Does “V for Vendetta” celebrate rape? (And other viewer mail.)


The latest letters at CT Movies are very interesting:

I saw V for Vendetta, and I am appalled that the cruelty shown toward the Natalie Portman character has been overlooked in practically every movie review I’ve read.

Why is no one noticing this? This is a film about a rape, not a revolt.

You know what? I completely agree. I haven’t officially reviewed the film yet, but I was very disturbed by the way they ended up showing the abuse of this character in a positive light.

Why didn’t you mention the New Age twist to The Shaggy Dog? As cute as this movie is, don’t you think it preaches a pagan worldview? Buddhist meditation?

Haven’t seen it. Can’t comment on it. But I’m reminded of a recent review by someone named Conny

I bought the DVD Millions based on your review. How can you classify this as the Most Redeeming Film of 2005? It features young boys teaching each other how to access pictures of women’s breasts on the Internet. … I failed to find any redeeming value or character in this movie.

Wow. A film about a child who is driven by a fascination with the saints, and who is overwhelmed by a deep compassion to help the poor and provide water for people dying in Africa, who sees pleasant surprises as gifts from God, who humbles everyone around him with his faith and spirit of servitude… the letter writer didn’t see any redeeming value at all?

And didn’t it occur to him that the saints in the film are supposed to suggest the saints as they might be imagined by a particularly creative child?

Didn’t he notice that the young boy’s preoccupation with photos of bras and breasts on the Internet wasn’t a pornographic preoccupation at all, but a childlike curiosity stemming from a longing for his mother, who died when he very young?

I read your review of A History of Violence after I saw the movie, and your review was insightful and right on.

Why, thank you!!

  • Facebook
  • wngl

    Is that the full title of Hero?

  • opus

    Looks like a fantastic return to the more pastoral films he did several years ago (The Road Home, Not One Less).

  • Charlie

    On your recommendation, I watched Millions tonight — what a terrific movie! It reminded me of Jesus saying to his disciples (Matthew 18) “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.” Only the youngest, Damian, speaks to God, hears God, and has true compassion for the poor.

    I think Millions challenges us to examine our priorities, but in a very subtle and engaging way. Thanks for recommending this excellent film.

  • Kim

    I went on and on for two or three straight weeks to get people to watch Millions. I was saddened that this movie would never have been made here in America – and hoped more movies like it would be introduced. The bra scene didn’t even come up as something I would remember after. It was his genuine love and desire to help that I took away after watching and hoped more people would be similarly influenced. I’m only sorry people forget that young boys ARE going to be curious and that isn’t something you can push away just because it makes you slightly uncomfortable. If anything it should be his father sleeping with a woman in the next room after only knowing her for a brief and abnormal period of time. Really? The BRAS were what bothered them? Really.

  • bethr

    A sad commentary on our fallen state, even among the redeemed. >sigh<

  • Anonymous

    I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended Millions and have had to explain the significance of that scene in the film. I, also, was wary about the scene at first, but when it did make that “right turn” as Chattaway said, I was all of a sudden scrutinizing myself for thinking that everything that involves a breast is irreversibly immoral.

    Of the seven or so people that watched this movie upon my recommendation, only one of them actually understood the scene without my explanation. The other six were never convinced.

  • david

    yeah, that was what really turned me off to the comic series, really. i was absolutely shocked how the whole imprisonment sequence is resolved because it really seemed to approve of it in an ‘ends justify the means’ sort of way. i mean, v is obviously supposed to be crazy and we’re not supposed to approve of everything he does. he’s sort of an avatar of anarchy and so he represents both the good and the bad of that position pushed to its extreme, but the way this one sequence wraps up so nicely really made me feel like alan moore approved of this sort of behavior while disapproving of v’s more epic acts of violence, like he was sympathetic on this issue; identified with the story-telling aspect of it, you know?

    for the most part, i stuck with it. i mean, it’s sort of simplistic, sort of preachy, sort of alarmist, but i understand the sentiment, am sympathetic with the larger point he’s trying to make even if it gets muddled a bit some other stuff. but this bit was just so morally reprehensible. it pretty much killed any enthusiasm i had for the film.

  • david

    yeah, that was what really turned me off to the comic series, really. i was absolutely shocked how the whole imprisonment sequence is resolved because it really seemed to approve of it in an ‘ends justify the means’ sort of way. i mean, v is obviously supposed to be crazy and we’re not supposed to approve of everything he does. he’s sort of an avatar of anarchy and so he represents both the good and the bad of that position pushed to its extreme, but the way this one sequence wraps up so nicely really made me feel like alan moore approved of this sort of behavior while disapproving of v’s more epic acts of violence, like he was sympathetic on this issue; identified with the story-telling aspect of it, you know?

  • Levi Nunnink

    I thought that scene with the bras was cute.

    “She’s nice.”

  • Jim

    I watched Millions with my 10 year old daughter based on your recommendation. I flinched when the scene stared with the brother looking at women in bras on the computer having a premonition (soley based on contemporary movies) where this scene was heading. I was blown away at the large right turn the scene took when the two brothers talked about the real purpose of breast, feeding babies, and remembering their mom. It brought tears to my eyes. In my mind a great flim making moment by confounding my expectations and touching something deeply common to all humanity. I have recommended this film to all my friends.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Does the movie version of V for Vendetta ever specify that the Portman character is “investigated” gynecologically when she is admitted into the prison? I don’t think it does, but the comic is pretty specific about this. (And I believe we are not supposed to see the face of the person who does any of these things, including shaving her head — the fact that we can see the man’s face in this photo is probably an accident.)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X