V for Vendetta is based on a graphic novel writen by Alan Moore in the 80s. Many colleges have this book in their curriculum.
I have not finished the book myself, but I have noticed the movie adaptation is mostly true to it. But not 100%
In the not-so-distant future, the "former united states" as fallen as a result of a futile over-seas war which has crippled much of europe. England has risen into power by way of media manipulation and fear/faith tactics. Their once elected leader assumes role as a totalitarian..."for the people's protection."...after an alledged "biological attack" that killed 80,000 people.
Persecution of minority groups, homosexuals and non-christians soon follows. Possession of questionable, offensive or "blacklisted" music, books, art, films and demonstrations of political satire are all punishable by death.
Like in any such oppressive society, a revolution is inevidable. As V quotes "The government should fear it's people. The people should never fear their government."
V for Vendetta is about the makings of such a revolt. A tortured, but charming soul, V sets out to assasinate the chain of command in the government's regime and pave a way for the people to rise against what's left of it. Meanwhile, he demonstrates his determination as he demolishes government buildings and hi jacks TV stations to announce responsiblity for his actions and broadcast his agenda.
On his path, he adopts Evey, the daugther of political activists who were executed for their "crimes." V teaches Evey what it takes to be so driven by an idea that you do not fear dying for it.
Children under the age of 15 may not find this movie very appealing. There are many long winded rants in reference to Shakesphere and revolutionary events. The violence, although not terribly gorey, is quick and bloody.
The world in which V for Vendetta takes place in, is cruel and desperate.
Children and women are often abused by figures of authority with no one (except V) to save them. There is one scene where a little girl is shot dead by a police officer for defacing a Big Brother slogan in her neighborhood. As a result, the people turn against the officer, beating him with shovels and other garden tools.
Evey's good friend reveals to her in private that he is "living a lie" as a heterosexual TV host and shows her his private collection of black-listed items included a Quran, a piece of pop art mocking the chancellor, and photographs of his gay lover. Later that night, he is beaten and dragged out of his home by police for a Benny Hill-like stetch he wrote for his show in which he mocked the government's incompetence.
While imprisoned, Evey discovered the auto-biography written on toilet paper by a lesbian telling her tale of persecution and imprisonment. In this tragic story, the woman onced lived happily and peacefully with her same-sex partner until police were sent to tear them out of their home, imprisoned, tortured and put to death.
This is the same case for most character's background stories. There is a lot of pain, anger and fear throughout the movie, which younger viewers may not understand.
But the happy ending is that they all become free to be who they truely are. Free of fear and free of persecution. These are ideas that people kill and die for everyday.
Overall, the story is touching, revelant and smart. It takes some deal of understanding both historical and current events to appreciate V's violent resolve without condoning the violence itself.