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'V for Vendetta' or 'W for Wachowskis'?


The opening was postponed last year when London was rocked by a subway bombing that was much like a scene in the film, and the author of the graphic novel the movie's based on has disowned it. Bob Mondello says he understands that impulse.

BOB MONDELLO: The not-so-distant future. America has collapsed into civil strife, and Britain is led by a dictator who has clamped down hard on society, controlling the media, banning speech and assembly, and using thugs as enforcers. A sweet young thing named Evey falls afoul of the thugs after curfew one night and figures she's a goner when suddenly a rescuer materializes from the shadows looking very 17th century in a cape and Guy Fawkes mask and wielding a dagger.


MONDELLO: Unidentified Man (in film): You've been formally charged with three counts of murder, the bombing of government property, conspiracy to commit terrorism, treason and sedition, the penalty for which is death by firing squad. You have one chance and only one chance to save your life. You must tell us the identify or whereabouts of Codename V.


MONDELLO: I'm Bob Mondello. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.