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The train conversation communicates on several levels. It's also a reference point for later moments in the story.
The spoken dialogue isn't always to be taken literally, while still making an important point. M asking Bond if he can remain emotionally detached is probably the best example for that. Of course that's his problem, whatever he says to his boss.
I'll stop there.
Oh, I should clarify: I know that doesn't have to be taken literally, but M should already know from her prior conversations with him that Bond isn't very emotionally detached from his work. And that remains the case at the end of the film, where he continues to pretend to be emotionally detached when he's on the phone with M. There's no point in the movie where he isn't pretending to be emotionally detached. Given the lack of development in Bond's character, I'm left wondering why the issue is being discussed out loud so much. I can't tell if it was written for him to actually be detached at the beginning, and Craig played it differently, or what. I mean, M was lecturing him on behaving more 'dispassionately' earlier in the film and not long after seems to think Bond can't help but be emotionally detached?
Not even 38-year-olds! ;) But yeah, her first lecture is about how he should be more dispassionate, and the next seems to express regret of how emotionally detached he is (and she is obviously very mistaken about that). Maybe she thought her first talk landed really, really well?
Had they opined a bit less about what kind of guy James Bond is, I just think it would be easier to make sense of the movie through interpretation. I mean, people do that anyway, glossing over incoherencies, but it's all the easier if they don't say a bunch of contradictory exposition out loud.
I am with you on SP, except that I liked it from day 1. What I don't get is all the hatred. I understand when people say that they were disappointed with the film following SF, but "the worst film ever made" or "a worse Bond film than NSNA"? Come on. I find that hard to believe.
You’ve shown us what kind of character Bond is in the first-half and now we can explore that character through dialogue and interactions with other characters, especially M and Vesper. And those scenes are placed are integral moments throughout the film. The whole film doesn't do it. And their backstories aren't explained through monologues, that's not the point of the scene, the point of that scene is to reveal character through dialogue which is done perfectly in conversation, while setting up good conflict between Bond and Vesper from the off. The same with M.
As for the quote I posted, yes, Bond, more than not, is hiding his emotional attachments. Remember, Bond continually lies in that scene at the beginning and at the end, saying that he didn't tell Solange his name or what he was after, but he did. She knew he was called James, and he kept asking her about her husband and even mentioned Ellipsis? And he says in so many words that emotional attachment isn't his problem, and we come to learn it's a lie because of Vesper. His relationship with Vesper is less of a 180, and more that Bond deep down wants to connect with someone emotionally, which is why it's so easy for him to do so with Vesper, and wants to leave for the service for her. It's just that her betrayal is what sets up the Bond we know, as M says at the end:
"You've learned your lesson."
Being cold and unemotional is Bond's armour. As Vesper implies in the hospital, he's got it back on, but he says shes stripped it from him. Armour isn't something internal, armour exists on the outside, protecting what's inside, which just reinforces my point further.
I wouldn't change anything, some interesting elements from the source material may have been thrown away, but overall it was all for the benefit of what we got, and what we got was a well-rounded James Bond with interesting characters that each carried emotional weight, and everything felt organic.
Perhaps they're confusing disappointing with worst. There is plenty to like in SP and a lot not so good, but nowhere near the very bottom. Mixed bags are a far cry from those where the majority doesn't work or feel mass-produced to push out the product.
I only mean the train conversation is contrived in the sense that no two human beings talk anything like that. It's a bit like when Bond and Jinx meet.
Well, yeah. He's emotionally attached throughout the movie, beginning to end. We don't learn that because of Vesper. He's attached to killing a couple of bombers (and gets chewed out over it), he's attached to Solange, he's attached to Vesper. I agree that there is definitely no 180 anywhere here, which is my point. He's clearly pretending to be detached when shown Solange's body, and he's clearly pretending to be detached when he says 'The bitch is dead.' The needle never moves.
The dialogue and framing occasionally, and hamfistedly, suggest that the movie thinks some kind of development is happening, but it's not happening in the showing. He gains a suit and a theme song at the end, but he displays the same bravado he had in the first 30 minutes of the film. So what are all these characters really talking about? They're 'telling' of a character arc that doesn't happen. Is it not weird that M tells Bond to be less emotional in one scene, and then later talks as though he's famously detached from human feeling?
I never really needed a Bond origin story before 2006, but Casino Royale kind of makes me want one for the guy in that one movie!
There's a lot of hyperbole in fan opinion, I guess. Both ways. I love OHMSS, and if it's someone's favorite, that totally makes sense to me, but there's a fair amount of goofy stuff in that film, and the montage-dependent love story is not quite as earth-shattering as some make it out to be.
Miami has never looked lovelier on film than in Casino Royale! ;)
I get selective reading in professional literature. I guess we all skip the dry stuff there. ;-)