I really wish I was saying this “classic at-the-end dialogue in yesteryear Bond movies by the Bond girl in her husky voice” to James Patrick Page. I really do, owww, I really,really do. *Auto Suggestion: Woman, you are pathetic.Get on with the blog post).
So I am going to write about why Daniel Craig has replaced Sean Connery as the perfect James Bond for me. Articles, FB statuses,Twitter feeds, blog posts etc etc have gone on ad nauseam about who the perfect Bond is. I un-repentantly plan to add to the nausea. I mean, c’mon, what is life without discussing the greatest spy ? Ethan Hawke aficionados,take a walk. Its blasphemous to imagine, much less talk, about a comparison between the two, on the parameter of ”greatest spy”
The first 007 movie I saw in the theater was” The Spy Who Loved Me’. I was in Grade 4. The movie came to our town in a sleepy state in eastern India much,much later then its release date. There was major excitement all around. All the cousins and my sister were planning to watch it.Doubts were being expressed about the ‘scenes’ in the movie and whether I should be allowed to watch an ”A’ classified movie ? I remember howling with impotent rage, throwing phenomenal tantrums at the unfairness of life.And hello, I am a Scorpio girl. I could possibly have told the mighty elders more exciting birds and bees stuff than they presumed they knew.Trust me, ask Linda Goodman about the Scorpio child, folks 🙂 Anyway, I had my way, as I always do 🙂
Thus began a relationship with James Bond. As I grew up, I started reading the Ian Fleming novels.The older 007 movies were watched on our video cassette player.Till date, I remain and would possibly remain so, a die-hard 007 fan and movie addict. I have seen all the 23 James Bond movies,some several times over, to tenaciously hang on to my addiction through major changes in Bond, M, Q, Bond girls ,villains, gadgetry, plots etc.
Of the four actors:Sean Connery,Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan: I ,like the women in my family, rooted for Sean Connery as the perfect or true Bond.I shall not talk of George Lazenby.He hardly made it to iconic Bond status.Sean Connery as James Bond was suave, classically handsome, macho and pretty-much perfect. We felt Roger Moore’s Bond was humorous,cool but a little tame. And Timothy Dalton again was a very good, Fleming’s bookish Bond but lacked the originality of Sean Connery. Pierce Brosnan was too suave , bordering on uber-stylish ,that diluted the legendary Bond roughness.Although Brosnan films had a lot of action.
Enter Daniel Craig. With most of the world tremendously skeptical about him as James Bond, I watched ”Casino Royale” ,biased with all the negative media feedback. I remember wavering about ‘my best Bond’ after watching the movie to now firmly thinking and wanting ONLY him as James Bond ! This is of course after watching ‘Quantum of Solace’ and the truly brilliant ‘Skyfall’.
I tried to analyze why this happened. The physical appearance does not matter. The Sean Connery Bond is still classically and heartbreakingly handsome.Even more so than the Daniel Craig Bond.Both are brilliant actors.
Then why the change in preference ?
I realized that it is because I had changed. I have evolved from an impressionable teenager , to a young woman to now a woman.So, in the original films Sean Connery would give a girl a slap on the arse, talk macho much like the Mills & Boons hero and dismiss his girl when things got serious.And I accepted it because of my age , inexperience and the tendency to see the world through rose tinted glasses.
Today, Daniel Craig’s Bond is dangerous but vulnerable.Intelligent but a fool-in-love. He is emotionally flawed .He is not afraid to show his scars. To show tenderness. And as a woman, that appeals to me than all the muscle and fast cars.
From the naive Honey Ryder, who happily collected shells on the beach , it is I ,who has now become Vesper Lynd who has the temerity to laser beam the ‘great’ James Bond. Who can dare tell him “All right. By the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain. My guess is you didn’t come from money and your school friends never let you forget it, which means that you were at that school by the grace of someone else’s charity. Hence that chip on your shoulder. And since you’re first thought about me ran to ‘orphan,’ that’s what I’d say you are’. And having said all this in a decidedly cutting voice,still manage to win his interest,admiration and love.
But, yet , yet I only wish Daniel Craig’s Bond would revert to his signature vodka martini only. Shaken not stirred. I shuddered at James Bond drinking beer. That’s very plebeian and too closer to the reality of everyday existence for my liking! I remember thinking well James Bond is a man,right? He has started drinking beer.Hmm..what if he takes a liking to pickled onions next and watching soccer on TV ,while digging into a tub of popcorn ? Oh quelle horreur!
I leave you all with this scene from ” Casino Royale”. Allow me to smirk at your hubba,hubba thoughts and empathize with your sighs, ladies. Sorry, ya menfolk 🙂