she replies "Bombs." Why would she say such a thing? It is because the packages were indeed explosives. It was Evey who was smuggling them into the studio. It was also Evey's identification that was used to enter Prothero's home, not anyone else’s. It was Evey that was imprisoned for 5 years. or V in roman numerals, so it was her that actually escaped to seek revenge. It was also Evey who was caught on a surveillance camera spraying mace into the detective's face, no one else. It is also Evey who is being pursued by the police throughout our story. Why? It was Evey's parents who were abducted by government agents and killed, giving Evey every motive in the world to seek revenge. In our wonderful breakfast scene, V quotes Macbeth, and Evey shares that her mother would read her Shakespeare every night before bed. Another coincidence, and another hint from our storyteller that this scene requires closer examination. Evey then tells V that she always wanted to be an actress. An actress? And wear a Vaudevillian mask perhaps? Later, when V and Evey are again talking in V's secret hideout, they are once again standing before a 'mirror', reminding us they are a mirror image of each other. Who was it that dressed in costume, just as V dresses in costume, to gain admittance into the Bishop's quarters? It was Evey, not V. Why would V need Evey’s assistance to gain entry anywhere? And lastly, V did not pull the lever on the subway car, sending it on its mission to destroy Parliament and awaken the masses. It was Evey who's hand pulled the switch. V said to Evey that she needed to do it. Why? Because Evey is V, and Evey is us, and we have to do it.
The symbolic message of this beautiful tale is that V’s hidden identity is in fact Evey, not a super powerful and mysterious avenger on a mission to single- handedly free the world from the clutches of a new world order fascist dictatorship. But what of V's superhuman abilities? The power within Evey's heart gives her all the strength she'll ever need. Evey is just a normal, everyday person like you and me, who has finally had enough and chooses to make a stand. Evey is V, and Evey is you, and Evey is me. We are the superhero, the savior we've all been waiting for. This is why the young woman who was imprisoned in a cell next to V was named 'V'alerie, and this is why our beautiful story ends with us all standing together in defiance of a system beyond corrupt, beyond criminal, beyond obscene. And this is why we are all wearing the same face, the same mask of V. Because we are V, we are one, and it is all up to us. Occupy!
November the 5th is Guy Fawkes Day, the day in which we honor Guy Fawkes, a brave man who defiantly took a stand against his corrupt government.
“Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”