V for Vendetta is a 2006 British action thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1982 graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in London in a near-future dystopian society, Hugo Weaving portrays V—a bold, charismatic freedom fighter, attempting to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime led by Adam Sutler (John Hurt) that has subjugated the United Kingdom. Natalie Portman plays Evey, a working class girl caught up in V's mission, and Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V.
In the late 2020s, the world is in turmoil, with the United States having been fractured as a result of prolonged conflict and a pandemic of the "St. Mary's Virus" ravaging the European continent. The United Kingdom remains the only stable country, being ruled by the fascist Norsefire party. Under the Norsefire regime, society is heavily oppressed. Political opponents, homosexuals and other "undesirables" are imprisoned in concentration camps. Evey Hammond, a woman who works at the state-run British Television Network ("BTN"), is rescued by a Guy Fawkes-masked vigilante known as "V", from an attempted rape by members of the "Fingermen" secret police while she is out past curfew. He leads her to a rooftop to watch his destruction of the Old Bailey. Norsefire uses the BTN to declare the incident an "emergency demolition" of a structurally unsound building, but V takes over the broadcast to claim responsibility. He urges the people of Britain to rise up against their government and meet him in one year, on 5 November, outside the Houses of Parliament, which he promises to destroy. During the broadcast, the police attempt to capture V. Evey helps V escape, but is knocked out in the process.
V takes Evey to his home, where she is told she must remain until 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night, the following year. After learning that V is killing government officials, she escapes to the home of her boss, comedian and talk show host Gordon Deitrich. In return for Evey trusting him with her safety, Deitrich reveals to her a collection of prohibited materials including subversive paintings, an antique Quran, and homoerotic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. Deitrich explains that he conceals his sexuality to retain his television career. After he performs an over-the-top satire of the government on his show, his home is raided and Evey is captured while trying to escape. She is incarcerated and tortured for days for information about V, with her only solace being a note written by another prisoner, actress Valerie Page, who was arrested for being a lesbian.
Evey is told that she will be executed unless she reveals V's location, but when she says she would rather die she is immediately released. It is revealed that her imprisonment and torture were staged by V to free her from her fears. The note was real, having been passed by Valerie to V years earlier when he was similarly imprisoned. Although Evey initially hates V for what he did to her, she realises she is now a stronger person. She leaves him with a promise to return before 5 November.
Inspector Finch, Scotland Yard's chief of police, searches for the true identity of V, eventually tracing him to a bioweapons program at a detention centre for "social deviants" and political dissidents in Larkhill. Finch realises that the program, directed by then-under secretary Adam Sutler, resulted in the creation of the "St. Mary's Virus" and its release in a false flag terrorist attack. The deaths of 80,000 people and the resulting fear enabled the Norsefire party to win the next election, thereafter silencing opposition and turning the United Kingdom into a totalitarian state.
As 5 November nears, V's distribution of thousands of Guy Fawkes masks causes chaos in the UK and the population questions Norsefire's rule. On the eve of 5 November, Evey visits V, who shows her an explosive-laden train in the abandoned London Underground set to destroy Parliament. He leaves it to Evey to decide whether to use it, believing that he is unfit to decide. V meets with secret police chief Creedy, who made a deal with V to hand over Sutler in exchange for V's surrender. When Creedy executes Sutler, V refuses to surrender and is shot by Creedy's bodyguards. V survives and kills Creedy and his men. Mortally wounded, V returns to Evey to thank her and admits he loves her before dying in her arms.
As Evey places V's body aboard the train, she is found by Finch. Having learned much about the crimes and corruption of the Norsefire regime, Finch allows Evey to send the train on its way. Thousands of unarmed Londoners wearing Guy Fawkes masks march on Parliament to watch the event. With Sutler and Creedy dead and no one left to give commands, the military allows them to pass. Accompanied by the 1812 Overture, Parliament is destroyed as Evey and Finch watch. Finch asks Evey for the identity of V, to which she replies, "He was all of us."