V is for Vendetta is a captivating film whose storyline is built on politics and people’s desire to change their government for the better. The government, in the film, is presented as a powerful body which functions by instilling fear in the citizens. The government is run by one man Sutler, who is ready to go to any lengths to show people that they need the government. The background of the story is based on events that happened in the past where the government was involved in the death of thousands of innocent citizens by creating a virus which they spread in various places. The creation of the virus was done in some research labs. V was the key victim since his blood was used to carry out the experiments as well as in the creation of the antidotes. Using this, the people involved infected a number of citizens with the virus and after a while came up with the “cure”.
This was a strategy used to gain more power and control over the citizens which was very effective. The citizens did not only reverence the government but feared everyone in it. The citizens lived in fear and lacked freedom, which was something that was not pleasant for everybody. This was the case especially for V whose main aim was to replace the Parliament and revenge to all the people involved in injustice. V lived a life driven by anger and vengeance and used the most extreme methods to ensure that justice was served. When he meets one of the main characters Evey, who he saves from being assaulted, he makes it clear that his aim is to ensure that the government feared the citizens instead of the existing case where the citizens feared the government.
In as much as his intentions were justified, the methods used by V to restore justice arouse different reactions. Some of the methods used by V revealed the heart of a freedom fighter and a person driven by the passion for freedom and the need to create a better society. On the other hand, his other methods presented a terrorist. They displayed a character that did not have any reverence for human lives and would go to any lengths to destroy lives. In the film, he is described as an animal based on the ruthlessness he has on his victims. V states that he does not experience any fear or pain based on the fact that he recognized that there was something that was more important than his life. This is the same attitude he cultivates in Evey who at the beginning was full of fear and did not have the guts to collaborate with V.
The character of a freedom fighter is most evident in the fact that V is ready to lay down his life for justice to be fulfilled. V says that there is something that is more important than his life which is the freedom of his fellow citizens. In addition to that, he does not lose focus of what drives him every day, and that is the need to restore freedom among the citizens. In as much as other people have had the desire to be free from the hold of the government, V is the only one who masters the courage to take on the government by himself.
In the process, he acquires the support of other like-minded people who, unfortunately, were not courageous enough to publicly join forces with him. At the end of the movie, Evey, who still did not know V’s identity stated that V was everybody who had a desire for freedom. He had fought for the freedom of every citizen who desired. The main challenged would be to get a new leader that would boldly lead them through the establishment of freedom. In as much as V appeared as a freedom fighter, he was more of a terrorist based on quite a number of reasons.
V can be described as a revolutionary terrorist based on the fact that he did not fight to gain power from the government but to overturn it. This was based on the fact that he had been key in the experiment that the government had carried out and had been mistreated. In his dealings with fellow civilians, V seems to be more gentle and well-spoken and displays normality as opposed to the image presented to the public, of a sociopath on the loose. Like an ordinary citizen, he spends time on music, cooking and even watching old movies. In his attacks, V is not seen attacking any of the civilians or putting them in danger which supports the idea that he was a revolutionary terrorist. The idea of terrorism, in this case, is seen as positive rather than negative since the motive is for the greater good.
V’s use of explosives and militia weapons is another reason that can be used to define him as a terrorist. As is the case with most terrorist cases, the use of explosives and destruction of the main buildings is something used to communicate their messages or to cause harm to the victims. In the movie, V focuses on the main government buildings and all the government officials involved in injustice. Before completely destroying the government, he targeted all the parties that were involved in the scientific experiments who were disguised as regular law abiding citizens. The methods used to kill them show a level of animosity on the part of V, and brings out a hint of lack of reverence for human life.
In light of the events in the film, it is evident that V cannot be labeled as a terrorist nor can be labeled as a freedom fighter. The methods used to gain freedom were mostly based on necessity and effectiveness rather than the need for vengeance and a thirst for blood. The context of the film implies that there was no other way that the citizens could gain vengeance other than V’s terrorist activities. Apart from that, the reasons that support V as a freedom fighter are stronger than those that describe him as a terrorist.
Most of his terrorist activities are driven by the fact that he was fighting for freedom which projects him as a freedom fighter rather than a terrorist. Based on the definition of terrorism, V could be labeled as a terrorist since he used unauthorized violence for political aims. Just as his identity remains unidentified or undefined, his character is also undefined since it is evidenced by both the characteristics of terrorism and freedom fighting.