Friday, February 25, 2011

Fifty years of James Bond (continued)

The year 2012 will see the Golden Jubilee of the James Bond series. Out of my interest in James Bond, and a habbit of analysing, I have tried to compare the actors who played James Bond over the past fifty years. This is the link for the first part.

The James Bond series was produced by EON productions. This then further passed on to MGM studios, who retained Albert Broccoli as the producer. From Dr. No onwards, the key ingredient was a person or organisation pitting Soviet Union against Britain or USA in some way or the other. The Bond series made good use of the Cold War. And that is why, there was a question about Bond's effectiveness, when they decided to make GoldenEye. With no Iron Curtain, whom would Bond be fighting?1 GoldenEye did see Bond pitted against the remnants of the USSR, but the changed dynamics of world politics did provide Bond with new enemies to save the world from. So, this is my view of how the remaining Bond actors stand.
  1. Pierce Brosnan: The person, whom most people born in the late 70s and 80s recognise as Bond.  If he is Bond, he is Brosnan. Brosnan had a huge task in hand. With Dalton's movies being panned by critics and people terming Dalton's Bond as one of the worst till date, the fate of James Bond, completely rested on Brosnan's shoulders. And he surely didn't disappoint. Brosnan's Bond was a huge improvement over Dalton's Bond. And he was much more humane than Connery and Moore. He did feel pain, both physical and emotional. His body language conveyed the emotions of very slight nervousness when in a difficult situation. He was much less vulnerable to seductions by women, when compared to Moore's Bond, perhaps comparable to Connery's Bond. His attitude was way better than Dalton's Bond. Brosnan's portrayal of Bond is considered crucial to the revival of the James Bond series.
  2. Daniel Craig: Craig's selection as Bond met with a lot of criticism. Most people thought that Craig is not what Bond is, tall, suave and handsome. And they had the right to be apprehensive. After all, Dalton's failure as Bond was fresh in memories of many Bond fans. Craig débuted in Casino Royale, which was used to reboot the Bond series. In this movie, Bond was shown as a novice, aiming to earn his 00-stripes. Hence, he isn't the hardened 007, portrayed in the earlier Bond movies. Daniel Craig has performed the role of a novice Bond to perfection. He isn't the cool and dispassionate Bond, shown in the earlier movies and M has to remind him to not get emotional when on a mission.  Neither did he have the legendary Q's gadgets to assist him. Casino Royale was about the moulding of a 00 agent and Quantum of Solace saw the continuation. Now, it all depends on the next Bond movie  (which has been postponed indefinitely) to see if Craig can play the Bond we know. Cool, dispassionate and typical British in behaviour.
That was my take on the James Bond series. Wish that the latest Bond movie gets completed on time, to be released for Bond's 50th anniversary.
    1. Courtesy Wikipedia
    Fifty years of James Bond (continued)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    James Bond over the period of 50 years

    The year 2012 will mark 50 years since the first James Bond movie appeared in theatres. The series was a run-away super-hit and Bond spawned a series of  secret agent movies. From Dr. No onwards to Casino Royale, Bond hasn't failed to charm us. The gadgets provided to him by Q were simply marvellous, for the lack of better words in my vocabulary. They bordered on the thin line between reality and sci-fi. In each movie, Bond uses Q's gadget only once and most of his cars (from Aston Martins to Lotus) aren't in a position to be used again. Here is my take on the actors who have essayed the role of the legendary secret agent.
    1. Sean Connery: The first Bond. And the legend is etched in peoples' minds. Connery's Bond was stiff upper-lipped, a typical British characteristic. He maintained his cool even in the most adverse situations. Or perhaps didn't display any emotions even then. The only time Bond's nervousness showed out, was in Goldfinger, when the laser beam was slowly edging towards him and he would have died if Goldfinger didn't shut down the laser. Strictly businesslike attitude, though often seduced and got seduced by women. Even while seducing women, he carried a strict business like attitude. His humour too, was typical British humour. In short, a Bond who strictly went about doing his business, without any outward display of emotions.
    2. George Lazenby: The guy got to play Bond in only one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. So, he hasn't been able to leave a trend behind. To me, he appeared more humane than Connery's Bond. Although his Bond maintained a strict business like attitude, his emotions were more visible in some of the emotional scenes. But, he did seem uncomfortable in the last scene, where Bond holds his dead wife, Tracy, and says "We have all the time in the world". At that moment, Bond's voice isn't able to convey the true emotions of sorrow and pain.
    3. Roger Moore: The man who played Bond in the most number of movies, seven. Moore's Bond was humorous, compared to the previous ones. His Bond also appeared a little careless, when on duty, but always managed to get out of difficult situations in a cool manner, which is typical of Bond. He also appears more prone to being seduced by women. Moore' Bond peeled off the typical British stiffness and made him more affable.
    4. Timothy Dalton: Dalton got to play Bond in two movies. He tried to bring back a serious Bond, departing from Moore's Bond, but perhaps failed in doing so. According to me, Dalton is the least impressive of all Bonds over the years. Dalton's Bond appeared a harried and nervous character. The 'cool' attitude that defined Bond, was seldom seen in Dalton's Bond movies.
    I think, I should stop here. Too much for one post. I shall write about the remaining two Bonds- Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig- in the next post.
    James Bond over the period of 50 yearsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend