With 9 awards including the BAFTA film award and 16 other nominations, the new Bond movie, Casino Royale, has taken the world by storm. With a run time of 144 minutes, the movie pulled in $167,007,184 at the US box office. Casino Royale was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade who were also the writers of ‘The World is Not Enough’ staring Pierce Brosnan, the most famous Bond. The movie was released in the US on the 17th of November, 2006. It stared Daniel Craig as James Bond with leading lady Vesper Lynd played by Eva Green. The movie was directed by Martin Campbell who also directed ‘Golden Eyes’ staring Pierce Brosnan. Casino Royale is rated PG 13 for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity. It was filmed in Italy, London Prague, Pinewood Studios, the Bahamas and Czech Republic. The film was distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing and Sony Pictures Releasing International and was produced in the United Kingdom.
Daniel Craig depicted Bond before he became the emotionless fighting machine we know him to be. He lacked the invincibility that we expect from heroes. He did not always make the right decisions and made major mistakes in his judgements of situations and people. He was a character that people could actually relate to as he dealt with failure, love and heartbreak. He was human, something that causes some to love him while causing others to despise him.
In Bond’s first mission as 007, he went to Madagascar where he was supposed to spy on a terrorist Mollaka. He disregarded the rules and ended up making a mess of his first mission. To redeem himself, he follows a lead to Bahamas in order to track down the rest of the terrorist group. The MI6 assigned accountant Vesper Lynd to watch him and be his pretend lover. A romance escalates between the two and later resulted in Bond’s change of demeanor. In the Bahamas, Bond came in contact with Le Chiffre, the banker of the world’s terrorist organizations. He learned that Le Chiffre was planning to raise money in a high stakes poker game at Le Casino Royale and decided to play against him in hopes that the loss of the large sum of money would result in the destruction of Le Chiffre’s organization. Allowing his pride to get in the way, Bond almost lost, allowing Le Chiffre to walk away with the money. Thanks to a CIA agent, Felix Leiter, he was able to stay in the game and ended up winning. He planned on quitting his life as a spy and travelling the world with his love, Vesper, until the money ended up missing and she ended up dead. Heartbroken and betrayed, Bond finally loses his human quality.
Throughout the movie, I could not help but to constantly compare Daniel Craig to Pierce Brosnan, my favorite Bond. To me, Daniel Craig did not fit the image of Bond or that of a hero. He looked wimpy and had blue eyes and blond hair. He was handsome in a pretty way, not in a hard edge kind of way. I was only able to accept the movie when I was informed that he was playing Bond in the beginning of his career. I convinced myself that eventually his hair would turn black and his eyes would darken and he would eat some spinach and grow up a bit. I was also unimpressed by his lack of skills. He got outran from the beginning of the movie and was close to death too many times. He lacked strength and was nothing without his gun. What he did not lack however, was bravery. I was not impressed by his fast cars, big guns and cockiness. I wanted to see him tear someone up or get out of a battle unscratched.
At first, I thought I wanted Bond to be like the other Bonds, unattached and ruthless. That was until I saw him in a very human situation, comforting Vesper in the shower. Then, he became a hero to me. He did not have to be the strongest or the fastest anymore. I did not care that he was outran or that he was small and blond. He became a hero because he could protect the girl, and that’s what heroes’ jobs are ultimately. Vesper also ended up saving Bond’s life twice when it would be expected to be the other way around. As a woman, Bond’s need for her, which should have been viewed as a weakness, was a good thing. It gave some power and importance to the female gender and they became more than just arm candy.
This movie was better than I expected it to be and I enjoyed watching it although I would not have spent my own money to see it. It gave me an understanding of who Bond was before he became the man I know him to be. It gave the impression that anyone could be Bond and that Bond is really a human being before an agent and not the other way around. Casino Royale was another great piece of work done by Martin Campbell, although I still do not agree with his choice of Bond. To me, there will always be only one Bond. Only one true James Bond.