Skyfall- movie review:
"Bond gets personal, but he is still as tough as old boots fifty years ago."
Sunday 10 May 2015 14:15 GMT
Daniel Craig as Bond and Judi Dench as M in Skyfall
There is trouble at MI6, when a vital disk goes missing exposing Britain’s secret agents, which results in threatening Britain and M. Bond is put to the extreme test to protect his country and his loyalty to M. His mission is to retrieve the disk which takes us on a journey exposing M’s and Bond’s personal past.
With a star studded cast; Daniel Craig as James Bond, Judi Dench as M, Javier Barde as the villain Silvia and not disregarding the obligation of two bond girls, Naomie Harris as Eve and Bérénice Marlohe as Severine. Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall illustrates the traditions and modern characteristics of James Bond film and undoubtedly Skyfall marks the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond phenomenal series. The opening 15 minutes of the film visualises mystery and anticipation as we embark in joining James Bond ruffling through a room whilst his colleague is sat in a chair heavily injured. Bond is focused on the job but is distracted as he shows empathy towards his injured colleague. Bond loses focus and is adamant on helping his colleague, but is swiftly refocused on the job as M orders him to do so, which may come across as M being a heartless cow. We are then thrown into a car chase alongside side with the introduction of one of the Bond girls ‘Eve,’ played by Naomie Harris. The Bond movies have defiantly started to branch out from the stereotypical Bond girl; traditionally in the past Bond movies commonly casted a white female, blonde or brunette. We see now in a Bond a girl with an ethnicity and the character ‘Eve’ is a positive example of this. Also we see our Bond girls embark on a more physical role, not typically with Bond, no, but with the missions. Eve comes of us feisty female and has point to prove to Bond that she is capable of her job; this can also be perceived as a clear indicator of not upsetting those darn feminists.
The scene carries on vigorously as we see Bond going to extremes to complete the mission by battling to the core with the opposition agent in a gripping scene on a train, we see many luxurious cars get demolished and the tearing apart of the rooftop of a train, but don’t worry no passengers got hurt in the process thankfully. As the battling of Bond and the opposition agent carries on to play out, like a school fight in the playground, Eve is authorised to cooperate in completing the mission by M. The scene visualises in a high level of suspense and anticipation as M is thoroughly focused in getting the mission complete, even sadly at the cost of Bond’s life. “Take the shot,” M orders, “I can’t I might hit Bond”, hesitates Eve, “I said take the bloody shot,” M furiously demands, which indicates her desensitised approach of getting the job done. Bang! The opposition agent survives, but Bond is taken out, the credits open and as tradition an iconic song marking each Bond film is entrenched (Skyfall by Adele). The song creates a dreamy vision exposing Bond as vulnerable an aspect which is rarely envisioned in a James Bond film.
Our suspicions of James Bond’s whereabouts after Bond is supposedly killed off by accident in the first scene, in regards to Eve’s hesitation of participating in the mission is revived. Bond has risen from the dead and in true fashion, Bond comes back cheekily testing M’s patience. Although we see that Bond is rather offended by M’s approach in risking his life during the mission, as tough as old boots M makes Bond aware that it wasn’t anything personal. Bond is welcomed back to MI6 with subtle open arms by M, however we see Bond isn’t the youthful agent that he was before; we see Bond struggle to regain his 007 mojo. The struggles of Bond losing his 077 mojo is identified in the scene of the rematch with the opposition agent from the first scene, we see Bond is struggling to hold onto the bottom bards of the lift. It’s obvious that Bond is not only a mission to protect his country but he is on a mission to redeem himself; he has something to prove to himself, that even with his declining age he can still get the job done. However Bond doesn’t allow his physical let down to get the best of him, Bond is determined to solider on to protect his country and the woman he never treated like a disposable item ‘M.’
1 hour and 23 minutes into the film the mission gradually starts to reappear, but hold on a Bond film wouldn’t be a bond film without a sexual encounter. Damaged goods Bond girl Severine played by Bérénice Marlohe is introduced; she not only comes in handy to Bonds sexual desires, but she comes in handy to eventually leading Bond to the culprit of all of this commotion Silva, played by Javier Bardem. The unravelling of the villain Silvia is illustrated by his camp dress code, it is clear that his aim to take over the world is driven by his personal grudge against ‘M.’ We also visualise an even more darker side of Silvia, as the depiction of his flawed face is focused on. Demented Silvia tries to persuade Bond to join the dark side, with subtle hints of a sexual interest in Bond. This unexpected element from Silvia adds humour to the chilling scene and also seems to obviously add to Bond’s ego. Throughout the film Silvia continues to cause disruption refusing to back down from the battle in his revenge to eliminate M, but Bond is right there to save the day.
The film forces M and Bond to engage personally, but not in a sexual way of course, as M is seen as a sort of mother figure to Bond and that would be seen as some kind of incest. Also M and Bond try their very best to not engage sentimentally with each other, as this would be seen as unprofessional. Bond’s last hope in protecting M is to take her into hiding, he takes her to the place of where he briefly grew up as a child. At this stage of the film M is clearly vulnerable, but still tries to act in charge, when clearly she is powerless and the only person who has her back from getting a bullet in it is Bond. The scenes towards the end of the film is where we get to encounter Bond personally. However Bond doesn’t let personal matters get of his “pathetic love of country” and protecting the woman who has faith in him despite his obvious struggle to keep it together as a secret agent.
Skyfall revolves around the character M and is also a tribute to the character M. The film also engages in the classic characteristics of the central protagonist James Bond and the traditions of a James Bond film; but introduces a modern twist which is visualised in the Bond girls role and envisioning contemporary London. Skyfall introduces us to different side a Bond, a side in which previous films have never visualised, a softer and vulnerable side. Maybe this side of Bond will be further exposed in future Bond films?