Monday, November 20, 2006

Casino Royale - A Bond reboot that is well worth it


A Bond reboot after three years, after Pierce Brosnan. Based on the first Ian Fleming novel, this film presents a new interpretation and a grittier, darker and a matter-of-fact bond. Daniel Craig creates one of the most grounded, believable and kick-ass Bonds ever (I know, I know, except Sean Connery).

The movie starts out with Bond engaged in a gritty hand-to-hand combat (in black and white) with an assassin to earn his “00” status. And from there, he sweats out, picking new skills, smoothing the rough edges of his maneuvers. The Bond character is built stone by stone and we get an inside look at the construction process. Gone are the days of the womanizing, smooth-talking, chauvinistic killer. This Bond doesn’t have time for all that stuff: when asked whether he wants his martini’s shaken or stirred, he replies: “do I look like I give a damn”.

There is a spectacular on-foot chase in a construction site, where both vertical and horizontal hurdles are scaled with stunning ease (the chasee’s skills are more akin with a monkey than any possible human). From there, it is a mixed bag. There are some interesting sequences and set-pieces, and long romantic interludes where the action co-efficient is on the low. But, these sequences are never boring, and do serve the purpose of building the core of the character. This film is a set-up, and spends lot of time laying the base-work for future adventures- buckle up.

6 comments:

Naren said...

Your revamp of the critical portal times well with the new flavor of the bond movie.

Its seems Daniel Craig is not the only one who doesnt give damn, "frankly you too dont give a damn"

Good Job.

nmagesh said...

thank u
what we term "critical portals" might as well be a blip in the cacophonous noise that is constantly generated, thanks to the over-paid, under-worked software engineers, and under-paid, null-productive grad students. The world can very well do without this- but, well, ...

Tafosi said...

Yes, this was a good film and much to my pleasant surprise, Craig was spot on as the younger Bond. Much like last years Batman Begins or Spiderman II, the script made the character interesting. While watching the movie, there were two things which I was waiting for, the immortal line and the Monty Norman/John Barry theme music which has been the signature of the previous films. When both of them do appear at the very end, it is as if the movie has earned that. Having said all of this…

I have always seen a Bond movie with certain expectations. One of them being that I want Bond to play a smart alec with wit that Cary Grant would be proud of, whilst switching to a cold hearted killer in an instant. That’s why all of us love and admire Connery. I understand that this being the origins of Bond, the script required Craig to play the role in the way which he did. However, for his sophomore effort, I want him to branch out a little bit. We don’t want Bond to end up like a method-actor. I want him to have that mischievous streak. Hence for now although I am giving two big (copyrighted) up for Craig, I reserve my right to change later on, just like a batsman who scores big in the first innings of a Test match and throws away his wicket in the second (Shyamalan anyone?)

nmagesh said...

Like Tank says to Morpheus: "Good to have you back, Sir"

I somehow like this sort of characterization better. Even while enjoying other Bond movies, I was queasy because of the way women were objectified, and they came up with extremely creative ways to do that (p**** galore - come on!). May be I am barking at the wrong tree, by expecting fairness in a hollywood action movie, but still. But at least in this movie, such blatant trangressions were to the minimum, and the Bond girls were much closer to some version of a human being, and Bond was more focussed on his job.

Joey Tribbiani said...

This is actually moving in the reverse order... so, you might as well expect a big 'O' next ;)

BTW, the Other babe was HOT! wat say?!

nmagesh said...

Absolutely, I say.

Saw her in a couple of interviews- looks even better.