Skyfall — bullet points

Caution: Mildly spoilerific.

  • Is there a better Bond movie theme song than Skyfall? Tina Turner’s Goldeneye comes a very close second, but I think that’s about it. Adele’s voice singing This is the end… is as mesmeric as Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang (He shot me down) in Kill Bill Vol. 1.
  • And the visuals! As soon as I walked out of the movie hall, I wanted to go back in for the next show, watch the title song all over again and then walk out.
  • Things that this Bond movie seems to have taken its cues from:
    • Ian Fleming (that didn’t happen so often during the course of the series)
    • Home Alone
    • Harry Potter
    • Um… Mother India?
  • There’s a lot of verbiage out there about Javier Bardem being the best Bond villain ever. Sure, he talks a good game and has a Tarantino-esque monologue to kick off the proceedings, has a lovely moment towards the end where he shrugs and shakes his head (in that one gesture, he conveys more than most Bond villains ever manage), but… I don’t know, really. He’s quite good, but comparisons with Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter are a bit overblown.
  • Speaking of which, there have been a few truly great actors who have played Bond villains in the past. Christopher Lee (The Man with the Golden Gun), Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill)… if you extend it to Bond girls, you could also count Halle Berry, who followed up her Oscar-winning turn in Monster’s Ball by playing the unfortunately named Jinx (sounds like a mutant-turned-stripper, don’t you think?) in Die Another Day. It’s positively amazing how bad they were in those movies. I wonder if it’s a Bond movie curse. I mean, you could’ve gotten Brando to come in and scream “Stella!” at M and even he would’ve tanked. Compared to them, Bardem escaped relatively unscathed.
    • No, I’m not counting Orson Welles’ turn as Le Chiffre in the old Casino Royale starring David Niven, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen.
  • Just before the film began, they played a number of graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking. And then Bond and his enemies killed people off in so many ways during the film’s running length, cancer would’ve seemed like a blessing to those poor souls.
  • I am strangely happy about the fact that Sean Connery didn’t play the role that seemed to have been written for him. He would’ve demanded too much attention, and that is not what you require of that role.

Not apropos of Skyfall per se, but relating to it… You know you’ve watched way too much Tamil cinema when

  • You keep trying to figure out which role to cast Vadivelu in. The character played by Naomi Harris is a possibility. The henchman who fights Bond in the Komodo dragon pit is another. The psychologist who does Bond’s assessment, maybe — when he hears Bond’s response to his questions, his natural response ought to be “Only you possible.”
  • An Aston Martin DB5 makes its appearance, and the first phrase that pops into your head is “Swapnasundari vechchirundha car“.
  • You wish they had shot the opening sequence in India and given Namitha a small role.


5 thoughts on “Skyfall — bullet points

  1. ROFL at the last parts. I got the Harry Potter whiff too. Heavily in the grave shot.

    I agree this is surely one of the best songs and opening sequence + credits. It’s generic (the song) but Adele elevates it to another level. I also thought this is one of the few Bond songs that seems to have been given some thought in congruent with the plot etc. It actually sort of made sense.

    • True. Very Godric’s Hollow, that moment.

      Bond numbers seem to have a certain mood and tonal quality to them. This one fits right in, but within those parameters, I think it does outstandingly well.

      I’ll take your word on this being the first one to make sense — I’ve never really paid attention to the lyrics before this. Despite the fact that she has this brilliant booming voice that one could hear on repeat loop for ages, Adele somehow manages to make you focus on the lyrics. I have no idea how she does that.


      ps: The only times you’ve commented on a post of mine in recent times are when I’ve written about Messrs. Gounder, Vadivelu and Karan Johar. I worry about you, man! (Okay, that’s the only posting I’ve done in recent times, but forget that part.)

  2. Shankar says:

    I thought this film felt more like James Bourne!! :-) Agents being manipulated like in the Threadstone operation with Bourne looking for the answers and here Bardem coming back after M. Also, less gadgets and more brooding made it felt like this was from the Bourne mood…

    • I originally considered the Bourne comparison and dismissed it because, to me, the Bourne series involves a man who wreaks mayhem while trying also to be invisible, and that aspect of his craft gets a fair bit of coverage. Bond, on the other hand, wouldn’t know subtlety if it hit him on the head.

      Having said that, I hadn’t considered the angle where it’s the Javier Bardem character who brings in the Bourne analogy. Interesting observation!

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