God is in the Rain. It is my favorite line from my favorite movie of all time, V For Vendetta. Every November the 5th since 2006, I have watched that movie, and every time I see something new. Sometimes it’s a subtle quote that I would have missed; sometimes it’s a subliminal message in the background of a major scene. This year, I noticed something a bit more personal.
The basic premise of the movie is that of a revolutionary hell-bent on getting retribution on people who had committed crimes against humanity in order to obtain power. He uses a mask to symbolize the movement and to deflect attention away from himself and more towards the ideals of national unity in overthrowing an oppressive regime. I always saw it in a more literal sense, but that mask took on a new meaning for me this year.
Throughout the course of the movie, we are left begging for a peek at our hero’s features with the main love interest desperate to put a face to the one she adored. But at every turn, he refuses to reveal himself, opting instead to use the mask to “mask” the scars, burns, and sufferings that had brought him to his current state. Here was a man of supreme confidence, a man driven by a sense of purpose, a man who seemed to fear nothing. Nothing but his own reflection.
I would like to believe that in many ways, I too, wear a mask. In fact, I would argue we all put on masks on a daily basis to cover up the true nature of our feelings and experiences. For five years, I didn’t have to wear a mask, not with her. But for the past year, it has been glued on. I don’t think I can even remember the last time I took it off.