Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The sad story of Skyfall: James Bond turns Harry Potter

There was a glimpse of it in Quantum of Solace. The inward-looking James Bond but there was not much of it. In Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes, the inward shift is complete at many levels. The outward sign of this inward shift is to be seen in the fact that the villain is now an insider, played by Javier Bardem. Perhaps he could have avoided playing the role. The enemy-within concept indicates that Bond has now no option but to look inside himself at times. Bond was always looking out in many ways. Now he gets back to ancestral, childhood home in a rather austere English landscape complete with grey skies.
There is also the black girl friend, played well by Naomi Harris, reflective of multi-racial Britain.This is the nice part of the story. Berenice Malrohe remains the sultry woman on the periphery but with a troubled history of her own.
The ultimate irony of course is when Judith Dench quotes Tennyson's words from the anthologists'favourite poem, Ulysses. It reveals that the game is over, the time is past but one has to go on because that is what one is supposed to do. This brooding Bond saga does not sound good at all.
Many people have expressed an extreme fondness for this 23rd Bond movie. Is it because they have grown up with the Bond adventures and they too are in a pensive mood like their hero?! Mendes the director and former husband of Kate Winslett, has also tried to add an inward dimension to the movie, visually. The new place where the MI6 is relocated after the terror attack on the headquarters is an old place, reminiscent of old times. Then the homestead of Bond himself and the hunting rifle of his father. Britain looks a bit lost. There is nostalgia. Bond is not meant for that.

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