‘Rosebud’ and ‘Skyfall': Some musings…

‘Skyfall’ in a lot of sense is an anti-thesis of a James Bond movie, that attempts to decode the persona of Bond, instead of making it bigger and brighter. The movie lacks the grander set-pieces, huge spectacles and the franchise strengths, and instead becomes a brooding and soul-searching effort with the director (Sam Mendis) offering his tribute to ‘Rosebud’. (Orson Welles and ‘Citizen Kane‘)

Sadly, the approach of Mr.Nolan’s unmasking the superhero isn’t the appropriate delineation for a Bond movie.

With some positive reviews (Wired, being one of them) floating around, my view could be seen as counterpoint.  May be a back story isn’t out of the order.

My introduction to James Bond transpired in a rather old fashioned way, when a chummy of mine narrated the lead scene to the opening titles of “The spy who loved me”.

He did it to perfection, including the act of mimicking the the James Bond theme that kicks in when the parachute bursts open. For a ten year old kid, it was a heady experience, imagining the terrific chase, villains chasing the hero and finally hero jumping off the snow clad mountain.

But, the true appreciation for the man who has a penchant for scantily clad women, exotic locales and an assortment of  gadgets n’ cars, came in a little later, when in my early teens, a norm in our household was broken.

It was a routine in our house to fast forward all the rain and item songs in Telugu and Hindi films, and it was never challenged as the powers that be, mostly my father, controlled what came out of the Video Cassette player. However, for some mysterious reasons the Bond films were left intact.

I wonder, if it were my father’s way of telling me that with Bond and God (read Lord Krishna), everything is not what it seems and merely watching them indulge in girls, guns and gadgets wouldn’t influence me (read mortal) in any way :-)

My fascination for the franchise continued even as I picked up years (a-k-a getting old) as I watched bond movies both on the big screen and on home video. It sort of reached a peak when one of my favorite bands, A-ha,  performed the title song for ‘The Living Daylights”.

Interestingly, all along I became a ‘serious’ movie fan itching to dissect each and every movie I watched. While all the other movies were laid to bare on my post-mortem table, the Bond movies (Jim Carrey, Govinda, Manmohan Desai and a few others included) escaped my scalpel of story n’ structure. You could say that I reinforced my childhood gyan about Bond and God :)

 

 

 

Now, you could imagine my puzzlement after watching ‘Skyfall’ and its painful attempt to make ‘sense’ of Bond and his world.

 

 

The director unearths just about everything about the psychological profile of  Bond, barring his extreme virility and libido, or did he make an innuendo that they are on the wane? :-)  He brings down Bond to just an extra-ordinary human being (like in ‘The Expendables” ) and in the process justifies the ‘fall’ in the movie title :)

May be, he should have listened to Steven Spielberg, who (supposedly) believes in following up with bigger things in the sequels in terms of scale and surprise, and sticking to the original ‘format’.

Hopefully, we will have a new director at the helm (and a clean shaven Daniel Craig) for the next outing. Hmm…how about a remake of Dr.No, just to practice the basics?  Hope the folks at Eon, MGM and Sony have something exciting planned for the movies to come.

But, No Dr.s (read shrinks) and  ‘Rosebud’s, please.

 

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