I first watched V for Vendetta some time ago and since then, a couple more times. The film still moves me deeply. The graphic novel, though, didn’t do much for me. I can’t remember the first time I watched it but the second time I did, was just a few days before leaving for Thailand for 6 weeks, the longest I’ve been away from home by myself.
That day, the film was more poignant to me than ever and its effect on me, never more profound. For a number of reasons. I was going through a rough patch with my parents and every conversation we had was ending in a shouting match. Edmund, after having worried for months about our impending separation, had just left for Taiwan with his friends, adding an extra week to the already impossible 6 weeks. My regrettable commitment to RAG the second I returned. I didn’t want to leave.
Halfway through the film, my mother walked into my room and said in her quietest, most disappointed voice: “You’re about to leave for 6 weeks and you’d rather be sitting in your room watching a movie than talking to your parents.”
The moment she turned and walked out, I started fighting back tears. Until they came gushing out when Evey was reading Valerie’s letter.
Valerie’s letter is without a doubt the fundamental stimulant for the protagonists of the story. Her integrity is the original inspiration. Her story is the beginning. But the suggestion of that fact in the film is a nuance.
I have often wondered if I could ever, so perfectly, sum up my life as she had. She had written unassumingly, but beautifully and powerfully. I suppose the desperation of her circumstances contributed (which makes Alan Moore a brilliant writer!).
I had fully intended to attempt a summary of my life à la Valerie’s but I’ve just realised it would be sorely lacking in defined themes. Valerie had ideals she would die for, courage to defend and someone she would be unswervingly loyal to. She had someone she loved so utterly that her love for that person would come to define her and everything she stood for. Valerie had, and still has, an inch.