Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Symbols and Motifs in V for Vendetta

In the film 'V for Vendetta' directed by James McTeigue, the use of the narrative feature of  symbols and motifs accurately help to show the main themes of the movie. A symbol is a object which represents an idea. In V for Vendetta, the symbolism of the V, the party's emblem, the shot of Chancellor Sutler, and the mask all help to show the main ideas of the film.


One of the main things that the audience sees as a symbol is the V within a circle, often seen in red. This symbol is everywhere and  reoccurs many times in the film, which really hammers into the audience the importance of this symbol. It is one of the first things we see of modern times, and
reappear throughout the film. It is the symbol of the character V, and his movement and rebellion against he governments ways. It begins to appear more as the movie progresses, like being spray painted on walls and being made out of dominos. This shows how the symbol of the rebellion is growing stronger, and how, although it is just a symbol it now holds power in the people, and people believe in what it stands for. it becomes a symbol for the uprising, and for people rebelling against the controlling government and breaking free from the fear installed in them. The symbolism of the V helps to show one of V for Vendettas main themes, rebellion. It shows how when a symbol's idea  is believed in by people it gains power and becomes a force. I believe that this still happens today in the real world, with people willing to fight for their flag, or fight or do something for a cause or idea. The actual design of the logo shows V surrounded by a circle. This shows how the actual character of V began the revolution, and know the idea of it has spread around the people. It is also coloured red which is the colour of extremes. It's the colour of passion, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. This further shows what V is fighting for, the right to be able to be free and to do what you want to.  However, it also symbolizes the anger and thirst for revenge that V has, and shows that maybe his intentions arent as pure as the audience thinks.

There is also the symbolism of the baptism of the two main characters. We see the scene of Evey, standing, being washed in the rain, and cut into this is the scene of V in the fire. These scenes symbolize a rebirth, and show the importance of this moment to the characters spirit and being.
In the scene of V, he is surrounded by fire, showing he is burnt and scarred.  He was made and created by fire, which symbolizes he has anger from his rebirth. This is the moment that creates V, as a vengeful and violent human. This further shows that V is not entirely the perfect freedom fighter, he is full of angry fire, and is out to get revenge.
However, Eveys baptism is in the rain. She is being washed, perhaps symbolizing the washing away of her sins, and cleansing her being. This symbolizes she is pure and true, and is in the revolution for the right reasons. She welcomes the rain and her rebirth, where as V is angry. The symbolism of the Eveys baptism shows she is a good person, and that she isn't filled with anger as V is, but she is full of virtue and morality, and is part of the revolution for the right reasons. This is further enhanced by a real baptism, showing she is saintly and angelic, and has good values.
The symbolism of the baptisms help the audience understand the characters of V and Evey more, as to why they want to start the revolution. The audience sees their rebirth and the changing of these characters lives as they are reborn. The baptisms in both cases created theses two characters, and changed their future.

The Guy Fawkes mask is also a big symbol in V for Vendetta. The mask is what we see of the main character, V. Other people also start to wear the mask, and at the end, all of the protestors wear it. V wears it to hide who he is because he was burnt so badly in the fire. However, it becomes a symbol for the rebellion and fighting for freedom form the government. It is a mask of Guy Fawkes, and this makes it seem to the audience like V holds the same motives and Guy Fawkes does. One of the biggest things the mask represents is hiding who V is. This makes it so V could be anyone, showing that the freedom he is fighting for would mean something to everyone. This is further shown when Evey says "he was all of us."  As the audience and V himself do not know his past, the mask, the ideas he is fighting for becomes him when he has the mask on. His identity is the mask, and what the mask symbolises. By wearing the mask,  V becomes something larger than human. He becomes the living embodiment of an ideal. This is something that more people can follow and believe in. When other people start to wear the mask, it becomes even more of a symbol of rebellion, and when everyone wears it to the parliament, it shows that although everyone is different there is the same need for freedom and want for justice that V has, within everyone. The symbolism of the mask really helped show the films main ideas of rebellion, and how ideas are stronger than a man, and can be within everyone.
Mostly every time we see Chancellor Sutler, the shots of him are zoomed up close and projected onto the wall, making him giant in comparison with the other people in the scene. By the director doing this, it is symbolising the great power and strength of Sutler, and how he is in charge, and that he is all powerful. It shows he is the leader, and a kind of big brother. It also effectively shows how Sutler is villainous, because he is the only one so big, he is the dictator, and he rules with fear.  This depiction of Sutler as a large and all powerful character shows the themes of totalitarian and the terrible affect that ruling with fear has on a country.