I saw an interesting movie last week. While on our mini-vacation, the wife and I ditched the offspring and headed out for dinner and a movie. Since my wife went shopping earlier in the day I was allowed to choose the movie. And what should a self-respecting, red-blooded, American male choose? … V for Vendetta, of course.
The movie is based on a graphic novel, or glorified comic book if you will. It is about a “terrorist” who decides it is time to stand up against the oppressive government. I didn’t know much about the movie going in. I had just seen a few commercial trailers and thought the guy wearing the mask and black cape looked really cool wielding his vast array of cutlery.
On the way into the theatre, I took a quick peak at the movie poster on which was a picture of the anti-hero with the statement “People should not fear their government; governments should fear their people.” Interesting concept.
As the movie plays, it is made clear that V, the title character, is not a person, but an idea and as he says, “People die, but ideas never do,” or something along those lines. V is fighting against an oppressive British government of the future that strikingly resembles Hitler’s Nazi regime of the past.
Not to give too much away, but the movie ends with British Parliament being blown to pieces as V’s idea spreads throughout the masses. It is clear that V is not a person, but he is every person.
It was a great movie. I obviously don’t condone blowing up the government. That would just be stupid. But at some point we all have to take a stand for what we believe is right. If that means bucking the status quo, then so-be-it.
However, as I was channel surfing Monday evening I ran across a know-it-all politico who was lashing out against the movie. It was so pathetically obvious that he was a conservative, right-wing Republican spewing rhetoric concerning the liberal Hollywood media. He talked about how horrible the movie was and what kind of bad message it is sending to high school and college students everywhere. He admitted that he sat through it with his two boys … at which point I was thinking, ‘Idiot! Why did you take your boys? It’s obviously not a movie for children.’
Then this faux genius said something that just blew me away … “This movie says that blowing up Parliament is good and Christianity is bad.” I think my brain stopped working for a moment in an attempt to connect with this man on his level.
I couldn’t believe that those words actually fell out of his mouth. I was stunned that he could even begin to draw that conclusion from this movie. It had nothing to do with Christianity. The only thing obviously religious about the film was the fact that one of the people V was after was a church bishop who had apparently strayed from his religious vows. There was no discussion of Christianity in any way, shape, form or fashion. There are some religious overtones as far as martyrdom and sacrifice are concerned, but in no way does this movie portray Christianity in a negative light of any kind.
It is a story about a man who represents everyone, fighting against government leaders who are oppressive and wrong in the way they treat people. He spends his time fighting small battles while cultivating followers and telling them the truth in order to get them to understand until the final climax through which there is a rebirth of the vision and ideals for which he has sacrificed.
Huh … Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I wonder if mister religious right had read any of his Bible lately.