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Daniel Craig & Bond movies, Broken Tradition

Daniel Craig & Bond movies, Broken Tradition

I don’t feel embarrassed to admit that I love certain traditions. In movies, can you imagine batman without joker? Matrix without Morpheus? Hannibal Lecter without the chilling eyes of Anthony Hopkins? With latest bond Daniel Craig, the rich tradition of bond seems to be changed. In fact the Bond franchise now becoming just another regular slick action flick without any particular essence of tradition that many legendary actors and actresses left behind in the past. Every Bond flick is getting better and better in technical department and entertaining but is it really enough for 007 saga? That’s the question.

Bond’s action is always supported by interesting funny gadgets and the master of gadgets, witty “Q”, Desmond LIewelyn served 007 all alone till “Tomorrow Never Dies”. “The World is Not Enough” gave an assistant “R” to help old and tired “Q”. Desmond Llewelyn died in car crash (1999). For the next Bond flick “Die Another Day” “R” replaced “Q” that didn’t seem to work well and the flick was probably the last Bond film for gadgets and the legacy of the legendary “Q”. “Q” was not only just the master of gadgets but he was almost like a father to 007. It was always a joy to watch those small funny encounters between these two when “Q” tries to turn Bond’s attention to the serious business for understanding his gadgets. With the sad departure of Desmond LIewelyn Bond lost his on screen father. Daniel Craig’s Bond seems orphan without “Q”.

Miss Moneypenny was another relief in Bond movies. She was a secretary in the secret service agency and had a kind of romantic relation with Bond. She was not only the part of the story but an integral part of Bond’s life. Its joy to watch their interaction and viewers could sense that this innocent girl is in love with Bond as much as any Bond girl. She was a true sweetheart of Bond. Lois Maxwell brilliantly played Moneypenny for 14 Bond flicks. Dedicated Bond fan cannot imagine Bond without Monetpenny. As Lois grew old she was replaced her with Samantha Bond. But to my opinion Lois Maxwell’s Moneypenny was incomparable. Craig’s Bond doesn’t need this sweet, tender and caring sweetheart. This character doesn’t exist anymore. Now Bond is orphan and lonely too.

In every official Bond flick, the film opens with gun barrel sequence. Bond walks from right to left, suddenly turn towards viewers and shoot. It’s a signature of the legendary Bond franchise. With this opening, viewers set themselves into the “Bond” environment, ready for the journey o faction, fun, beautiful chicks, comedy and a lot. Each actor who played Bond had different style of holding and firing the gun. It was supported by equally interesting score of John Berry and Monty Norman. This great traditional gun barrel sequence is missing in the first two of the Craig’s flicks. For “Casino Royale” they experimented with black and white imaging where Craig turns and shoot opponent during action sequence and the whole screen turn into gun barrel. For me it was a misadventure. The sequence was added in “Quantum of Solace” in a traditional manner but was not effective as it was at the end. Actually you don’t feel like you are watching Bond movie when you don’t see gun barrel sequent in the beginning. Now Bond is not only orphan and lonely but it is not even supported by his extraordinary signature opening.

Daniel Craig’s performance as compared to his predecessors is a matter of debate but his Bond is a cold blooded assassin rather than sharp, intelligent secret service agent 007. He is no more fun loving cheerful guy. You don’t find Craig comfortable with girls like his predecessors. In fact you feel as if he wishes to get rid of them quickly and go to his killing business that he enjoys the most. Desmond Llewelyn, the legendary “Q” once remarkably commented “You must keep fantasy with Bond, and not only fantasy, but pure relaxation and enjoyment. What you want to see is something that you don’t have in this world today. You can just sit back and enjoy it.” I feel this very essence of Bond movies is missing in Craig’s Bond.

Atul Thakur