Because I like to think I can listen to others I decided to check wiki for a synopsis and whatnot about the V For Vendetta adaptation. I’m glad I did as it’s confirmed my desire to not watch the film. Plotwise it’s incredibly disappointing to see what’s been taken out - such as inspector Finch’s attempt to ‘become’ V, which means he doesn’t get to have the same finale with V. The manner in which Evey and V part company (does that mean no ‘Land of do as you please’?), how she spends her time away from V and more importantly the way in which she is originally captured - not to mention the changes to her introduction; all different, all worse. The subplot about the wife of one of V’s victims appears to have been left out, which provided a great deal of depth to the story as well as some incredibly powerful scenes. Finch’s younger partner is eather gone or his role is greatly reduced which means that the parallels with V and Evey’s initial meeting are lost at the end. And V’s speech when he captures the TV station is criminally gone! No doubt Americans wouldn’t have liked the religious content.
Making it explicit that V is the man in room 5 eliminates the possibility that V could be Valerie (at least thatValerie was left in, I can only hope it’s as emotionally draining as the original - do we still see V watching her films and his reaction I wonder) - also the notion that V is scarred by burns from his escape undermines the reasons for wearing a mask.
Reducing Fate’s role in the story means we don’t get the reveal of how V is so able to plan as well as he does, which means Susan/Suter doesn’t get to react to it which dramatically reduces his character - I’m guessing he doesn’t go through the same drastic but inevitable character change he did in the comic.
All plot changes are for the worse and are designed to ‘streamline’ but what’s intended as streamlining comes across as pat and weak, and the cutting out of characters and subplots leads to disjointed storytelling which comes across even in the synopsis - it’s also telling that the things considered unimportant enough to edit out are things that gave V For Vendetta emotional depth and texture.
It’s easy to complain and list all these changes but the big horrible change seems to be in the philosophy of the story, V is no longer such a proponent of anarchy (so I suppose the brilliant scene of V’s conversation with Lady Justice is gone) out to wreck the forces of fascism, he’s now a sort of liberal freedom fighter. Yeah, it keeps a lot of the themes but in typical Hollywood style reduces and simplifies them, which for me takes it even further away from what made the comic so special.
It’s also pretty sad that V For Vendetta looks just like any big film, the comic had such a unique look, couldn’t a bit more thought have been put into the visual stylings.
Maybe if I had never read the comic, maybe if I hadn’t read it at such an impressionable age, maybe if it hadn’t been so brilliant, maybe then I would’ve been able to enjoy the film, but that might have been all I’d done, enjoy it , and that’s the problem, the film of V will be forgotten by many, that seems to be the fate of many big films nowadays, but V the comic is one of the most memorable ever written.
One bizarre postscript that I’ve not seen much about is regarding the novelisation of the film. The V book is written by none other than Steve (no relation) Moore, long time friend of Alan Moore. Considering Alan Moore’s opinion of the V film this seems more than a little odd, is the book an attempt by a friend to readdress the damage the film has done, has Hollywood tried to get one Moore and settled for another, or worse are they unaware of the difference? Weird.