Films | Skyfall – Movie Review

Skyfall – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on November 2, 2012 | No Comments

FILM – Skyfall
PRODUCER – Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli
DIRECTOR – Sam Mendes
WRITER – John Logan, Peter Morgan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
CAST – Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe
MUSIC – Thomas Newman

What began with Dr No in 1962 has completed 50 years with Skyfall and that phenomena is called Bond, James Bond. And yet again he proves, what mere dare-devilry won’t do vintage does.

This time the sauve and world’s best-loved spy is on a mission to retrieve a hard disk that has information about NATO agents and finds himself declared dead after an impossible accident. True to his heritage he survives and comes back to claim his legacy. The renewed mission finds him travelling to Shanghai where he confronts badman Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) who is gunning for M (Judi Dench). Bond’s mission has found an even more razor-sharp edge.

The latest (and 23rd) film in the Bond series, Skyfall stays as much true to tradition yet stands apart for various reasons. Mind-numbing action sequences and of course Bond’s much-fantasised about gadgets find a fitting expose, fanfare that is essential by now meant for the galleries. But then galleries apart, what is Bond without his zany gadgets and thrilling stunts? So, we have enough whistle-worthy moments as Bond sashays around zapping the bad guys and wooing his women while travelling in exotic locales shot with beauty and mood by the impeccable Roger Deakins.

What we aren’t ready for though is the touch of sentimentality that makes this Bond film into a more serious affair than we are used to watching. Bond revisiting his childhood (Skyfall is the name of the 16th century Bond family mansion where the climax is played out) and the sobriety which the death of M16 agents imbues upon M and us. Clearly, this is not just a fun-n-games film.

Even when he is playing a Bond that’s not only all steel and suave, Daniel Craig comes across as a spy we’d root for. Given the largesse of the boots he has to fill, he does even a better job by winning us over with his undeniably charming repartee (some of the wittiest Bond dialogues here)and touch of vulnerability that shows us glimpses of the man behind that larger-than-life personality. We get to watch the true spirit of Bond when he is pitted against a slimy and over-bleached Javier Bardem, a villain the brilliant actor plays to perfection. Judi Dench’s M is as regal as ever and seems to be paying a certain tribute to the Queen herself. Ben Wishaw as the young spy Q is as sprightly as the old-age-youth theme he embodies demands. Naomie Harris is sparkling as Bond’s counterpart on the field and Berenice Marlohe as the Bond babe looks the mere glamourous part she is meant to portray.

For all its energetic action and somber mood, Skyfall remains a new age spy thriller that is well-told and immacutely packaged. With Craig donning the Bond mantle, the Bond films lost (or purposely moved away, one never knows) the class and sophistication that made its world magnetically charming. This one has more than enough to warm the hearts of die-hard fans and satisfy action lovers but it proves that the days of the true Bond legacy are unlikely to come back.

FATEMA KAGALWALA

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