Daniel Craig's James Bond: The Human Side of Her Majesty's Spy

Daniel Craig's James Bond: The Human Side of Her Majesty's Spy

Daniel Craig's James Bond

No Time to Die will be the last time we see Daniel Craig playing James Bond. After years of indecision and second thoughts, having already announced his retirement immediately after Specter, the English actor wanted to complete the long narrative arc that began in 2006 with Casino Royale. To hear some of the author's statements, it almost seemed that Craig was now a prisoner of the role, as happened previously to Connery or Moore, but the reality is that leaving before No Time To Die would have been like leaving a painting unfinished. Contrary to the other interpreters of Her Majesty's spy, Daniel Craig's James Bond was an element of deep break with the Bondian tradition, the first 007 really conceived for the new millennium, so much to be the protagonist of an epochal event for the character: a reboot.

One could reason on how Pierce Brosnan had already in his own way played the role of innovator within the myth of Bond. Ever since GoldenEy and, Bond has abandoned some of those traits of him being his son of the Cold War, moving beyond the fight against stereotypical enemies and opening up to a profoundly different world. The collapse of the Berlin Wall had changed the perception of the Soviet enemy, already less present in the Dalton era (007- Danger zone and 007 - Private revenge), leaving room for new villains who were symbols of the modern world, marking, in a of course, the road to the Bond of the end of the millennium. Dalton would have had to move on this direction again, leaving him due to contractual disputes, giving Bond's tuxedo to Brosnan. A more refined, elegant and modern face than Dalton, a more contained physicality and an impeccable savoir fair, made contemporary by a rewriting of the character, further away from the classic setting outlined by Connery, and aimed at a modern audience.| his most devastating weapon: invincibility. No matter what challenge he has to face, 007 always comes out victorious, defeating increasingly unlikely enemies, which while originating from contemporary elements, such as media magician Elliot Carver from Tomorrow Never Dies, have an excessive characterization, which makes Bond and his excessive, oversized adventures.

The new millennium thus becomes an opportunity to give a new definition to Bond. The world has changed, we need a current James Bond and no longer a caricature of the spy of the collective imagination, also considering that the spy genre itself has evolved, just think of the Jason Bourne saga. Think about it Mission: Impossible to continue the action movie tradition full of action and acrobatics, in short, the new James Bond must be contemporary and, above all, credible. In a sense, returning to the origins of the character, bringing him back to his literary genesis desired by Ian Fleming. And therefore, a reboot was inevitable, erasing the past and starting from scratch.

A task that fell on Daniel Craig, an actor who has very little to do with his illustrious predecessors. Moore, Dalton and Brosnan were both elegant and home-made, as physical and bull-like Craig, who from his first moment as Bond baptized a different idea of ​​Bondian action, more realistic and muscular, far from the fights of the previous Bonds, often sketchy and little credible. But all these elements, had to be part of a new Bond, it was necessary to go back to the dawn of Her Majesty's spy.

Casino Royale becomes the cinematic rebirth of the character as Daniel Craig's James Bond, appealing to literary genesis of him. A choice that allows you to create a 007 emotionally close to Fleming's imagination, thanks to a characterization of the character that is profoundly different from the past. With the Lazenby parenthesis removed in 007 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond's emotionalism and tragic past had never been emphasized, which, to be fair, was only hinted at even in the books, but remained a key element of his personality, resulting from the personal experience of Fleming himself.

For the new Bondian course, therefore, the choice was to bring the spy par excellence into the modern world. The villains who use sharks or hatch complex plans of destruction have gone out of fashion, now the danger is in the great finance that travels on the network, on the control of resources, and therefore space for Le Ciffre and Dominic Green, perfect modern villains for the new James Bond by Daniel Craig.

Casino Royale is a perfect origin story, it shows the first, uncertain steps of Bond, it presents us a brutal man and far from the perfect hero, devoid of the charm that previously led him to be a legend for colleagues. In a way, Craig's first James Bond murder is the romantic side of the character, his positivity, his charm. Hated by colleagues, unwilling to collaborate and disrespectful of superiors, the new Bond is far from the Moore-like smile or the elegance of Brosnan's looks, he crosses the physicality of the first Connery to become, in effect, a brute. The scenes that precede the traditional Casino Royale gunbarrel sequence are a perfect visiting card of what will be the new Bondian course: violent, brutal, current.

Fallible and defeated: a more human Bond for the new millennium

Human, above all. Because Bond's infallibility does not survive this reboot, in which only the Aston Martin DB5, the Martini and some simple gadgets created by the young Q remain, familiar elements but which seem more to refer to a quotationist taste of the past than to a signal of continuity, however largely resized. Human, we said, and nothing is more human than fallibility, defeat.

Casino Royale, like its original paper, tells a story of origins made of loss and bitterness, with a victory poisoned by the awareness of having lost his own love, Vesper Lynd (a beautiful Eva Green), ready to become the ghost that haunts Bond's already tormented soul. With a swipe of the sponge the concept of Bond Girl is erased, with all due respect to the seductive interpretations of Barbara Bach, Halle Berry or Denise Richards, for the new Bond women are an open wound that continues to bleed, a long list of names that increase its faults, like Strawberry Field in Quantum of Solace.

Leaving aside the greater relevance to the original paper, at least for the first chapter of this saga, it is the desire to focus more on the horizontal plot on Bond that surprises. In the past, films were also enjoyable on their own, with a mild continuity built mainly on secondary elements that reappear. Daniel Craig's James Bond instead becomes the narrative fulcrum of these five films, his thirst for revenge for Vesper's death, his rage against an invisible enemy to which he is uniquely linked makes him finally the pivot around which this revolves. shadowy way of espionage and crimes. Obviously there is no shortage of enemies par excellence of the Bondian myth, such as Waltz's Blofeld with his SPECTER, but who owe their presence to adherence to the literary canon, rather than to the cinematographic tradition.

Always the protagonist of stories from fantapolitik, but more realistic. Bond is almost a character cursed from his own birth, now, he suffers from his inability to adapt to a world that follows rules he doesn't like, which makes him a foreign element, or as Judy Dench's M defines him as 'a dinosaur'. Not a small detail, considering how this narrative arc presents us a decisive and unstoppable man in his obsession, which also shows the weight of the years, both physically and mentally. And No Time To Die could be the moment of his personal showdown, a final mission not so much for 007 as for James Bond. On the other hand, Craig has given us a human James Bond, while his qualification is a number that could fit other spies, carrying on an honored tradition of service to the Crown.

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