I was disturbed by several features of "V for Vendetta." I found the movie to glorify not just violence, but torture. And then it made revolution to be a non-violent wonderful thing (you can't have a Hollywood movie without a happy ending, can you?). But one of the main arguments against revolution is that they are indeed bloody, uncertain, violent and ugly. The romaticization of revolution has a huge effect: it allows for easy justifications. Hence we can look at a functioning society with less freedom we would like (hey, that sounds like ours) and raise start dropping the "R" word, as if its an easy solution to whatever problem. But it isnt. Revolutions are dirty, messy affairs where lots and lots of innocent people get killed, and lots of guilty ones, too. Hobbes knew this well, which is why he was against the whole idea. No, if a movie is to tackle the problem of fascism and revolution, lets have a real look at it, not the Hollywood version. This of course is compounded by celbrating the violence of V himself. And why? Would the violence have been justified if V had not been tortured? If the state had not created the crisis of the bioterrorist attacks? If we just had the all powerful fascist state, but people got there without coersion, would that justify V's violence? (ah, the first interesting question!)
But that was not what I wanted to talk about. Instead, it was the torture of Evey. According to the film, her torture makes her free. Listen to that as I repeat it: through torture, she becomes free. And she becomes free because she doesn't fear death anymore. She is unafraid. OK, let me make this clear: Torture does NOT make people unafraid. It breaks them, and makes them always afraid. Torture does not make people free. It robs them of their humanity. It may make you realize there are worse things than dieing, but that it not necessarily a good thing, and leads to suicide. People at Auschwitz were not free because they realized they would rather throw themselves onto the electric fence than live another day. In short, violence is not a way to overcome existential angst.