Bond. James Bond – James Bond
Skyfall -To make a last stand against a group of people when outnumbered and on your own turf
Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is about James Bond (Daniel Craig) the womanizing MI6 agent who is on a mission to recover the hard-drive containing the covers of NATO agents embedded in various terrorist organizations around the globe from Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) while M (Judi Dench) tries to not succumb to the pressure exerted by government officials via Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes).
Never has a movie stood so true to its title. It is a battle fought on the home turf, in the heart of London itself. Turmoil is the nature of Skyfall. Undoubtedly, Skyall is the most tense Bond movie ever made.
Bond movies had transformed into a complete action franchise while Pierce Brosnan was Bond. Although I am of the opinion, the Brosnan was the best Bond, the movies he starred in left the Bond franchise in total shambles. They are one of the best action movies ever made, but undoubtedly nowhere near the original Bond movies.
Then, came Casino Royale, which with a doubt is the greatest Bond movie ever made. Then, there was Quantum Of Solace, which was not good but did pleasantly have a cameo from my gal, Stana Katic. And, now there’s Skyfall.
It has been over 50 years since the Bond series began, and Skyfall is a boom. Skyfall begins with a heart pounding motorcycle chase which I think is one of the best shot action sequences in recent times. The Bond movies have been always been a source of fascination for me because it is the only movie franchise which manipulates the score so much that there are times that you feel disappointed when there isn’t a theme playing in the background. If any of you want to actually see the improvement in the Bond franchise, you should see Dr.No, the first Bond movie. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good movie, but Bond was undeniably trying to find his grounds and so were the technicians. The main Bond theme, however awesome it may be, is used so many times in that movie to fill in the gaps in scenes where it is not even suitable. There are only two times the main Bond theme is used in Skyfall. Once for the opening shot of Bond and second for the appearance of Ashton Martin DB5. And more than style, it was used to bring back the vintage memories we have regarding Bond.
I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have watched all the Bond movies released up to date and that may be one of the reasons I enjoyed Skyfall much more than my friends. Skyfall has very sharp dialogues but the way it pokes fun at the gadgetry of the previous Bond movies is praise worthy. Ah, the dialogues ! One of the reasons this film transcended the boundaries set for Bond movies is that it seriously downplays the normal, ultra-stylized dialogues commonly seen in Bond movies. Keep it real, keep it simple and keep it effective is the mantra used in Skyfall.
Cinematography one of the movie helps it to stand out among many. Roger Deakins is the cinematographer for this flick and the way it looks is just beautiful. Colours are spread over the canvas by Roger’s cinematography and yet within these burst of visual exquisiteness, Bond stands out.
Daniel Craig was met with a lot of criticism when he first took on the role of Bond. But those who say he is not good as Bond even after watching the movie, should have their mouths sealed with a duct tape which should be further sealed by lac so that they don’t utter another verse of stupidity of such order again in their lives. Daniel Craig is perfect as Bond, out doing his renowned predecessor Sean Connery. What makes this Brit from Some Voices stand out among the other Bonds is his rugged look. All the other Bonds were perfect in their appearance, but Craig has a rawness inside of him which fits in perfectly with his character.
This Bond film also brings about the tradition of great Bond songs. Adele’s electric voice fills a void that had been left open in the Bond franchise for 10 years. James Bond is not an action hero and Adele seems to know that. The previous Bond songs were recorded as a celebration of Bond’s ultra-stylized vigour and his insatiable libido, but this song brings forth a loving side of the man we know as James Bond, a side which had been buried deep for a very long time.
The celebration of Bond’s night time exploits is kept to a minimum in Skyfall. There are two Bond girls in this movie, and three if the regularly flirtatious Eva Moneypenny is included. The movie keeps Bond’s sensual exploits to minimum because Skyfall is not just one of Bond’s missions, it is MI6 at turmoil.
Javier Bardem gives us one of the most vicious villains of this decade in Silva. Best Bond villains are the ones who are in control. They put Bond in turmoil. Bond’s thrill is defined by the tension radiated by these villains who won’t stop at any cost till their mission is fulfilled just like Bond himself, which sort of made them an alter-ego of Bond himself. They are in control of the plot and manipulate the events to their convenience till the climax, where the tables turn on them. Enough of world domination, we needed a real purpose and Silva’s tragic past gives us just that.
Thomas Newman’s score is pure. As I have mentioned before, the main theme is abstained from the soundtrack so that the turmoil set to motion in Skyfall doesn’t seem like the panache that the previous Bond movies had in store for the audience. And, there is a scene in which Bond escapes from bad guys and Komodo dragons, and then hands out a suitcase to Eva. He then stylishly walks away from her with a smirk on his face. I have never heard something that a pure from a composer. That theme was so short but it undoubtedly stayed with me even after the end. Do look out for it if you are to watch Skyfall.
And of course there is Dame Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes ! One of my all time favourite actors, Ralph conducts himself superbly in this flick justifying every second of his time on screen. There is a hell lot of Judi in Skyfall. M as a character has always been an enigma. But the way Skyfall explores her past as well as her relationship with 007 is commendable. Judi Dench was always downplayed in the previous Bond movies starring Pierce but the way she has been put into limelight in the Daniel Craig ones bring back the subdued acting prowess in this British great.
Skyfall is a high-octane, emotional and dark Bond movie which revives our nostalgia and love towards Bond movies. The artistic viewpoint of Sam Mendes’ direction accompanied by the cinematography which is undoubtedly a masterpiece of cosmic proportions, brings back the womanizing MI6 secret agent with a bang and is undoubtedly one of the best Bond as well as action films ever made.
Rating : 9.1 / 10
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