Sunday, November 16, 2008
Quantum of Solace: Or care to join the "Bring Back Bond" campaign
I knew James Bond was in trouble the moment he stepped out of a pool -- water glistening over his over-built muscles -- in Casino Royale. It was all wrong. Bond had lost his sexual confidence. He had waxed his chest hair, given up on one-liners and raised eye brows, built up bulk and developed a pout. Verbal smoothness had given way to bodily smoothness. Bond was no longer eyeing women, he wanted to be eyed by them. He would no longer have women falling in love with him. He would be falling in love.
The just-released Quantum of Solace just pretty much killed him for me. He is no longer the person I knew and loved - full of humour, irony and complete shameless devilishness. A man who joyously went about seducing women, bringing down buildings, crashing cars, and just, by the way, saving the world. QoS sucked all the joy out of poor Bond. He is just another silly secret agent now, who kills and broods.
What's up with all this brooding heroes, anyway: Brooding Bond, Brooding Batman, Brooding Bourne. It is as if all the men of world have simply forgotten how to have fun, while playing hero and winning hearts. They are too busy getting their hearts broken. Sure it is real, but really, it is no fun.
I would excuse Batman's broodiness, especially in his new new Joker movie. The multilayered plot is trying to make a point about real heroism involving willingly letting people misunderstand, or worse hate, you - as long as it serves a larger purpose. The cause is greater that your personal misery or joy.
In Bourne series too, it makes sense to some extent. It begins with him quitting the life of an action hero -- so naturally, it couldn't have been terribly pleasant.
But our new Bond is not fighing for any larger cause. He was quite willing to quit the cause for a life of on a beach with his girlfriend in Casino Royale. Which means that he was either working for the money or the joy of it. In Quantum of Solace, the joy was replaced by revenge, which he managed to get too. So really, he is going on for for no reason other than money or sheer cussedness. Either way, I refuse to feel sorry for him.
Instead, I call for the creation of a "Bring Back Bond" movement. Care to join anyone?