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Spectre  : Bond’s lightest assignment
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Friday, November 27, 2015
Sam Mendes
Daniel Craig. James Bond. Christoph Waltz. Franz Oberhauser

An edifice crashes in Mexico, James Bond slides down rubble and has a sofa landing. Yeah, director Sam Mendes gives soft landing a twist with Bond landing comfortably on a sofa in the midst of chaos. He’s on his feet again, chasing a villain amidst merry revellers on the road. He catches the villain in a helicopter and there’s chopper action above the town square till he gets the bad guy.


Wow, what a climax. But that’s just the beginning of Spectre where the Bond charm works and the script is lightweight. 


Bond is grounded for the unofficial opening action in Mexico, and has to stay put in London. But Judi Dench as the late M has sent him one last assignment. Bond has to strike at the root of an international plot to save the world from global surveillance and also save the Double 0 programme at MI6 from becoming extinct. Spectre, the crime syndicate, has to be smashed and C, the painful government official who’s hell bent on having M’s Double O programme officially scrapped, has to be neutralised. That’s where the new M is most helpful.


With faithful Moneypenny and Q who act as his moles at the work space, Bond goes to picturesque Rome, Austria, Switzerland and Tangier to push up the body count, and finds himself a girl en route.


The really incredible visual experience however, is Bond and newfound girlfriend Madeleine Swann’s natty, formal wardrobe right down to evening gowns and bow ties, even when they’re on the run.


The one-liners that make you smile for a second are in place. When Bond is in Austria, Q lies with a straight face, “I’ve got eyes on him. He’s in Chelsea.”  At the end, the sneaky C who thinks he’s won, mocks M and says, “Moronic. Isn’t that what M stands for?” M turns the tables on him and says, “Now we know what C stands for.” Don’t chuckle. It’s a family film, so C stands for Careless.


It is a family film, so the Censor Board in India has ensured that we get a sanitised Bond who can’t smooch his girls for more than two seconds or use a cuss word.


Despite our moralistic censors, Daniel Craig manages to be suave James all the way. Pale looking Lea Seydoux is only averagely appealing as Madeleine while Ralph Fiennes once again doesn’t let you miss Judi Dench as M.  


But Spectre doesn’t have anything like Adele’s haunting Skyfall number. And it’s more an ode to James Bond with many links to earlier 007 outings than a refreshing, new story. 


But yeah, Bond finds love again.


For a film that we Indians would call “time-pass”, Spectre gets a 3* rating.



Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Journalist & Author
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