V for Vendetta
Analyse how the structure helps you understand a character
Barack Obama once said “The true strength of our country comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals.” This quote shows the power of ideas and thus their ability to change the world as does the film V for Vendetta by James McTeigue. This message is portrayed through the protagonist, Evey Hammond through her development throughout. From the beginning the structure helps the viewer understand the character of Evey and therefore elucidates the theme of how ideas can change the world to the viewer. The techniques of the audio track, costuming and special effects are used to show the development of Evey Hammond.
Non-diegetic audio is used in the opening scene of the film due to Evey’s voice over of the scene of Guy Fawkes being hung. This being the initial scene introduces us to Evey through her voice and also shows that the following scenes of the film are a very long flashback. This could be heard through her use of past tense verbs. Evey in this voice over says, “I have witnessed firsthand the power of ideas, I have seen men kill in the name of them.” This indicates that the structure of the film is of a flashback from the present and the events that shaped the present. In other words Evey has already got to the point where she has realised the power of ideas and is telling the story of her realisation.
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Costuming was a technique used and contrasted from the beginning of the text to the middle where the turning point occurs. The initial scene showing Evey introduces her to be a young woman trapped in hopeless surroundings. Her naivety and innocence is shown by her costuming which is feminine thus directly linking in with her innocence. The first time we as the viewer see her she is wearing a sophisticated black dress and her having long, curly hair. This greatly contrasted to the middle section of the text which showed her straight after she had been liberated from her imprisonment. At that point she is wearing a shapeless orange prisoner outfit and her head is bold. Evey is shown to have learnt how a simple idea such as hope could change her world. While incarcerated, Evey had read some letters from a past prisoner who tells her to find her “last inch,” which is “small and fragile but the only thing in the world worth having.” This is also what her captor V, a notorious freedom fighter, is trying to teach her. The costuming at that stage shows that Evey has been stripped to the bare minimum before realising this truth. The idea of hope has changed the way she lives as life became less sophisticated and more primitive in such a way that she has to now make her priority her life. However at this point Evey is presented to the viewer as a person who has had her world changed due to the contrast of her clothing from the beginning to the climax. She has turned from a sophisticated young woman into a person of simplicity like a Buddhist monk who’s main goal in life is to let go of life’ s luxuries and live life in simplicity. However Evey has psychologically got stronger in the sense that she is no longer scared of the authorities as she used to be. Therefore through the structure she is shown to have grown as a person.
Special effects are also used in the closing sequence of the film to portray a victory for Evey’s character as well as the majority of London. The fireworks and explosions of the buildings of parliament is an indication that Evey has passed on her idea of hope to the people of London. She pulls a lever which indirectly destroys the buildings of parliament as “this country needs more than just a building right now, it needs hope.” As the buildings explode so do the fireworks which were all special effects. As this occurs a feeling of freedom is spread across the population of London just like the fireworks spread throughout the night sky. As fireworks are generally associated with celebration the ending scene shows the enormity of Evey’s success. It also indicates that Evey has got to the present and is able to show us this through her triumph.
... was considered widely from the simple imitation to an abstract idea. European costume, as the department of fine arts, has embodied mimesis ... phenomenon of mimesis, the body-like European costume itself was the embodying of the idea of “perfect” human body in accordance ... the phenomenon of the body-like costume is connected with the intention of the people to change their physical appearances in order ...
The techniques of non-diegetic audio, costume and special effects show how Evey’s character has developed into the person she had become at the beginning of the film. Through this development she found the strength of her character and also the ability of an idea to change the world. This idea of hope in this case is an important one as even in the societies of the past and today. Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist imprisoned by the Nazi Army, mentioned many incidents where people gave up hope thus causing the reason for their death. Even today for some populations to give up hope could be suicidal in areas of Africa plagued by poverty, in parts of India where dengue fever wipes out thousands and even in New Zealand where cancer patients are on the brink of death. Through the structure and Evey as a character we can find our “last inch.”
By Shalini Abeykoon