The Brits have an odd celebration on the fifth of November called Guy Fawkes Night (alternatively known as Bonfire Night), which commemorates the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605, a failed attempt to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I. Fawkes and his co-conspirators were thwarted, executed for treason and attempted murder, but his legacy lives on through what some describe as the British equivalent to Independence Day in America.
For most, Guy Fawkes Night is an excuse for fireworks, serving as a testament to the defeat of terrorism. Others, however, feel it celebrates terrorism, and more cynical celebrants view Fawkes as a hero and excuse for doing away with politicians; the public even voted the man into the BBC's 2002 list of the 100 Greatest Britons. Four centuries later, V for Vendetta seems poised to cause a similar stir of mixed reactions—an impressive fireworks display with anti-government sentiments.
The film's story takes place roughly twenty years from now. Britain has transformed from monarchy to a 1984-styled totalitarian regime led by Adam Sutler (John Hurt resembling Hitler). Society is ruled with an iron fist of fear. Art and self-expression are censored. Homosexuals, minorities, and Muslims are shipped off to internment camps. Nightly curfews are enforced by corrupt secret police. Even real butter is saved for the rich and elite.
But the social climate is changed dramatically on November 5, when a mysterious dark avenger wearing a Fawkes mask and going by the codename V (Hugo Weaving) introduces himself to the public through a bombing complete with fireworks and the "1812 Overture." The next day, V appears on a television broadcast, encouraging the people of Britain to rise up against their ...1