CASINO ROYALE: Masterpiece?

edited April 8 in Bond Movies Posts: 4,238
I've written a few of these essay types for some of the Brosnan Bond films and they provided lively debates before, so I thought I'd share some thoughts of Daniel's first outing, Casino Royale:

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The first thing that immediately hits you when watching CR is quite how good-looking and stylish the film is. Its all quite shocking considering the film was directed by the same Martin Campbell who made 'Vertical Limit' and 'Beyond Borders' only a few years previously. I know 'Goldeneye' was an excellent movie but the sheer ambition of telling the story of Bond’s origins immediately outweigh Campbell’s earlier 1995 effort. It’s almost like the director had a personality bypass – and the style is helped along with a rather remarkable turn by DP Phil Mehuex. I know Roger Deakins won plaudits for his work on 'Skyfall', but Mehuex’s lighting and camerawork here is great and the movie is beautifully glossy, opulent and stylised. It’s by far one of the greatest looking Bond movies.

The pre-titles are one of my favourites in the series for the simple reason that it sets the tone for the next two hours so well. The black-and-white and intercut nature of the first and second kill feel all very art-house but there is still an undercurrent of humour there (albeit very dark) but more importantly the film sets out one of the big thematic concerns that runs throughout the film: Violence and the repercussions of said violence.

This is a film full of rather gruelling and often very difficult-to-watch fight sequences. The violence is hard-hitting and the fights do make you winch (a lot has been said about the bathroom and stairwell scenes but a really underrated fight is actually between Bond and Carlos inside the tanker – a great claustrophobic battle). But this isn’t a Tarantino-esque glamorisation of violence, yes the film does linger on the violence (occasionally to harrowing extends – eg, Obanno’s murder and Vesper’s final suicide) but what makes it work is that the character’s really pay for the consequences of the violence. There’s a real pain going on at the centre of CR.

After Bond kills Fisher he’s almost sickened when he looks down at the man’s dead body, and Dryden knows it; “He made you feel ‘it’, didn’t he.” And that’s the point; we really feel 'it' - emotionally and physically. After watching him battle we’re just as drained as Bond. It’s even evident after Bond kills Dryden and we get a brief glimpse of the man with his family in a photo framed on his desk. It's very likely that Bond knew he was killing a family man, after all he was rummaging through Dryden's desk for his gun so I'm sure he saw the photo. It really feels like people are losing things emotionally in this movie. The real masterstroke was moving the gunbarrel and incorporating it into the film as it plays into the whole ‘creation myth’ angle the filmmaker’s have decided to explore in CR; but also as the first colour we see is Fisher’s blood flowing down the screen; it seems an important symbolic gesture as at this point there is no going back for Bond – he is a man forever with blood on his hands. The black-and-white representing his life before.

The pain this violence causes really shows that Bond is losing something; most likely his own humanity as the killings begin to take their toll on him and start to eat away and corrode at his soul. This is a very similar dilemma to Fleming’s Bond. Marring this together with all the fun, excitement and humour of a Bond film, we’re really on to a winner.

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And that brings us nicely on to the man himself: Bond. In a good ‘Bond movie’ it’s the plot that moves the film forward, in the bad ones it’s often the gadgetry and action sequences but CR takes a different route as here the film is built entirely around Bond. In a rather unusual turn, 'Casino Royale' is actually a character piece with a marvellous conceit to it – how did Bond become the man we know and love? When we first meet Bond in DN and he introduces himself to Sylvia Trench he arrives as a fully-formed character, never needing to explain or justify himself and it was always a massive part of his allure, but after over 40 years and 20 films the character had stagnated. CR is a breath-of-fresh-air as Bond immediately becomes more of a human-being as we see the journey of how James Bond became 007 and what it emotionally cost him.

The plot really takes a backseat as its the character himself who is given predominance. For instance the opening parkour chase is a perfect example of developing character through action – Mollaka is a seasoned professional, he’s quicker, more graceful and better than Bond in every way. Bond is sluggish, ham-fisted, clumsy and makes tons of mistakes but he keeps going. Why? Because he’s a tenacious, driven and determined to get the job done. While Mollaka uses his environment to get around to his advantage, Bond has to destroy his environment to get his target.

Campbell knows how to string an action sequence together as the stakes are constantly being raised throughout the multi-tiered segment, it makes Sam Mendes’s attempt in SF even more obvious as a Martin Campbell impression. The brilliance of the sequence is really in the way it climaxes. Everything you need to know about Daniel’s Bond in CR happens in that Embassy. Here we have Bond run into an Embassy to get his man, shoot the place up only to kill his target in the one place he can’t. And why does he do it? Because he’s beat and he’s pissed off that these bastards have got the better of him. The sequence tells us so much in so little words, it shows Bond as the arrogant idealistic prat he really is at the start of his career. Even after it seems like he’s learnt some lessons (he acknowledges to Vesper he ‘may’ have been arrogant later), he still decides it’s better to cause a scene and stab Le Chiffre in the casino than let this man better him. He begins the film as a bit of a hothead with an a attitude problem far from the seasoned vet we know from DN onwards.

Furthermore, Bond is actually at times rather detestable; Craig though is so charismatic that you forgive Bond even when he does things quite morally reprehensible. The way he treats Solange is pretty bad, he notices her and her husband have a bad relationship so he takes advantage of the situation only later to tell us that he likes relationships with married woman. He isn’t a particularly nice man; but he’s very interesting. Bond is undeniably a male chauvinist in the film (just think about that scene when he gives Vesper a dress to wear just to make sure she does look ‘fabulous’). It’s all capped off brilliantly with quite how cheeky he is during the casino game with Vesper; he sees her looking fantastic when she walks in so he decides to go over to kiss her; why? Because he feels like he has some God given right to – it all feeds towards showing the audience how arrogant this man is.

Even when Bond is being berated by M, he’s likely not listening because to him the death of one bombmaker is significant, but the truth is he’s wrong and of course when Le Chiffre has him tied to that chair it dawns on him how short-sighted he’s been. Bond is an idealistic moron, that actually thinks the death of Mollaka or bankrupting Le Chiffre will make a difference. After all the death of Mollaka hardly stops Le Chiffre, instead merely delaying his plan. However; what is most interesting about the movie is that Bond’s righteous attitude to go after the bad guys is juxtaposed to the issues he’s having carrying out his job, as all the deaths really do affect him. When he kills Dimitrioes that’s a flicker of guilt in Bond eyes, moreover when he stares at Solange’s dead body and Villers goes off to barf, Bond knows he’s responsible and when M starts to grill him he can’t even stand to look at Solange’s corpse much longer. This all plays to the thematic importance of the violence in this film and the pain it inflicts on the characters especially Bond himself. But Bond has his armour up and not even M can see through it, she thinks Bond is an emotionally distant cold son-of-a-bitch.

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So that brings us nicely on to Vesper. I was always someone who never bought the Vesper relationship and complained that it felt tacked on for the final 30 minutes of the film. How wrong was I. The heartbeat of this film is the Vesper/Bond relationship – it’s what the whole thing is all about. Bond is emotionally cold and shut-off or at least that’s the image he presents to the world, not even M can see how vulnerable he is, but Vesper does. She sizes him up the moment they meet and reads him like a book – like probably no one has ever done before.

So when Obanno’s death really rocks her and her and Bond are later having dinner and she asks how he can “switch off so easily”, while Bond assures her it’s all part of the job, she knows better when she says; “I don’t believe you”. She’s the only one who can see past Bond’s armour and see who he really is. The Obanno fight is a gruelling and rather uncomfortable to watch; as we see the life leave the man’s eyes, we the audience know Bond struggled with the killing. The way he winces at the wound inflicted on his head, necks the glass of brandy, splashes his face with the bloody water before finally confronting the man he hardly recognises in the mirror: A Monster.

But it’s the shower scene that’s the most important segment in the movie; all the previous 5 Bond’s would pull her out and comfort her and likely sleep with her, but Daniel’s rookie 007 joins her without even questioning her motives for sitting under there. It’s haunting and evocative, as on one side of the fence it seems like a very masculine protective thing to do. However, Bond really sits in the shower because emotionally he’s been sitting there for a long while and he understands exactly what Vesper is going through and the way he holds her is less protective and maybe more akin to two scared children hiding away in their own little corner of the world. The violence is brutal and real but the pain comes from the characters and that’s what makes Casino Royale really sing as a film. Vesper is the only one who got an inside look into 007’s inner life and knows what our hero is truly going through. Of course he loves her, he has no other choice.

What though is so integral about the relationship is the importance it has in this genesis tale. This story is about Bond becoming Bond. Once he realises that he can’t go on doing what he’s doing with the damage it’s doing to his soul, Vesper offers him a way out and a chance to leave with what little soul he has left. It’s this part of the film where Bond is humanised almost to the point of unrecognizability. This man is truly very vulnerable and fragile but that’s what’s so great about Vesper’s betrayal because it has to harden him and force him to close up.

The honeymoon is truly over in Venice, and what a great finale it is. Venice seems a fitting place for their relationship to crumble (a palazzo in the sinking city of love itself). When Bond coldly kills one of Gettler’s guards and answers Gettler’s cries of murdering Vesper with “allow me”; it’s clear that Bond has become Bond – the transformation is complete and of course a woman was the reason behind why his heart froze over. Vesper showed him a way out and abruptly closed the door on him, leaving Bond with nowhere to go except for back to M and Mi6.

The film is very smart in this regard as it doesn’t go down the obvious route of showing a young Bond having a great eureka moment to join Mi6 and fight the good fight and instead shows the more interesting journey about a vulnerable Bond finally becoming the cold ruthless 007. As I said earlier when Connery said the immortal line to Sylvia Trench in DN, 007 arrived to cinema audiences around the world. So in a rather marvellous piece of storytelling CR essentially re-interprets that sequence only this time instead of opening the picture it tails the movie. When Bond shoots Mr. White and introduces himself – 007 has arrived and when the theme music plays we know exactly who he is.

When Bond says ‘the bitch is dead’; he understands the rules of the game, his doomed relationship with Vesper and his torture from Le Chiffre has opened his rather closed mind and we now confront a man aware of the bigger picture and ready to go after the threat behind the threat.

The movie is impeccably cast even the minor roles – I could gush for years about how great Daniel Craig is, but so many have already. He brings all his acting prowess as well as a great physicality that sells himself as a killer. He looks almost demonic as he sits across the casino table facing off Le Chiffre but his screen-presence is undeniable and his eyes are captivating. Furthermore, the rest of the supporting cast are truly on form.

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However, the film does have some issues, most I think occur during the end of the first act, after the Madagascar chase the film is padded out with an awful lot of shoeleather – Bond sitting on laptops, driving a Mondeo etc – that really slow down the affair, it’s not really till after the Miami chase and Vesper’s introduction that the pacing begins to kick back in and the film changes gear. Whilst I love the Miami action sequence; CR is a rare breed of Bond film as the dialogue and character moments are actually far more exciting than the action beats.

Also Le Chiffre’s plot (like the book) isn’t really all that thrilling, but it doesn’t distract too much as the film isn’t really about the plot it’s about Bond’s transformation and the card game is really more exciting than the action sequences in the film. It’s cut together so tensely, so while Bond and Le Chiffre don’t have a physical fight they still have this epic battle across the card table without even uttering as much as a word to each other as each tries to undercut and unnerve the other, both on and off the poker table. Le Chiffre is a fascinating villain as he’s really a desperate man, almost a vampire who’s been forced to lift his head above his parapet to reclaim his losses, he’s a coward who’s trapped by his creditors on one side and Quantum of the other, both after his head. It makes him a far more exciting character especially when the torture sequence comes around (fantastically photographed by Meheux) because you can smell the desperation on him and Bond who while initially almost frightened by the whole ordeal (it seems that at this point Bond realises how in over his head he really is), soon acknowledges his inevitable death and won’t go down without a fight. It makes the whole affair more real and far more haunting.

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So if you’re got this far without me boring you; CR is a true classic in the Bond cannon as we deal with the repercussions of Bond’s violent lifestyle as he looses his grasp of his own humanity. Less a film of necessity to keep Bond’s commercial viability intact but instead an interesting artistic endeavour that that gives a great character study into who James Bond was and who he inevitably ends up as. The film rids the series of pastiche and formula but thanks to the stylish direction of Martin Campbell never feels anything less than the greatest Bond film ever made.
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Comments

  • Posts: 2,081
    @Pierce2Daniel, that was a very good read, thank you! =D> I'll read it again when I'm less tired. It also made me want to watch CR right now... sadly I can't since it's past 1.30 am and I gotta be at work at 8 am...
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 388
    Fantastic post, @Pierce2Daniel.
    Everything you need to know about Daniel’s Bond in CR happens in that Embassy. Here we have Bond run into an Embassy to get his man, shoot the place up only to kill his target in the one place he can’t. And why does he do it? Because he’s beat and he’s pissed off that these bastards have got the better of him. The sequence tells us so much in so little words, it shows Bond as the arrogant idealistic pratt he really is at the start of his career [...] Even when Bond is being berated by M, he’s likely not even listening because to him the death of one bomb-maker is significant, but the truth is he’s wrong and of course when Le Chiffre has him tied to that chair it dawns on him how short-sighted he’s been.

    This is the only bit of your post I would disagree with. This scene is often held up as the prime example of Rookie Bond making a mistake but, for me, this is Classic 007. He takes a gamble, does the thing that no-one else would dare to do and, in return, gets a clue (ELLIPSIS) that directly leads to him preventing a bomb going off at an airport and, so, probably saving dozen of lives and preventing hundreds of millions of dollars falling into the hands of a terrorist organisation.

    And ultimately, of course, Bond's "mistake" leads to Le Chiffre going bankrupt, the exposure of at least 2 double-agents and the uncovering of the vast conspiracy behind Quantum. All this happens because Bond decides to break "the only unbreakable rule of international diplomacy" and refuses to just let Mollaka go free.

    It wasn't because of Bond's inexperience that Mollaka got away. It was Carter's (don't forget, it's Bond who initially explains, "I need him alive.") Bond only kills Mollaka when there's no other option. And - crucially - he only does so to retrieve his bag and so prevent the mission from being a complete failure. Not just hot-headed arrogance.

    M complains that Bond has screwed up but it's because of the political pressure it puts on her. It's noticeable that the one mistake Bond acknowledges - and says he'll learn from - is that he'll "shoot the camera first, next time." That's Bond's inexperience in the embassy - he does everything right but still lacks finesse. And M - despite her anger - seems to appreciate this because she sends him off on leave knowing that he'll pursue the bomb-maker's leads: "I knew you were you." Shades of Messervy-M sending Bond on leave in MR knowing that he'll continue to pursue Drax, for example.

    In many ways, this is the blueprint for how Bond will go on to act throughout his career - doing what he judges to be best regardless of what's considered "correct.

    Sorry to respond with a slight disagreement but I felt that such a thoughtful and well-written post deserved more than just "+1" and that was the only other thing I could think of saying! It's possibly the best essay I've read about the finest Bond film of them all.
    The film rids the series of pastiche and formula but thanks to the stylish direction of Martin Campbell never feels anything less than the greatest Bond film ever made.

    +1
  • Posts: 1,063
    Nice write up. I agree that it is a fantastic Bond film, Craig's best.
  • Posts: 4,238
    @Sir_James_Moloney I understand what your saying, but think about it pragmatically. Bond had absolutely no right to break into the Embassy. I know that by breaking in and shooting Mollaka, Bond got the 'ELLIPSIS' clue that led him to Miami but nonetheless look at the path of devastation he left in his wake to get there. Not just in the Embassy itself but also all the trouble he goes through in Miami.

    Had Bond simply waited outside the Emabassy he could have eventually got Mollaka when he decided to leave the building - he had to leave at some point. Then Mollaka would have been arrested, questioned and mi6 could go after Le Chiffre, or even better get information on a Mr. White-type figure. But Bond's bullish behaviour deters them from doing this.

    Yes, Bond killing Mollaka had deeper importance to the plot than merely feeding towards explaining Bond's character but that 'image'; 007 shooting a prisoner inside an Embassy is very evocative and a rather surprising character-trait nonetheless.

    I think M's dialgoue scene isn't at all condoning Bond's behaviour aside from taking out the camera, she's quite happy at that point never to see Bond again and half thinks he's probably hanging his head in shame halfway around the world by now. Bond however is arrogant enough to think that she would actually be on his side and be thankful that the world was short of one less bombmaker.

    But thank you for your kind words, I do love writing these essay type things.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,282
    @Pierce2Daniel

    Wonderful essay, sir! :-) Might I turn this thread into a more general essay kind of thing, so you can add more of these here? ;-)
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,238
    DarthDimi wrote:
    @Pierce2Daniel

    Wonderful essay, sir! :-) Might I turn this thread into a more general essay kind of thing, so you can add more of these here? ;-)

    I'd rather we just talked about Casino Royale. Also I don't get a lot of time to watch the Bond films again like I would like to (I also think you kill the magic by constantly re-watching them).

    I am interested in what people thought of Martin Campbell's turn behind the camera here, personally I think he was unrecognisably brilliant. It makes me rather upset to think he squandered his CR goodwill on mediocre fare like Edge of Darkness and Green Lantern.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 388
    @Sir_James_Moloney I understand what your saying, but think about it pragmatically. Bond had absolutely no right to break into the Embassy. I know that by breaking in and shooting Mollaka, Bond got the 'ELLIPSIS' clue that led him to Miami but nonetheless look at the path of devastation he left in his wake to get there. Not just in the Embassy itself but also all the trouble he goes through in Miami.

    Had Bond simply waited outside the Emabassy he could have eventually got Mollaka when he decided to leave the building - he had to leave at some point. Then Mollaka would have been arrested, questioned and mi6 could go after Le Chiffre, or even better get information on a Mr. White-type figure. But Bond's bullish behaviour deters them from doing this.

    Yes, Bond killing Mollaka had deeper importance to the plot than merely feeding towards explaining Bond's character but that 'image'; 007 shooting a prisoner inside an Embassy is very evocative and a rather surprising character-trait nonetheless.

    I think M's dialgoue scene isn't at all condoning Bond's behaviour aside from taking out the camera, she's quite happy at that point never to see Bond again and half thinks he's probably hanging his head in shame halfway around the world by now. Bond however is arrogant enough to think that she would actually be on his side and be thankful that the world was short of one less bombmaker.

    But thank you for your kind words, I do love writing these essay type things.

    I don't read the relationship with M quite the same way as you (principally because she knows he's looked at her computer and also knows he's accessing it from the Bahamas and permits him to carry on; and especially because of the comment, "I knew you were you") but perhaps my take on this is an unusual one.

    Regarding the embassy, I think the point is that Bond can't simply arrest Mollaka which is why they're conducting an MI6 operation there. And the reason Mollaka goes to the embassy is for refuge so I don't imagine he'd come walking out unguarded a few hours or days later.*

    You're absolutely correct about Bond leaving a path of devastation in his wake to get Mollaka's bag but I see that as being very typical Bond behaviour - the boat chase in LALD, chasing Mayday across Paris in AVTAK, tearing up half of Gibraltar in TLD, driving a tank(!) around St Petersburg in GE... all to get something he wants or needs (he destroys half of San Francisco in AVTAK and the only reason there is to escape a wrongful arrest!)
    I am interested in what people thought of Martin Campbell's turn behind the camera here, personally I think he was unrecognisably brilliant. It makes me rather upset to think he squandered his CR goodwill on mediocre fare like Edge of Darkness and Green Lantern.

    His original TV version of Edge of Darkness was great and The Mask of Zorro was incredibly stylish. I think he's the type of director who is completely dependent upon the material. CR has such a great story, and such a great concept that he was able to shine.

    *I have a bit of a problem with M's opinion that attacking someone in an embassy is beyond the pale. In real life, it's considered an "unbreakable rule" that domestic law enforcement cannot enter an embassy in their own country - that's because embassies are considered foreign soil and are legally the territory of their mother country so entering an embassy would basically be an act of war. But the SIS's very purpose is to carry out clandestine operations overseas and these operations are generally, by definition, illegal. Therefore, whether an SIS agent is permitted to commit murder in an embassy is a moot point. It's an illegal act on foreign soil either way. (The scenario would be accurate if we were dealing with a Special Branch or MI5 agent killing someone in an embassy in London.)

    I'm not disagreeing with you on this @Pierce2Daniel as Bond breaking "the only unbreakable rule of international diplomacy" is exactly how it's presented in the script. It's just something in the script that's always bugged me slightly so took the opportunity to get it off my chest.
  • Posts: 4,238
    Your right, Campbell's needs a good script and he can deliver. However, I don't think it's a coincidence that his best films are Bond movies. He seems to understand the series and the character so well. Look here:
    http://on.aol.com/video/past-james-bond-directors-discuss-working-on-the-franchise-517489528
    He's so knowledgeable on the series, I believe latter-day Bond directors need to possess an appreciation of the film's history so they can honour the franchise's heritage while carving something new. For instance Forster admitted he was never really a Bond fan and hence why QOS seems such an uncomfortable fit in the series, unlike Mendes who admitted to enjoying the films.

    CR was in massive danger of not feeling like a 'Bond film' what with it's more serious, gritty and violent tone. But it does feel inherently Bondian while being wholly original; why? Well I have a theory of sorts; I think it's because Campbell understood the Fleming books, which weren't particualry humorous in fact they were rather dry. But what made the books work was the marriage between the glamorous world Bond inhabits and the violence that occurs within it. CR maintains this, it's sleek, beautiful and very opulent but also very dark and haunting. I mean Bond spends half the movie in a Brioni suit playing cards in a lavish casino, but he does some pretty dark stuff while in it.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,159
    Kudos to one of the best threads in a while!! @Pierce2Daniel thanks, now I want to watch CR again right now too!!!
    BTW, I like Green Lantern... b-(
  • Posts: 4,238
    chrisisall wrote:
    Kudos to one of the best threads in a while!! @Pierce2Daniel thanks, now I want to watch CR again right now too!!!
    BTW, I like Green Lantern... b-(

    Thanks man, I really do appreciate it.

  • Posts: 4,238
    Interesting comments from Haggis here:
    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=36631
    I think Haggis really did an amazing job on the script and if you can seek out other interviews with him talking about CR or listen to his titbits on the DVD commentary track you'll really be provided with a very interesting insight into his take on 007.
  • Posts: 4,238
    I thought I'd try to resurrect this, here are some interesting reviews which really get the movie:
    http://old.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/3660
    http://nymag.com/movies/reviews/24089/
  • StirredNotShakenStirredNotShaken I'm gonna use this to clarify that Dalton is tied with Craig
    Posts: 1,637
    Great thread.

    I think from an objective viewpoint, as a quality piece of cinema, Casino Royale is the runaway best Bond film ever made. It's not my personal, subjective #1 at the moment, but last night I finished off my rewatch of the Brosnan films, and now its on to CR for me tonight. I havent been this excited for a part of this Bondathon since I rewatched LTK. It's been a while, for some reason, since I've watched CR, and I can't wait to dive in to it again.
  • Posts: 4,238
    Great thread.

    I think from an objective viewpoint, as a quality piece of cinema, Casino Royale is the runaway best Bond film ever made. It's not my personal, subjective #1 at the moment, but last night I finished off my rewatch of the Brosnan films, and now its on to CR for me tonight. I havent been this excited for a part of this Bondathon since I rewatched LTK. It's been a while, for some reason, since I've watched CR, and I can't wait to dive in to it again.

    I think you have a point.
    CR as a piece of cinema was the high-point of the franchise, or at the very least a return to form after the early Connery movies and OHMSS. CR's a finely crafted movie and holds up extremebly well in its own regard regardless of it's 'Bond film' persona. Personally, I think SF was a further development of what we had already seen in CR but this time in the hands of an interesting director. Campbell, however, whilst on paper may have been slightly a bland choice, was perfect for this film. He understood that all the other elements of a Bond film were superfluous and unnecessary and the only thing that was essential was the character himself. It's a brave move as the whole film is stripped back entirely and the story is just about Bond and who he is - something you can't say about the other films.
    It's a great trick as it makes Bond fundamentally a very interesting person who the audience can either get behind or at least question his acts or state-of-mind.
  • Here's an interesting discussion on CR:
    http://www.movie-moron.com/?p=24013

    May prove interesting reading for some. I do understand some of the criticisms they raise about the film. Like how it feels almost like 3 films: The Opening action-oriented hour/the casino game/Venice.

    I do disagree that the film is not visually interesting. I think Campbell and Mehuex really exceeded themselves, I think they really challenge Mendes and Deakins in that regard, naturally the latter two have more flair but Campbell really brings it in my opinion.
  • Posts: 4,238
    I found this very interesting video:


    This is a great video that dissects the character of Bond and his evolution in CR. It's a very character-driver film. But it's also subversive and gritty.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,282
    Excellent video, @Pierce2Daniel, thank you for that. I like the point about the eyes very much. Never noticed that before to be honest.
  • Posts: 4,238
    One of the smarter and more subliminal ways they humanise Bond is by showing him bleeding and cut. It's these small moments which reinforce that he is human and not teflon. He gets bruised and battered. There are hints that Bond 25 is going down a similar route:

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    The best moments in CR are really those beats where Craig is alone and we see beneath his polished exterior. The more contemplative scenes of a thoughtful and broken Bond are truly revealing. I want more moments like these! We only have one film left with Daniel!
  • Posts: 4,238


    Just found this amazing video discussing how character is explored through action. That opening sequence of CR is really truly perfect.
  • edited April 5 Posts: 4,238
    This movie probably has the most special place in my heart out of all the Bond films....perhaps because it was the first one I followed from the beginning of production to the end. I've obbessed over almost every detail. More so, than any Bond film since (each of which I have too followed avidly). Perhaps I'm even a little harder on the film in some respects as a result and give it a harder time than others I'd happily give a free pass to (For example, I nitpick over some scenes of Craig's hair and not being a fan of the prduction design. Minor quibbles)

    A lot has to do with Daniel Craig. I think he nailed the role and did something 'new.' Even know when I see photos of him from the actual film, I'm surprised he was James Bond. He looks a far cry from the typical archetype we had grown accusstomed to. He was quite iconoclastic in that sense. I mean here for example, he doesn't 'scream' 007...

    Casino-Royale-Cardigan-T-Shirt.jpg
    01%2BDaniel%2BCraig%2Bas%2BJames%2BBond.jpg

    But it works. I think it's because he invested the character with something humane and this made him relatable. Which in turn gave the film weight. The preceding 4 films and the subsequent 15 years has only made the film more 'iconic' and added weight to CR as the generally perceived best film of his era.
  • Posts: 12,292
    One of the smarter and more subliminal ways they humanise Bond is by showing him bleeding and cut. It's these small moments which reinforce that he is human and not teflon. He gets bruised and battered. There are hints that Bond 25 is going down a similar route:

    15045072-7163845-image-a-1_1561048633470.jpg

    The best moments in CR are really those beats where Craig is alone and we see beneath his polished exterior. The more contemplative scenes of a thoughtful and broken Bond are truly revealing. I want more moments like these! We only have one film left with Daniel!

    The scene in the bathroom mirror is brilliant. Really brings to mind the killing of the Mexican in the GF novel, when he's sat at the airport after, contemplating it.

    Agree on him bleeding too. I can remember this being one of the hyped changes in the run up to CR, that he was actually going to get hurt, be less unfappable. I do love the last two films, probably prefer them to his first two on balance, but this is definitely something I've missed. You can do classic style Bond while still keeping that edge.

    That was a tiny detail that really excited me about NTTD. He looked properly done in by that opening car chase. First time since QoS we've seen him like that. Can't wait to see it. And I'm kind of glad it missed its first few release dates now as well. Because now it's going to be even more special. A new Bond film to look forward to after the end of all this. After the state of the world lately (not even just coronavirus imo, just the last few years in general, things have gotten bleaker and bleaker), we could all use a bit of escapism.
  • edited April 6 Posts: 4,238
    Cool photo on the 007.com

    CAROUSEL-715x424.png

    On Youtube you can watch a video in slow-motion, if you watch this video you can see at around 2:13 that it is Daniel Craig himself that is in the fight scene with Fisher where h smashes the hand against the glass. It's visible from the reflection.

    you can tell in perhaps 1 or 2 shots where a stuntman was used for this opening. Otherwise, it's Craig on screen....


    One of the smarter and more subliminal ways they humanise Bond is by showing him bleeding and cut. It's these small moments which reinforce that he is human and not teflon. He gets bruised and battered. There are hints that Bond 25 is going down a similar route:

    15045072-7163845-image-a-1_1561048633470.jpg

    The best moments in CR are really those beats where Craig is alone and we see beneath his polished exterior. The more contemplative scenes of a thoughtful and broken Bond are truly revealing. I want more moments like these! We only have one film left with Daniel!

    The scene in the bathroom mirror is brilliant. Really brings to mind the killing of the Mexican in the GF novel, when he's sat at the airport after, contemplating it.

    Agree on him bleeding too. I can remember this being one of the hyped changes in the run up to CR, that he was actually going to get hurt, be less unfappable. I do love the last two films, probably prefer them to his first two on balance, but this is definitely something I've missed. You can do classic style Bond while still keeping that edge.

    That was a tiny detail that really excited me about NTTD. He looked properly done in by that opening car chase. First time since QoS we've seen him like that. Can't wait to see it. And I'm kind of glad it missed its first few release dates now as well. Because now it's going to be even more special. A new Bond film to look forward to after the end of all this. After the state of the world lately (not even just coronavirus imo, just the last few years in general, things have gotten bleaker and bleaker), we could all use a bit of escapism.

    @thelivingroyale I agree.

    You have to see Bond broken and bleeding. It gives the film something extra. It makes the character more fallible. It's something that both Campbell and Forster really got.
  • goldenswissroyalegoldenswissroyale Switzerland
    Posts: 2,129
    CR is a masterpiece in my opinion. It is my favourite Bond movie and my favourite film in general (sharing Nr. 1 with Inglourious Basterds).
  • Posts: 2,490
    CR was trending today on Twitter no.1 for some reason.....some highlights:

    Casino Royale was trending because of this tweet



  • BennyBenny spammer bannerModerator
    Posts: 10,796
    CR was trending today on Twitter no.1 for some reason.....some highlights:

    Casino Royale was trending because of this tweet



    As much as I love CR...and I do. If I had to pick three from the above, it would be.
    DN
    OHMSS
    TSWLM
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    edited April 7 Posts: 586
    Everything but LALD, GE and TSWLM. Especially CR, TB and OHMSS.

    Casino Royale is my favorite, so you could imagine my reply to the question of whether or not it’s a masterpiece.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 5,627
    OHMSS, CR, and I'd have to have a cry over GE and TLD before I could choose between those two.
  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    Posts: 586
    TLD, easy. Big Dalton fan here.
  • Posts: 2,490
    My choices are OHMSS, TLD, and CR.
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