Reinterpreting an icon is always a bold move, more so if that icon has aged 50 years since it was first established and has a long future ahead of it to be continuing as a legacy. But director Sam Mendes proceeded with the bold in Skyfall, making more of Bond’s patriotic and emotional dough than any of the earlier ventures, and after viewing the final product one can nod one’s head positive that this risk was worth it, as it binds the audience with one of the best films of the franchise ever! Our confidence in Bond has definitely been restored.
What makes Skyfall exceptional is that it shoehorns the heart within the regular Bondian confinements. The film kicks off with a classy chase sequence in Istanbul, where owing to a mistaken shot by Eve (Naomie Harris), Bond falls vertical off a bridge (straight into some real impressive credits backed up beautifully by Adele’s theme) while attempting to retrieve stolen identities of MI6-operatives throughout the world. Presumed dead, he returns only to chase the playful baddie Silva (Javier Bardem) who’s infiltrated the MI6 database and planted a bomb that could blow up a whole floor of the department headquarters. And blow up it does. Bond’s mission takes him to M’s dark past, her connection with Silva, and to his own traumatized childhood. The final siege in Scotland opens up the big dam of sentiments.
James Bond is determined. And exhausted. Daniel Craig makes sure that both these aspects are convincingly enacted, with regular doses of sarcasm packed in. It won’t be wrong to say that Daniel Craig now owns James Bond! Judi Dench as M is brilliant- especially over the end scenes where her motherly side surfaces. She gets to have the limelight more over herself this time, and she makes sure that her complete potential is utilized in those frames. Maniacally pestering M to seek revenge, Javier Bardem as Silva is one riveting cyber-terrorist who honestly terrifies. He is to Bond was Joker was to Batman. The way his entrance was pictured just adds to the cinematic pleasure, and the interrogation scene totally boosts up hilarity. The sexually charged moments come in a steamy shower with Bérénice Marlohe’s Sévérine, and in a cheeky repartee with Naomie’s Eve. The new young Q (Ben Wishaw) is highly entertaining as the gadget guru providing Bond his required logistics, and it’s nice to have this character back after a two-film absence. Him meeting Bond in an art gallery is nothing less to classic!
Bond-aficionados will get to enjoy some timeless elements from the franchise, which even includes an Aston Martin DB5 kissing the roads, with the director showering the required grace to the previous movies before steering away the concept into a whole new direction. This movie is definitely more British in its soul, with most of the action lived in the heart of Britain. The dramatics peppered in the film every now and then keep the ecstasy flowing, and the LONG climax is immensely satisfying. The cinematography deserves a special mention for painting in so many colors at once and still maintaining that strong impact. Ahh… visually orgasmic!
Sam Mendes gift wraps this beautiful addition to the franchise with utmost regards for the secret services and extreme love for Ian Fleming’s agent. Plus he adds one cake of a story with multi-emotion-layered bread whipped with the creamiest of characters, making this 50th Bond Anniversary truly a special affair. Puff out the candles sire, and Happy Birthday, Mr. Bond.