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Friday, November 2, 2012

SKYFALL - The Evolution of James Bond


The release of the 23rd film in the James Bond series is an indication of how wildly successful this Character is . Why do we love him so much? Is it because he is so good looking, a minimalist and absolutely ruthless at what he does (even love !!). Why is that women love this character and men want to be this character? In human cinematic history, this character has to be the most endearing one till date, cutting across countries, languages, cultures .... James Bond is a cult and I hope they make movies about his exploits till my physical presence on Mother Earth.

You would have guessed by now that I am a Fan- A Big one and Likely to remain one forever. This piece is inspired by Skyfall- the latest in the Bond saga featuring Daniel Craig at his vulnerable best.

So what did I like about Skyfall ?

It has all the shades of good, evil, indifference  etc. It displays 'M' as a person who has the capability to take harsh decisions (even if it means the death of Bond)! Her fortitude in continuing while secretly grieving , over the death of her best agent. The underlying tension between Bond and 'M' displaying a Mother-Son  relationship, with the orphaned Bond displaying undying faith in 'M' inspite of her seemingly impersonal and harsh Decision.

The role of the Bond Bimbo has been now diminished considerably and I would say, kept to the "Bare Essentials ". Both the bimbo's are pretty, have acted their part competently (except that I would have liked to get to know the Severine - (Bernice Marlohe playing the girl friend of Xavier Bardem- the villian) a little better. Her role was a bit wishy-washy but I am sure they director had his constraints. A "coloured" Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) is a departure from the earlier ones (she actually shoots Bond! and then Sleeps with him - Hell hath no fury.....).

The Plot is OK- A hard disk containing the identities of NATO Agents is stolen by Patrice - a mercenary hired by Raoul Silva (Xavier Bardem).Raoul was an Ex MI6 agent, who exceededhis brief and created problems for the MI6 with the Chinese. M traded him with the chinese for the release of 6 agents. Raoul survived the Chinese torture and then went on to become a Hacker for Hire. In the process, he made millions and then started a grand plan to kill M. The entire story is all about how he seems to have planned everything and how Bond outsmarts him by taking the fight to the place he grew up - SKYFALL.

What I did not Like
Everything is too pat in the movie. A cold Blooded Villian would kill his enemy and not hob nob with him or give him a gun!!! Normal police men dont stand a chance.The story is always about some list getting stolen and agents getting compromised and finally, the ease with which Bond can travel across countries... just doesnot fit.  I would put it down to creative licence and the audience taking it for granted that "its always like this". I mean , how can one survive a 200 Ft fall in a river, get shot in the chest with depleted uranium shells and still survive..!!!!

Overall, I rate the movie extremely watchable for its Back to the Basics approach and M not apologising for decisions taken that could have led to his death.. Daniel Crag as usual is superb and has an animal magnetism to him, Xavier is excellent as the Pansy but cold blooded hacker who makes a move on Bond. The photgraphy is excellent, especially the turkish market chase and the drive to Skyfall... Over all, there are many changes and I would'nt like to spoil the surprise.. so go watch it.. !
Rating - ****
Oh.. and Adele's superb rendition of Skyfall... hear it !