Invincibility is passe. Being human is in fashion.
Skyfall exhibits a perfect fashion statement. The atypical Bond movie with super sexy gadgets & gizmos, lass beauties with an evil touch, an impeccable Bond, an always good M, an old Q, a car that will make you go weak on your knees and likes are missing. And, that is with pleasure! It is getting in sync with the changing facets of spy movies that are being made in the recent past. Bond is gelling with more sense than he ever has! Apparently, the Bond franchise understood that it makes perfect business sense to make the Brit spy more real like Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne or even Nathan Muir. Skyfall just makes that statement it is in the same league and it has moved away from the flimsy Bond films of yesteryear! Brit spy just shrugged his shoulder with American counterparts from Langley.
His name is still Bond. James Bond. And, M still ask him, “What took him so long?” Yes, the subtle elan of Brit wit that was overpowered by an Yankee flavour is rescued in Skyfall. With perfect suiting as ever, Daniel Craig wears some of the finest suits in the film. The girls, which may not as over powering as in other Bond movies, still make a mark as we see our new Money Penny in Naomi Harris and French beauty Bérénice Marlohe dying for Bond, even as he fails to kill her. The subtle steam of romance is very elegantly portrayed.
Yes, with 50 years with Her Majesty’s Secret Service and with 23 films under his belt, Bond is getting old. He is fragile, both emotionally and physically as never before. He is not only romantic, as he was in Casino Royale, but he is also emotional about his childhood, his parents, his relationship with M, his home; Skyfall.
Another refreshing facet was the new Q! Young, smart, geeky, intelligent, the character of Q gets a complete revamp. He may not believe in smart toys that Bond movies are famous for but he knows what he is doing. Until once! Silva fools him once but he bounce back quite astutely. Ben Whishaw, as Q, has refreshed the idea of techno genius of MI6.
Judie Dench, as M, makes an poignant exit as Bond’s boss for seven movies. She remains a brute, no nonsense, headstrong M that earns her the adjective of ‘bitch’ by none other than James. But, she knows why he is the closest one. May be, Raoul Silva was another one. Two rats that survived in the island! But, she was reminded how her sins scratches heart with every step that she take. Until, Bond tried to save her but failed as she died in his arms seeking an answer to a question that she has been asking him all along. ‘What took you so long’
The film revolves around relationships that M shared with both her agents, 007 and Silva, the disgruntled ex MI6 agent who was abandoned by her in the past. Silva, played by ‘brilliancy guaranteed’ Javier Bardem, is again subtle in his brutality. The cyanide story and its result makes you question about M decision. He is brilliant for what he has done but I felt he could still be exploited for some more intensity, some powerful drama!
Bond is old, fragile, hurt, failed. He died, and come back to life. His emotions resurrect as he watch his favourite takes a hit. M ask him to take the tests seriously and he does, unlike old James. He appears and he fails, miserably. He shoots and misses the target by more than what is acceptable for a OO agent. But, for the love of Bond, M presses James into service to go after Silva. Eventually, Bond plays Silva’s cards and almost lose control of the game. And, then he excuses himself to the beautiful homeland, Skyfall. Scotland!
The hand to hand fight, the fall off the moving train into the gorge, the conventional and traditional means of defence, the fight with his James’s father shot gun against an army of machine gun wielding of Silva. He fights smartly, valiantly, prudently, and yet, eliminates Silva in the most conventional style. The weapon that was chosen to eliminate Silva was awesome and as common as usual. The drama and simplicity excited an ardent Bond fan who is used to suave, sophistication and sexism.
The cinema-photography by Roger Deakins captures the exquisite pristine beauty of Istanbul, damp London, dark shade of Scotland, oriental Macau and splashing Shanghai. It was a delight to watch frame after frame.
And, for me, the icing on the cake was this! James Bond tweaks in the goldfinger as he drives down Aston Martin DB5 across the beautiful landscape of Scotland. Priceless!
Watch it for your love for the Spy who loved you, thrilled you, let you live! His name is Bond, James Bond.