Friday, March 24, 2006

How V got Castrated Part 2. The Terrorist who Wasn't.

In the comic book V kills without compunction, seemingly assured of the rightness of his mission. In the movie V kills only indirectly, and is polite enough to warn people in the building he is about to blow up to slip out.

In the comic book V has some quite definite villainous traits. He's a dangerous person to be around. In the movie V is quite a nice person, given more to flowery and well meaning speeches more than nonsense doggeral and mad rantings.

It just goes to show that one graphic novels terrorists is another movies freedom fighter.

But, as referenced above, it neuters the point, doesn't it? If V is just your standard hero defeating an oppressive state, there's no real reason to ever question his actions. On the other hand if V is a terrorist and a hero, than you've set up an intellectual conflict worth thinking about.

It forces us to question what a terrorist is. Are there times when terrorist tactics are justified? In this case, the enemy is certainly villainous enough; does that justify V's actions?

But if V is a simple action hero, or even a complex action hero, the question doesn't arise. The movie V's tactics may be questionable at times, but they never stray into out right violence (and at that, the movie cheats by having the little bespectacled girl he gets killed show up in the crowd before his fireworks display).

The question of the comic book is when are terrorist tactics appropriate. That's a debate one could have for days. The movies question is when should you overthrow a fascist government. That's a debate one could have for minutes, if not seconds.

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