Daniel Craig is making a return as James Bond for the third time with ‘Skyfall’. The movie has released today in India in a big way, with huge expectations. Judy Dench, Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes accompany Daniel Craig in this action flick. Sam Mendes has directed the movie. Let us see how Skyfall is.
British Secret Service MI6 and its boss M (Judy Dench) have a major crisis on their hands as a top secret hard drive is stolen by a very wily enemy. The drive contains the names of all deep cover agents currently working against terrorist organizations.
The enemy this time is not a foreign power. Rather, it is one of their own. MI6 and M are caught off guard as former 00 agent Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) wreaks destruction within the agency and personally targets M. The head of British Intelligence and the agency itself come in for some scathing criticism from the public and the Parliament.
M must now turn to her most trusted and capable agent, 007 a.k.a. James Bond. But does Bond have it in him to take on this masterful enemy? Is he still the lean and mean fighting machine that he was? That, needs to be seen on the big screen.
Plus Points :
The movie has surprisingly well written dialogues and is actually a gripping drama. The characters are well etched and there is a good amount of old fashioned intrigue in this spy drama. Daniel Craig delivers a fantastic performance as James Bond. Personally, I feel he is almost as good as Sir Sean Connery when it comes to portraying Bond.
Judy Dench has a very crucial role in this movie, unlike other Bond flicks. In fact, the story revolves completely around M, the character which she has portrayed with great finesse. Ralph Fiennes lends good support.
Javier Bardem is a very intelligent villain. His fight is more cerebral than physical. He has carried off his character’s dandy appearance with ease.
There are a few memorable scenes in the film – The opening bike chase sequence, the scene where the vintage Aston Martin is revealed and the climax scenes.
Minus Points :
The biggest issue I have with this Bond flick is that it is not a Bond flick. It is a good spy drama, no doubt about it. But when you say James Bond, what comes to mind? Beautiful women, flashy cars, exotic locales, grand action set pieces and, gadgets. You will not find any of these in ‘Skyfall’. The best gadget Bond has in this movie is a Walther PPK that works only with his finger prints. How lame is that?
The pace of narration dips a number of times in the film and for traditional Bond fans who seek action packed entertainment, the film will be boring at times.
Despite Javier Bardem’s menacing introduction, his organization and apparatus are never really shown. He strikes too easily and with impunity at the heart of MI6 on multiple occasions and how he does this is never realistically established.
MGM had financial troubles while filming Skyfall. This is very evident in the movie. There is no grandness in the proceedings.
Technical Aspects :
Cinematography by Roger Deakins is superb. He really comes into his own once the film shifts to Scotland. Editing could have been better. Adele’s title song is good and so is Thomas Newman’s background score.
Sam Mendes has succeeded in delivering a gritty spy drama. But has he succeeded in delivering an entertaining Bond film? I would say no.
If you watch Skyfall without expectations, it is a decent spy drama.Here, James Bond is old, wise and mature. He thinks intelligently, acts rationally and does not use gadgets. Do you want to see that kind of Bond? Perhaps, Sam Mendes tried to portray Bond in a more realistic light. But then, realistic espionage is actually boring. Many generations of movie lovers have a deep fascination for James Bond because he gets away with things that we can only dream of. I want that Bond back.