One of names behind the most distributed media franchises of the fiction universe is that of James Bond. One of the most difficult characters to portray in cinema is also Bond. To simply say that Bond is ‘all things desirable, and not, about a man’ would be unarguably reducing his status from that of a cultural icon, which he deservedly holds in the screen scheme of affairs.
Everything, crazy or calculated, Bond does, has to grace the upper echelons of all-things-cinematic-suave and style, such is the hype that the character of 007 has generated for itself over the years. A spy who does-it-all, an assassin who kills-them-all, blue-eyed British actor Daniel Craig, the sixth Bond, is celebrating his 51st birthday today and we take time out to assess the man who has successfully rebooted the franchise for the new generation.
Craig fits the role of Bond as aptly as he fits in the tux. A perfectly pensive face is not all that he brings to the table. On Craig’s birthday, which also marks the year that is his last outing in the titular role as agent 007, we take a look at the sweetest and the baddest moments of Craig’s career as Bond. The director, entire technical staff and action crew have to be credited with making some iconic scenes come alive, but Craig the most, because it was him who was representative of the face and the legacy spawned in the wake of Bond affairs.
Bond drinks to death in Skyfall
What does Bond do when the MI6 calls on its agent to take the shot on Bond himself? Well he escapes and while everyone is thinking that he is dead, Bond takes a sabbatical and drinks himself to death on the beach and how. In one of the slickest drinking game shown on screen, Craig as Bond, after getting shot by his own people, is on an island, drinking whisky with a deadly scorpion sitting on his hand. The scorpion knew no better of what he was getting into, before he is trapped by Bond in the shot glass itself. For the lovers of Bond and his risk taking ways, a pulsating scene indeed. Even off duty he likes to live off the edge.
Bond struggles underwater in Casino Royale
Bond’s image is associated with that of a philanderer, but when Bond loves, he gives it his all, even for a lost cause. When Bond jumps underwater in Casino Royale to save Vesper (Eva Green), who is drowning because she knows that Bond knows of her involvement in the money fraud, charged emotions come to a point when Bond has everything to lose and nothing to win. But Bond insists on saving her. Pathos is sewn into the desperate attempt he makes to save her, elevated only through orchestral music and editing. But most of all, through Bond’s love for Vesper we see a humane side to him. He fails to save her and claims that ‘the bit** is dead’ but his soul is broken in the process, even though he might want us to see otherwise. A moment indeed in Bond franchise.
Bond saves M in Skyfall
When Silva (Javier Bardem) is out for M’s (Judi Dench) blood in Skyfall, only her trusted agent 007 can save her. As psychopathic Silva escapes police custody, we follow Bond in a worried attempt to save M, in what can be termed as a prodigious chase sequence on foot. Heck, Bond has to escape an oncoming tube, twice! But he eventually saves M, and not before a few lives are lost as collateral damage. Through the entirety of this 7-min sequence, the odds are tipped in Silva’s favour, but Bond wins by a whisker of a margin and a healthy stroke of luck, and evades with M in her own car, masquerading as the chauffer. How he can turn the tables is an understatement.
Bond fights the Bolivian government in Quantum of Solace
All at stake, Bond has to go in, with no back up, whatsoever. He has had his back against the wall, well, so many times, but when he goes into fighting the bad guys in Quantum of Solace, he takes the fight to the Bolivian government, literally. In a greatly choreographed fight scene, Bond is practically shooting his own way to get to the enemy. Add to that the fact that the hotel is blowing up minute by minute. So relentless is Bond here that in order to capture the man behind it all, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), he saves him by holding on to his scalp, while everything else burns down to the ground. Ruthless Bond is at his worst here.
Bond is saved in Casino Royale
Just as Bond thinks he is winning the poker game against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), his martini is laced with poison and he has to leave the game midway. For him, things can go south any moment. He is struggling to breathe and is too weak to save himself. Even though his swanky Aston Martin DBS V12 has a defibrillator, still Bond needs saving. Vesper steps in to revive a dying bond. Tension is built in the way that Bond is struggling to survive, and a spare gun is his only choice. A masterpiece of a scene that spotlights the vulnerability of the killer himself.
Sadly, Craig has to hang up the gloves as agent 007 after Bond 25 releases in 2020. After being caught up in multiple delays, interestingly, the next Bond film has a working title now--Shatterhand. We can only hope that his replacement is as cool and cruel as Craig himself. In Craig, Bond came into his own and not the other way round and that is the legacy he has left in his wake.
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