American Decline

How ‘V for Vendetta’ predicted 2020 Pandemic, Civil unrest, 15 years ago

By Samantha Murray

Almost 15 years have passed since V for Vendetta was released, but the movie’s version of 2020 still manages to reflect the real 2020. V  for Vendetta takes place in a world that is of course much more grim than ours. 

In the film, the U.S is in the middle of fighting a second civil war while fighting off a virus with the rest of the world. Meanwhile in the UK, where most of the story takes place,  is a police state and its crazed leader attempts to keep order through strict surveillance, control of the media, and by sending anyone deemed undesirable to concentration camps.

The 2005 film follows Evey, a young woman working for the tv news station, and her involvement with a masked man known as V. When she becomes targeted by the police, she is forced to go into hiding with V.

At some points, it becomes hard to ignore what seems to be this semi prophetic version of 2020. A pandemic, civil unrest, problematic media, and crazy leaders can sometimes seem like a mix of problems unique to this year, but movies like this remind us that these problems have always had a place in society.

In 2005, the UN warned of Avian flu becoming a devastating pandemic, surveillance under the Patriot Act sparked fear across the U.S, and stop-and-frisk still was acceptable in New York City. While the year 2020 may have been a lucky guess on the part of the writers, the Wachowski Brothers, these fears and trends have not subsided after 15 years.

Despite addressing social issues that still have yet to be dealt with, the filming and editing style feels dated. The constant cuts over to unimportant things are poorly executed and make the movie feel more all-encompassing, which distracts from the main action. Watching the over the top news personalities with the Londoners especially feels over the top and like it’s hand-holding.


Leave a Reply