Monday, 12 November 2012
Released on its 50th year, Skyfall would be a strong contender for the best film of the franchise. Having someone as Sam Mendes at its helm most certainly helped – it managed to be just enough deglamorized to continue the trend towards greater realism (not in absolute terms, but relative to what Bond-films have generally been) begun by Casino Royale, and just enough glamorized to make this a high-octane action thriller. And with Javier Bardem playing a former MI6 agent who has turned rogue and is eying for a spectacular personal revenge against M (Judi Dench), the head of MI6, it was reminiscent of Golden Eye, as well as a nostalgic throwback to the earlier Bond films which were marked by megalomaniac and over-the-top villains. If the film’s raw and grimy look, emphasis on realpolitik and difficult choices, and of scintillating action sequences weren’t enough – the fight on the top of a moving train and the bloody carnage at the climax come to my mind immediately – it provided the added benefit of holding a small window to Bond’s scarred past. The aforementioned climax took place at the location that didn’t just provide the movie with its title, but also happened to be the Bond family-house – the photography of the arid wasteland was quite brilliant, and in a way managed to wryly complement Bond’s life too. The most memorable moment in it would surely be Bond’s choosing a ludicrously ostentatious vintage car instead of a more inconspicuous vehicle for his eventful drive to Skyfall. Interestingly, M was as much a protagonist here as Bond (competently played by Daniel Craig) was.
Director: Sam Mendes
Genre: Action/Thriller/Spy Film