Saturday, November 24, 2012

Skyfall

The year 2012 marked fifty years of the James Bond franchise. It had been already fantastic for Bond in 2012, with an appearance in the opening ceremony in the London Olympics as the Queen's escort. That is perhaps a huge tribute to Bond's contribution about "being British" and  it sealed Bond as a cultural characteristic of Britain. Skyfall, too had a grand premiere coinciding with the release date of Dr. No, which also saw the Totals too in attendance.

So, how is Skyfall, when compared to the previous Bond movies? First, it is very rare in Bond movies to not know who the villain is for the first 20-25 minutes. Perhaps, the only time it has happened is in The Spy Who Loved Me. Secondly, this is the first Bond movie in which the villain has no more than a personal agenda. Raoul Silva's sole motive is to avenge the perceived injustices committed by M when she was in Hong Kong with Silva working under her. In all previous Bond movies, the villain had a motive to achieve either a monopoly which would lead to economic benefits or achieve a stage to be in a position for obtaining windfall economic gains. Except, in Thunderball and From Russian with Love, where the villains wanted to establish a new 'perfect' world. In terms of gadgets too, this is not a very typical Bond movie, especially when you have seen the action involving Q's gadgets. It is more along the lines of Dr. No, where Bond is armed with very minimal gadgetry, a Walther PPK and a bag with fifty sovereigns, a knife and an explosive opening case. I cannot recall Bond finishing off the villain with something mundane as a knife in any movies. This is perhaps because of continuation of the reboot, which began with Casino Royale. Of course, with Q coming back, it marks his trademark requests to Bond about returning the equipment in one piece and we all know how Bond treats it. And finally, after fifty whole years, we know the full name of the new M. And Miss Moneypenny's too. If Gareth Mallory continues as M and Eve Moneypenny is allotted screen space in Bond 24, it is the first time M's and Moneypenny's full name would be known to people. All in all, Skfyfall marks some notable departures from previous Bond movies.

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