malapropism: (noooo my brain)
[personal profile] malapropism
Well, I saw Skyfall last night, and having thought it over since, I've figured it out! There is one very simple problem with this movie. The problem is that it's under the delusion of being a James Bond film. It is not! Bond's role is not terribly integral to this film in the end beyond providing Raoul Silva with a "heroic good" parallel. And in truth, Bond is not even heroic good. He is the same kind of monster that Silva is, but better content with being leashed. Maybe he might have been otherwise if they were still treating Bond as a character and not restoring him to a male power fantasy, but that was not the case.

In fact, Skyfall should have been and is M's movie.

She's the logical and emotional center of the entire film. Silva's entire motivation is for M to acknowledge and love him better than Bond. Her relevance is questioned not only because the political players placed the blame of failure on her but because she is MI6 and she is a woman, and the subtextual message of this movie was that women should not be in positions of power. This is a movie about the cause and effect of massive failure due to hubris, it's about taking responsibility for those failures and, as it constantly likes to remind us as if it is also reminding itself, it's about how progress can sometimes hold us back. M and Silva and even Eve and Q are embroiled in the thick of all of the main themes and conflicts of the movie and Bond is...not...

This should have been a movie about M correcting her mistakes even at the cost of her life, because she understood the necessity of that sacrifice. She deserved to die with that much dignity intact, not bleeding out a slow death on the floor of a chapel because of ~symbolism~! Silva was her creation, her problem, her opponent. She should have been the one to deal with him. We should have seen why she was worth destroying governments for the reward of her attention. We should have seen why she was made the head of MI6. We should even have been so lucky for this to have been a movie about how women are, in fact, worthy of their own power. Maybe Severine was not as without hope and beyond a struggle as she let on. Maybe Eve was a better field agent than the one who summarily failed all of his exams, and maybe she actually knew what she was saying when she said of course she wanted to go back into the field, what else was there for her? There is even room for Bond to be an agent rediscovering his competence and relevance without cheaply stripping the rest of the cast of theirs! Maybe there is more to the ~old ways~ than patriarchy and heavily foreshadowed knives. Or maybe they should have rewritten Bond with less contrived connections to the conflict and themes. They were, after all, writers. Instead, we have the writers laming the whole movie out and nothing is surprising and rather a lot is gross and simplified and it is an insulting return to form. Or, if you prefer, a concession to form. There were a lot of people crying for the "good old classics" of the series, who longed for the "charm" of the casual objectification of women and the misogyny and who lamented Craig's Bond as "pussified," and I assume the comments on the "back to basics" has metatextual connotations, too.

...And in the end, I did like it. It was a dumb action movie with good, albeit mishandled, characters, good cinematography, fair acting, and I've liked movies with bigger flaws and dumber plot holes. If this didn't have to be tied down with all the necessary trappings of a Bond film, it might have even been a smart action movie. It was fun, and I can even sort of see why some people love it! Just don't expect to see Skyfall on my DVD rack.

(Especially since the most recent movie-related addition to said rack is Coraline. Which was added the year it came out.)

(Also, it wouldn't have hurt to know what M was like as a field agent. I bet she thrived on it just the same as Bond did.)

In conclusion, Skyfall!

Date: 2013-03-01 01:47 am (UTC)
isana: (men)
From: [personal profile] isana
I remember some people saying that this movie delved into M's past, a bit. I kind of wanted some more of that, actually, since female M is really, really kickass, but Skyfall kind of shafted her.

Definitely would have liked more focus on her, but then again, it wouldn't have been about Bond and we can't have that. >.> (And man, Severine. The writers should have either developed her more or left out her character altogether, because in the movie it really wasn't effective.)

Skyfall's a gorgeous movie, no doubt, but I expected more from the updating.

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October 2013

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