Nov 7, 2012

Skyfall-some thoughts

Judi Dench as M, fends off criticism of her seemingly redundant department quoting lines from Tennyson's Ulysses before she's cut short to face her nemesis. Now, that for a Bond movie, is stretching things quite a bit, isn't it?

You wouldn't expect Bond to be drunk, winning bets in a nondescript pub, or going through a regurgitated phase of training to prove he is ready to be on field duty. But you will not only see Bond as the unshaven, sunken-eyed droll, you will then see him resurrected.

Towards the end, though, he plays out an adult version of Home Alone with such profundity, you'll wonder why I even bothered to make that allusion in the first place. But, I just did, for he defends not only his vulnerability, he comes out looking like someone you've just known within a span of two hours and forty minutes and not someone who's done this all his life. And, that you've seen different men doing this with panache. Craig, as Bond, manages to portray a form of rage, that makes you feel here is a fist fight, with fate and time.

Like W.B. Yeats (who revered Tennyson)  wrote in The Second Coming, that the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity, but surely, there must be a second coming at hand. Therefore, the past revisits in a new form, a more bestial form but with intellect heading it, and in this case, Sam Mendes, that's why this Bond movie is not just an in-your-face bullet.

Jean Genet, the French dramatist, had written this play The Balcony (the only work of art I have read by him) in which, portraying, among other things, the emptiness behind roles of authority. And perverseness. The movie, like Bardem's menacing hands, expose the scars on Bond, the skin behind the opaque and must I add, expensive robe.

There are gimmicks in the movie, there's high-wired drama, but there's also apprehension felt that the end is near. Bond and M cannot win, for they're too small, weakened by time and they're bloody sentimental. But, there is closure, there's a fake British bull dog at the end, to remind Bond that he must, while being old, continue to learn new tricks, and carry the flag. 

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