Every new month brings a fresh batch of content to Netflix. And March is jam-packed with loads of cool stuff. Alongside the second season of Bridgerton, there are new titles like Ryan Reynolds’ time travel adventure The Adam Project, and the post-apocalyptic thriller Black Crab. And there is a great one hitting the streamer today with V for Vendetta starring Natalie Portman landing on Netflix.
Billed as a dystopian political action film, the movie featured Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond and Hugo Weaving as V. It is based on DC Vertigo Comics’ 1988 limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in a future where a fascist totalitarian regime has subjugated the United Kingdom, the story follows a masked anarchist and freedom fighter named V, who attempts to ignite a revolution through elaborate terrorist acts. Along the way, he is joined by Evey Hammond, a young woman who finds herself caught in the middle of his mission. As the unlikely pair embarks on their quest, a detective desperately tries to stop them.
V for Vendetta is directed by James McTeigue from a screenplay by Lana and Lilly Wachowski (of Matrix fame). It was released in March 2006 to mostly positive reviews from critics, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes still giving the film a 73% approval rating based on 248 reviews. Additionally, the critics’ consensus calls the Natalie Portman starrer visually stunning and thought-provoking. While the movie’s political pronouncements may upset some, the story and overall aesthetic are very entertaining.
Although some folks (like the BBC’s Jonathan Ross) were a little harsh on every aspect of the Natalie Portman film, it was a massive success with fans. By December 2006, the film had earned $132,511,035 in global ticket sales. On its opening day, the movie dominated the U.S. box office and remained at the number spot for an entire week. Additionally, it debuted at number one in the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. The action movie also sold a ton of DVDs in its first week of sales which translated to $27,683,818 in revenue.
Interestingly, the story’s creator Alan Moore declined invites to watch the movie and asked to not be credited or paid royalties. This was probably related to his dissatisfaction with previous film adaptations of his other works, like 2001’s From Hell and 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Despite this hiccup, the Natalie Portman starrer is regarded by political groups as an allegory of government oppression. Since its release, anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs, wearing the Guy Fawkes mask seen in the movie as a badge of honor when protesting against perceived tyranny. Unlike Moore’s co-creator, David Lloyd told BBC News Magazine he has been happy with people using V for Vendetta as inspiration. “It seems unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way,” he said in 2011.
Natalie Portman was outstanding as V for Vendetta’s Evey Hammond. This is not surprising since she had become synonymous with taking unconventional roles since her acting debut in Leon: The Professional. The movie featured Portman as Mathilda, a 12-year-old who is taken in by a hitman after her family is murdered. Over time she becomes his protégé so she can exact revenge on the people who wronged her. Following her acclaimed debut, the young actress landed roles in Michael Mann’s 1995 crime thriller Heat, Tim Burton’s 1996 science fiction comedy Mars Attacks!, and Ted Demme’s 1996 romantic comedy Beautiful Girls. Three years later, she starred opposite Hollywood heavyweight Susan Sarandon in Anywhere But Here.
But Natalie Portman was launched into superstardom in 1996 for her portrayal of Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. She starred opposite Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. She reprised the role opposite Hayden Christensen in its sequels Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith in 2002 and 2005 respectively. After her trip into a galaxy far, far away, she took a break from acting to attend Harvard University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
In 2011, Natalie Portman joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor, starring as Jane Foster opposite Chris Hemsworth. She reprised the role in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and is set to appear as the character again in Thor: Love and Thunder. Directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The latest installment in the Thor franchise is set for release on July 8, 2022.