Warming to Craig as Bond, admiring the artistic confluence in ‘Skyfall’

Skyfall. I went to see the latest Bond movie this morning. For a 10AM show on a weekday, the hall was pretty full. So much for the holiday season being over, I thought!

Despite the rather dramatic starting sequence (it was absolutely delightful for me to see Daniel Craig tearing through those very endearing street of Istanbul that I visited this summer and literally fell in love with), Skyfall was rather evenly paced compared to the typical Bond film.

I found myself savoring some of the scenes, actually taking in the confluence of the very apt and clever background score and the brilliant cinematography that captured the essence of London, Shanghai and then Scotland so artistically. Specifically, the fight sequence inside the the Shanghai office building with the bizarre graphics forming the background, ostensibly one of the famous Shanghai neon displays, was a treat to watch. Bond and his opponent were shown in silhouette and their fight was choreographed as you would a contemporary dance sequence. Quite nice!

Towards the climax, the scenes are shot on the dark, stark Scottish moors. The quality of light in these scenes not only reflects the landscape around, but also the mood of the film at this point when hope has dimmed out and death seems imminent. I thought this bit was well done.

Perhaps its my perspective that’s changed, but I saw a distinct departure from gimmicks and antics and a greater focus on emotion in the movie. And, like a friend put it, the emotional and vulnerable side of Bond appealed hugely to me. I wonder if its the same for other emotional people, like me! Daniel Craig’s rugged looks combined with his ability to emote using very minimal and subtle changes in facial expressions and body language make for a powerful commentary on how an orphaned secret agent negotiates his trysts with danger and his allegiance to his country and employer, as well as as how he confront mortality, aging, defeat……

In this movie, I have warmed to Craig as Bond. Its taken me this long and I have been appreciative but ambivalent until now. Today, however, I must acknowledge that Pierce Brosnan (my favorite until now and the only other Bond I have followed, the rest being before my time in a sense) spent most of his time as Bond playing the fool and enjoying the gimmicks. His role as Bond often appeared like an extension of his role in TV drama Remington Steele (those of you saw that would get why this is funny). Craig is entirely different and his impact lies in his minimalist style, his perfectly chiseled, absolutely beautiful body and the values of loyalty, focus and perseverance that his character exhibits. Things do not come to him effortlessly and easily, he struggles and he wins because he does not have the option of losing, his defeat simply costs too much!

Of course, no review of Skyfall can go without mentioning the absolute brillinace of Adele’s rendition of the title number. Her voice captures so beautifully the struggle, the depair and the kindles hope by evoking the idea that humanity can stand together and fight the forces of evil and destruction. Words to remember and repeat to yourself everyday….

This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again

For this is the end
I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment
So overdue I owe them
Swept away, I’m stolen

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

At skyfall
Sad skyfall

Skyfall is where we start
A thousand miles and poles apart
Where worlds collide and days are dark
You may have my number, you can take my name
But you’ll never have my heart

Let the sky fall (let the sky fall)
When it crumbles (when it crumbles)
We will stand tall (we will stand tall)
Face it all together
At skyfall

Where you go I go
What you see I see
I know I’d never be me
Without the security
Of your loving arms
Keeping me from harm
Put your hand in my hand
And we’ll stand

Let the sky fall (let the sky fall)
When it crumbles (when it crumbles)
We will stand tall (we will stand tall)
Face it all together
At skyfall

Let the sky fall
We will stand tall
At skyfall

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About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on November 20, 2012, in Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great to know that you enjoyed the movie and finally warmed up to Craig (he definitely is my favourite Bond till date) and you very aptly put that he doesn’t have the option of losing. He fights the hardest when he is cornered which makes it so exhilarating. Even without the gimmicks he is a superhero for me, in fact more so now.
    Loved the song and glad you mentioned Adele in your review, nice touch 🙂

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