Wednesday, November 25, 2015

James Bond is 53 years old in the movies, and he acts his age in 'Spectre'. Audiences are angry and disappointed

The first James Bond movie, 'Dr. No' came out in 1962. That is a long time back for today's and yesterday's audiences. They are not able to make sense of James Bond. The once-upon-a-time reputed British intelligence service is really a relic even in fictional terms. Of course, there was something nicely British about Bond. He was well-mannered and he killed the problem guys politely and he wooed the women with what can only be called British sense of decency. But that is all history. For a long time, and even in it heyday, James Bond thrilled audiences worldwide because of the girls and the guns, the exotic locales, the gadgets. All of these still exist in today's Bond movies -- which I take to mean the last three ones, starting with Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) and now Spectre (2015 -- but the thrill seems to have gone out of it. People complain that these movies disappoint because there is not enough action and there is a little too much of talk.

More objectionable is the fact that Bond, played by the competent Daniel Craig, has become vulnerable at the emotional level, and he has become a brooding Bond instead of the rakish Bond. The reason for the change in James Bond is the fact that the master spy has grown old at the job. He does the work of an assassin, but knows that there are other things in life as well. This point becomes more evident than ever in 'Spectre'. Madeleine Swann, played by the sultry Lea Sedoux, the French actress, asks a pointed question to Bond in the movie: what would have he preferred to be if he had a choice apart from being an assassin. Bond is stumped and fumbles for an answer. This is what irritates the Bond audiences. There is no room for this kind of an emotional clap-trap in an action movie like that of the Bond ones.
The nature of the enemy too has changed. We have seen it more clearly in 'Skyfall'. The enemy is within the system, and not just outside. And the theme continues in 'Spectre' as well. It is shown that the intelligence agencies are trying to control everything and they want to transform themselves into a behemoth for the purpose. The villains in the agency consider Bond to belong to the medieval ages. There is some truth in the charge that Bond belongs to a chivalrous age, which is almost antediluvian if nothing else. He is a late 20th century incarnation of the medieval knight. Instead of riding a horse he drives a Rolls Royce, and instead of the lance he wields the gun. Like the knight, Bond is bound by the unwritten code of honour. The new villains are out to turf out the old knight.
Earlier, no one was keen to know about Bond's family or childhood. The issue comes into play in this movie. And that is indeed a dampener for the audiences.

The only problem with 'Spectre'is that the beautiful Italian actress, Monica Bellucci, is only guest star and does not have good enough role that she so richly deserves.

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