Great films appear every year and with them are potentially classic scenes that may become more famous than the film itself. The shower scene in Psycho, the chariot race in Ben Hur, the chest bursting moment in Alien, and the opera music sounding across the prison yard in The Shawshank Redemption are just some of the examples of the classic celluloid moments that we may be familiar with even if we’ve never seen the film. I’ll be sharing my favourite film scenes, some you will know others may be unfamiliar, but hopefully they’ll be moments you enjoy as much as I do.
V For Vendetta (2006) – V’s Final Battle
James McTeigue’s 2006 adaptation of David Lloyd’s graphic novel is akin to the frightening visions of the future straight out of Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World. Set in a fascist Britain, ruled by a brutal totalitarian government, headed by Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt), V For Vendetta contains many moments of escapism but a lot of it depicts a nation that could be a reality, isolated from the rest of Europe and turning to a dictator to spare them from war and suffering. It’s not a scenario Britain faces at the moment but years from now, who knows?
The film focuses on Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) who is wandering the streets of London outside the government’s designated curfew and is nearly the victim of rape before a mysterious figure in a long cloak, donning a hat, and wearing a Guy Fawke’s mask rescues her. He introduces himself as V and his party piece for the evening is in blowing up the Old Bailey. V (Hugo Weaving) draws on the past of Guy Fawkes by destroying the Old Bailey on the 5th November before hijacking a TV network to broadcast his vision for Britain’s future, delivering the promise that in a year he will destroy the Houses of Parliament. Adam Sutler is determined to stop him, not least because of the way V’s actions suddenly awaken a subdued and frightened British public. The rest of the film leads up to the fateful night of 5th November with V and Evey becoming drawn together by the government’s suspicions that they are allies. In the build up to the pivotal day V kills key figures that are currently part of the government or have had associations in the past. These links also involve V and are the main reason he has dedicated the bulk of his life to revenge. When the 5th November approaches V has only two more targets in mind from the government – Chancellor Sutler and the brutal Mr Creedy. With V having stirred up public discontent towards the government, Mr Creedy finds his position under threat, leaving him open to making a deal with V.
In the London Underground V meets with Creedy who has brought a group of armed men along for protection. Their agreement sees Chancellor Sutler brought before V where he is bereft of his fearsome speeches and instead weeps pathetically before V instructs Creedy to kill him. In exchange for Sutler, V has agreed to surrender to Creedy but when the moment arrives he refuses to comply, his revenge now almost complete. With armed men protecting him, Creedy mocks V when the vigilante insists a first round of bullets will need to kill him, otherwise he’ll kill everyone in sight before they can reload! Creedy has his men open fire on V who is left hunched over when the last bullets have left their guns. Suddenly he rises, produces his knives and proceeds to take out all of Creedy’s gunmen one by one. The scene uses slow motion to track V’s progress as the men desperately try to reload their guns. Only one succeeds but ends up with a knife in his head before he can fire. V is hit by another round of bullets from Creedy before killing the last of his nemeses. Walking away from the battle, V removes an iron vest, riddled with bullets and blood, and throws it to the ground. Heading deeper into the Underground, V is now staggering, stumbling briefly against a nearby wall before continuing, though a patch of blood is left behind, a clear indication that V’s wounds are sadly fatal.
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