Bond's "dark mirror" villains

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  • edited January 2020 Posts: 4,258
    Trevelyan is the best 'dark mirror' villain. I watched GE this weekend and posted this review (alongside a ton of photos of Famke Janssen in her lingerie ):
    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/17152/the-things-we-do-for-frequent-flyer-mileage-goldeneye-appreciation-and-discussion#latest

    Goldeneye-1668.jpg


    Trevelyan is the best as he poses a three way threat to Bond:
    1. He poses an existential threat to Bond's faith: He makes Bond question is belief in England and his unquestioning devotion to the 'mission' and having to follow orders.
    2. Intellectual threat: Trevelyan thinks like Bond. Therefore, he's always a step ahead of him. He also knows Bond's weak spots and how to taunt him.
    3. Physical threat: He is a 00 and a very capable one (arguably, if not, better than Bond). Whatever Bond can do physically, Trevelyan is capable of.

    Sean Bean is obviously having a great time playing the dual nature of the role. He screws the scenery to some extents but he never compromises the complexity of Alec as a villain.

    There is a brotherly dynamic to him and Bond. They are essentially Cain and Abel. One fighting for destruction, the other fighting to prevent it. The real stroke of genius was making him a fellow 00 agent. Alec has had all the same training as Bond and is - arguably - a better agent. He understands everything that is going through Bond's mind and can anticipate his every move. Trevelyan is always one step ahead and ready to taunt Bond. His backstory also has a real world political connection as he is identified as a Lienz Cossack. It gives his backstory and plot of revenge that bit more strength by linking it to a childhood trauma (Also, he has undeniably one of the greatest villain deaths of all time).

    The ending is in many respects a replay of the opening sequence from a different perspective. There is some nice symmetry to having the opening being 007 and 006 working together and the end being them having them as enemies.

    I've always wondered how good a friends, Bond and Trevelyan were. Do we reckon he was at Bond's wedding? Perhaps we can retcon on it, so the guy behind Q's shoulder is 006.....

    On-Her-Majestys-Secret-Service-1161.jpg
  • Posts: 2,222
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Absolutely. Whilst Palace would have been an interesting change of pace for a Bond villain, it's hard to argue that Christopher Lee isn't one of the strongest elements of TMWTGG.

    I think it was Steven Rubin who observed that though Lee brought his usual charisma to the role, he was so relieved to not play a literal monster that the performance lacked his usual menace. I would have to agree. Palance would have been a better choice in the role because even in his non-villainous roles he carried a submerged brutality. Lee's Scaramanga is too charming and courtly to be frightening, which is what a dark mirror of Bond should be: a sociopath whose sophistication fails to cloak his extreme cruelty. Palance's aggressive brute force also would have been a stronger counterpoint against Moore's English gentleman persona. And one can only imagine the clash of alpha males that would have resulted from Palance's Scaramanga against Connery's Bond!
  • Posts: 1,499
    You could probably assign some of that perceived lack of menace to Guy Hamilton, who supposedly kept telling Lee and Moore to keep things light.

    The character does retain a lot of menace for me, because he says so little during the early parts of the film and sticks to the shadows a good deal of it, a menace in the background always lurking, stalking Bond and giving that edge. Not quite as well as with Red Grant in FRWL, but not completely dissimilar.
  • What about Safin? I am already seeing a lot of parallels to Bond - he uses weapons, etc. The trailer shows them facing off across a table, like equals, and we all know Safin uses masks to hide his identity and decive. Could there be more to this? Does anyone think Safin will be depicted as a kind of mirror to Bond?

    I also consider Kananga. He likes the finer things in life, clothes, jewels, etc. Just like Bond. Yaphet Kotto revealed too in an interview that he became consumed by the "Bond lifestyle" and it put him into debt... too much spending.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    Revelator wrote: »
    Roadphill wrote: »
    Absolutely. Whilst Palace would have been an interesting change of pace for a Bond villain, it's hard to argue that Christopher Lee isn't one of the strongest elements of TMWTGG.

    I think it was Steven Rubin who observed that though Lee brought his usual charisma to the role, he was so relieved to not play a literal monster that the performance lacked his usual menace. I would have to agree. Palance would have been a better choice in the role because even in his non-villainous roles he carried a submerged brutality. Lee's Scaramanga is too charming and courtly to be frightening, which is what a dark mirror of Bond should be: a sociopath whose sophistication fails to cloak his extreme cruelty. Palance's aggressive brute force also would have been a stronger counterpoint against Moore's English gentleman persona. And one can only imagine the clash of alpha males that would have resulted from Palance's Scaramanga against Connery's Bond!

    I think that's a fair point, regarding Lee.
    If anything Moore channels a, well, more aggressive persona in this one. If one where to go into the film blind with no knowledge of Bond, and watch the dinner table scene with Moore and Lee, they could be forgiven for thinking Moore was playing Scaramanga.
  • Posts: 2,222
    I'm now picturing an alternate universe where Roger Moore played Scaramanga...and it looks quite interesting!
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 950
    Revelator wrote: »
    I'm now picturing an alternate universe where Roger Moore played Scaramanga...and it looks quite interesting!

    If Lazenby had stayed in the role perhaps?
    I'm glad that didn't happen, of course.
    Sir Rog was 'my' Bond, and I think the series could have sunk with Lazenby in a film that didn't have the top shelf quality of OHMSS.
    An interesting what if, though..
  • Posts: 2,222
    That's true. I wasn't really thinking who would have played Bond opposite Moore. I agree that a Lazenby-Moore standoff wouldn't have worked, because you'd need a Bond who could match Moore in charisma.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Digitalia
    Posts: 40,553
    What about Safin? I am already seeing a lot of parallels to Bond - he uses weapons, etc. The trailer shows them facing off across a table, like equals, and we all know Safin uses masks to hide his identity and decive. Could there be more to this? Does anyone think Safin will be depicted as a kind of mirror to Bond?

    I also consider Kananga. He likes the finer things in life, clothes, jewels, etc. Just like Bond. Yaphet Kotto revealed too in an interview that he became consumed by the "Bond lifestyle" and it put him into debt... too much spending.

    In a newer trailer, he does say he could be looking at a reflection of himself, so this was pretty spot on.
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Haydock, England
    Posts: 177
    Trevelyan is the best 'dark mirror' villain. I watched GE this weekend and posted this review (alongside a ton of photos of Famke Janssen in her lingerie ):
    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/17152/the-things-we-do-for-frequent-flyer-mileage-goldeneye-appreciation-and-discussion#latest

    Goldeneye-1668.jpg


    Trevelyan is the best as he poses a three way threat to Bond:
    1. He poses an existential threat to Bond's faith: He makes Bond question is belief in England and his unquestioning devotion to the 'mission' and having to follow orders.
    2. Intellectual threat: Trevelyan thinks like Bond. Therefore, he's always a step ahead of him. He also knows Bond's weak spots and how to taunt him.
    3. Physical threat: He is a 00 and a very capable one (arguably, if not, better than Bond). Whatever Bond can do physically, Trevelyan is capable of.

    Sean Bean is obviously having a great time playing the dual nature of the role. He screws the scenery to some extents but he never compromises the complexity of Alec as a villain.

    There is a brotherly dynamic to him and Bond. They are essentially Cain and Abel. One fighting for destruction, the other fighting to prevent it. The real stroke of genius was making him a fellow 00 agent. Alec has had all the same training as Bond and is - arguably - a better agent. He understands everything that is going through Bond's mind and can anticipate his every move. Trevelyan is always one step ahead and ready to taunt Bond. His backstory also has a real world political connection as he is identified as a Lienz Cossack. It gives his backstory and plot of revenge that bit more strength by linking it to a childhood trauma (Also, he has undeniably one of the greatest villain deaths of all time).

    The ending is in many respects a replay of the opening sequence from a different perspective. There is some nice symmetry to having the opening being 007 and 006 working together and the end being them having them as enemies.

    I've always wondered how good a friends, Bond and Trevelyan were. Do we reckon he was at Bond's wedding? Perhaps we can retcon on it, so the guy behind Q's shoulder is 006.....

    On-Her-Majestys-Secret-Service-1161.jpg

    It also helps that Sean Bean made Trevelyan a really smug bastard who felt nothing but contempt for Bond after the botched Arkhangelsk mission. His backstory is also quite tragic, given his Lienz Cossack heritage.
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