Fields: who is she?

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
edited August 2011 in Bond Movies Posts: 23,723
Does she taste like strawberries? We don’t know and I guess we’ll never find out. Hurricane Fields rushed by so quickly, she’s a blink-and-miss obstacle in my appreciation of QOS. It could have been great though. Gemma’s a very beautiful woman and from what I’ve seen her do in other films, she’s a fairly decent actress. I like her looks, voice, line reading and her stamina. QOS, however, didn’t, for its script left hardly any space for Gemma or her character to breathe.

There’s a lot of love for Gemma and her Fields character. I may be risking my life as I’m openly criticizing her part in the 22nd Bond film. I suppose many gasp for air when she appears in her stripper outfit halfway through the film. It’s no surprise to me that a woman of such elegance has that effect on people, and in fact there’s a lot more woman to indulge when Fields fills the screen versus when Camille squeezes her bones through two layers of air. However, beauty alone isn’t satisfying (anymore). She needs some personality on the side as well. Unfortunately they give her so little to do in QOS, she’s virtually an object used to somewhat advance the story (but not all that much).

Allow me to demonstrate of how little importance she is in the story and how clumsily her character was developed. She firstly fails to deviate Bond from his course. She awaits his airport arrival in order to send him back home, but little can she do. Bond ends up in a hotel he would have picked anyway. She later attends Greene’s party with Bond (note that it was Mathis who got them in), where she ‘saves Bond’ life’…? So what if she trips Elvis! The guy could never have touched Bond without losing two arms and a leg. Yet the film shows Elvis from a ‘menacing’ point-of-view, as if at that point he could really harm Bond. Who is he? Spock? Could he have touched-and-stunned Bond? Clearly not. So why she even bothers tripping him is beyond me. It unnecessarily exposes her and Bond was never in any danger anyway.

But we needed her death, didn’t we? Makes Greene such a bad boy we can justify his brutal death at the end of the film. It also gives M an excuse to – again – lecture Bond on his irresponsible conduct. Yet they don’t show us anything. I don’t see her getting caught, tortured or killed. I don’t see her show ‘true bravery’. She trips the only person at the party who is even less dangerous than toothpaste and she didn’t even have to have done it. Also, where are those scenes that allow me to emotionally invest in her character? The way things are now, her death barely affects me. Who is she? The sum of a cute face and three scenes she’s accidentally and quite purposelessly part of. I was more taken by Mathis’ death (and mostly thanks to CR).

There was room for more Gemma in QOS. At least fifteen or twenty more minutes could have been added to the film anyway, so a couple of extra scenes featuring Fields wouldn’t have hurt us at all. For now I keep wondering: who is Fields? How come she feels to me like no more than a failed attempt at establishing another glamorous Bond girl? What’s with the lack of personality? Clumsy screenwriting or lack of ambition from the filmmakers? Either way, she could have been the film’s key gem, yet now she’s just another <i>wanna-coulda-shoulda</i> in a film that offers little besides precisely that.

Maybe you agree with me. And then maybe you don’t. ;;)


Comments

  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,572
    Well, I do and I don't ;-)

    Firstly, her actions at the party were instinctive. She tripped Elvis in an effort to assist Bond. It was impulsive, and had she given it more thought she may have acted differently.

    As for the time she had on screen. Well, many a character has become iconic in the series based on a few minutes air time. How long did Shirley Eaton get? 4 or 5 minutes? That lady still dines out on her two scenes in Goldfinger.
    Caroline Munroe? Same thing.
    Maybe they were hoping that Fields would have a similar lasting impact. Only time will tell.

    Her death did have an impact, and it was because of M's little speach about her being a clerk, inexperienced in field work. It humanised her, and made us regret her death somewhat.

    However, I do agree that as I like Gemma Arterton, a few more minutes would have suited me just fine. :-D
  • I enjoyed her part, just the way it is.

    Any more may have move it firmly into the 'simply an excuse for a pretty face' catergory.

    As it was, her death had the important role of showing 007 the human cost of his 'cavalier attitude towards life'.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,189
    I'm going to have to agree with Darth. Her character was under-used and pretty forgettable as a result. Also, her death was an excuse for a fairly cheap refernce to a FAR better Bond film. Re-watching QoS recently I never believed the "love scene" between the two, it seemed forced and rather tagged on ("You must be absolutely furious") and worse was over in the blink of an eye. Contrast this to the playfulness between Masterson and Bond in GF. ("That makesh two of ush"). Jill also had a far more prevalent part in the plot - despite her short screen time (she is pretty much the catalyst for the rest of the film).

    Fields is merely a sacrificial lamb.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,723
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I'm going to have to agree with Darth. Her character was under-used and pretty forgettable as a result. Also, her death was an excuse for a fairly cheap refernce to a FAR better Bond film. Re-watching QoS recently I never believed the "love scene" between the two, it seemed forced and rather tagged on ("You must be absolutely furious") and worse was over in the blink of an eye. Contrast this to the playfulness between Masterson and Bond in GF. ("That makesh two of ush"). Jill also had a far more prevalent part in the plot - despite her short screen time (she is pretty much the catalyst for the rest of the film).

    Fields is merely a sacrificial lamb.

    Agreed. A talented actress and a great opportunity were both flushed down the toilet.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 940
    Yes I agree. But I do think her few scenes brought a slightly more playful and light hearted vibe to the film which were desperately needed (and lacking in Bond's interactions with Camille) so it was a shame that it was all gone so quickly. Her death and character was ultimately just a poor effort to unnecessarily recreate one of the most iconic scenes in Bond's history. A waste.

    Also, the pointless note she left at the hotel just adds to more frustrated questions about this movie.
  • slyfox wrote:
    Yes I agree. But I do think her few scenes brought a slightly more playful and light hearted vibe to the film which were desperately needed (and lacking in Bond's interactions with Camille) so it was a shame that it was all gone so quickly. Her death and character was ultimately just a poor effort to unnecessarily recreate one of the most iconic scenes in Bond's history. A waste.

    Also, the pointless note she left at the hotel just adds to more frustrated questions about this movie.

    I disagree that her character was just an effort to recreate Jill's death in GF. While I agree that I would have liked to see more of Fields (I think she more than anyone suffered from QoS's go-go-go-don't-stop pacing) I think she was effective and memorable.

    I agree with Slyfox that Gemma brought a really sparkle to the film - she invested Fields with far more personality than most actresses would. In fact, her calm, confident demeanour reminded me somewhat of Emma Peel. The post-death revelation that she was just a clerk who was in over her head made her death even more tragic than it would have been otherwise. It had the dual purpose of showing a) that Bond was blinded about how his actions were affecting others around him and b) Bond inhabits a dangerous world where you have to be a professional to survive - you can't just bluster and bluff your way through it with a misguided sense of confidence (and how many young people think that they're ten feet tall and bullet-proof until they're shown otherwise).

    Would she have been better served by more screen-time or some additional information about her? Yes to the first but no to the second - finding out after-the-fact that she was just a clerk was an effective kick.

  • Posts: 940
    The post-death revelation that she was just a clerk who was in over her head made her death even more tragic than it would have been otherwise.

    -finding out after-the-fact that she was just a clerk was an effective kick.

    Yep, good point. That hit home more than her actual unfortunate demise. I still think the oil death was unnecessary and ultimately she will be remembered for a second rate goldfinger death, as opposed to much else.

    I wonder how Bond-girl screen time will pan out in Skyfall. Casino Royale had Solange for roughly the same time as Gemma in QOS.
  • I agree that she brought a real sparkle to the film.
    A sparkle that died very quickly.... It's just a shame and a waste.
    I don't agree with the impact it made.. It barely didn't. There was more a "Aaah, look: a goldfinger scene."
    Talking of recycling the greatest Bond scene's:
    I also missed the quip "What a helpful chap", when DC threw that guy of the roof.

    Having said that, I must say that QoS wasn't as bad as I remembered when I rewatched it the other night.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,067
    NicNac wrote:
    How long did Shirley Eaton get? 4 or 5 minutes? That lady still dines out on her two scenes in Goldfinger.

    LOL.

    I really would have liked a longer seduction scene between Bond and Fields, to see why she softened toward him.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Awful character, awful trenchcoat, awful acting.
  • Posts: 4,762
    Nice post Dimi! I always thought her character was completely wasted. The confusing plot and storyline of QoS also adds to the mystery behind her character. Nevertheless, I do like QoS, even if Fields was a wasted talent. Still though, QoS could have been much better if she had been in more scenes. Also, I do agree that her death was unnecessary, specifically the manner in which she was killed, a needless throwback to Goldfinger.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    I think we can over analyse these things a bit.

    Does anyone care that Paula or Plenty were underused? I dont think so. Fields did her job as eye candy and sacrifical lamb - thats all she was there for.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited February 2012 Posts: 28,694
    She's a MacGuffin. Plain and simple.
  • Posts: 11,189
    I think we can over analyse these things a bit.

    Does anyone care that Paula or Plenty were underused? I dont think so. Fields did her job as eye candy and sacrifical lamb - thats all she was there for.

    I would have been quite happy to see Plenty more of her ;)

    Apparently there was actually more but it was cut.
  • Posts: 1,497
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I think we can over analyse these things a bit.

    Does anyone care that Paula or Plenty were underused? I dont think so. Fields did her job as eye candy and sacrifical lamb - thats all she was there for.

    I would have been quite happy to see Plenty more of her ;)

    Apparently there was actually more but it was cut.

    Plenty underused? Nah. Pardon me if I sound crass, but Plenty was in that movie for one purpose alone: her plentifulness. Plus, Bond and her had some actual chemistry unlike Bond and Fields. Also, DAF doesn't take itself so damn seriously the way QOS does, so you can have gag throwaway characters and it doens't seem out of left field, the way Fields just shows up and then is gone. Her death is supposed to be moving, but we haven't gotten to know her at all. Plenty on the other hand, is one of a series of killings so it's not of much consequence to the big picture.

  • Posts: 940
    BAIN123 wrote:
    Does anyone care that Paula or Plenty were underused? I dont think so.

    I would have been quite happy to see Plenty more of her ;)

    Apparently there was actually more but it was cut.

    Here it is! A good thing it was cut if you ask me!



  • Posts: 1,497
    But that wonderfully tacky set!
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    JBFan626 wrote:
    BAIN123 wrote:
    I think we can over analyse these things a bit.

    Does anyone care that Paula or Plenty were underused? I dont think so. Fields did her job as eye candy and sacrifical lamb - thats all she was there for.

    I would have been quite happy to see Plenty more of her ;)

    Apparently there was actually more but it was cut.

    Plenty underused? Nah. Pardon me if I sound crass, but Plenty was in that movie for one purpose alone: her plentifulness. Plus, Bond and her had some actual chemistry unlike Bond and Fields. Also, DAF doesn't take itself so damn seriously the way QOS does, so you can have gag throwaway characters and it doens't seem out of left field, the way Fields just shows up and then is gone. Her death is supposed to be moving, but we haven't gotten to know her at all. Plenty on the other hand, is one of a series of killings so it's not of much consequence to the big picture.

    And what exactly was Fields purpose? If shes axed what difference does it make to the plot? Bond has still gone AWOL which is the main reason M turns up in Bolivia.

    I think Plentys death is meant to be moving but because we have Judi Dench not Jill St John selling it to us somehow Fields death is suddenly a moment on a par with Tracys death?

    Mathis death is moving because hes an important character. Fields is just the usual sacrifical lamb who is traditionally killed after a couple of scenes like Paula, Rosie, Plenty, Corrinne. No one blinks an eye at any of their deaths so why all the weeping over Fields?
  • Posts: 1,497
    Good point. It just seems really out of place to have your traditional sacrificial lamb in QOS, given the tone of the overall film. In the earlier films, death scenes weren't given much weight at all, the girls came and went, and soon enough Bond would be back in bed with another, but in the Craig era, every death has more impact. So having these brief scenes with this character doesn't fit in with the thread of the story. Likewise the Bond-Fields love scene is really akward as others have mentioned. Really, her character shouldn't be in the film at all.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,723
    Her character could have served the film well, IMO. Truly, there's some potential behind the stripper outfit. Yet trimmed down to absolute nothingness, as in the final cut of the film, she's a waste of film time and film space. I don't know if there was more Fields intended for the film originally, I'm merely saying that to justify her presence, there had to be more of her. How can you throw a character at us only to immediately get rid of her and actually expect us to care? Tracy's death was earned. Even Vesper's was. Not only were they the lead girls in their respective films, but we'd also gotten a chance to know them. The problem with Fields is the same as with the locations in QOS. We just don't get quite enough of them to care on even the lowest levels. They come and go like lightening. It almost feels as if the filmmakers were more interested in satisfying an audience with short attention span than an audience with a formal love for good filmmaking.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,067
    Certainly her role in the script could have been better written. She is not one of the better sacrificial lambs. While it's hard to top, say, Jill Masterson, Fields' death does not have the impact of Aki or even Vijay.
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