Monday, March 19, 2007

Casino Royale

Taking It in the Cojones for Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Is Bond defining a new type of post-war masculinity for Britain?

By Rovira . . . James Rovira ::: philms ::: (4) Comments ::: Read the whole thing

Comments

1

I will agree with you about Fleming’s themes. You make a good argument for that. However, I think you’re confusing an American view of masculinity with a British view.

A large part of the British defintion of manliness has always dwelt within his natural skepticism, and his ability to laugh things off, and triumph with his wit. If this movie heralds a sea change from this even now present attitude among men here, I pray for all us Brits.

As much as any machismo and sex appeal, the redeeming quality of all of the leading men in this entire series was their sense of humour. It’s a thing we call “cheeky wit”, and so far as I can tell (and movies like this latest Hollywood installment of Bond and XXX would indicate) the concept seems to simultaneously fascinate yet completely escape the grasp of American directors.

This concept, unfortunately, has been completely lost with Daniel Craig. He is all brute force with precious little cheek or even nuance. The dry wit is just plain dry, the cheeky moments are few and far between (the car scene stands out), the innuendo blunt to the point of being almost unsexy, and the play between Q and Bond has slipped into just bare-faced insolence.

We can only hope Mr. Craig’s sophmore effort will bring him into a greater understanding that there is more to being macho than a big chest.

Posted by Jack Meyer on 07 Jan 08 at 05:14 PM
2

Thanks, Jack, for the response, and of course I’m not going to argue with you about British wit.  Given Jane Austen, do you think this is a defining characteristic of British masculinity or just Britishness?  Or, is Austen’s wit a feminine version of British masculine wit? 

At any rate, I’d say you’re not giving Craig’s Bond enough credit for his wit—he managed to find out M’s real name, break in to her apartment, log in to the network using her username, beat Mr. Brilliant at poker, and then there’s the torture scene: “NONONOOO….to the left, to the left.” 

But Craig’s Bond was indeed so blunt, so brute force that it’s easy to overlook his intelligence—which, perhaps, was not so much intelligence as cunning?

The real question to me is: was the Bond of Fleming’s Casino Royale that much more reliant upon wit than Craig’s Bond?  What I like about Craig’s Bond is that he seems more like the Bond in the books, more brute force and less Roger Moore. 

But it’s been awhile since I’ve read the books.

Thanks again for responding.

Posted by Jim Rovira on 11 Jan 08 at 09:34 PM
3

What a stupid article! Never before in my life have i read such BS. “The British had to be bailed out of world war II.” ha!!!! Alright mate, go and read a book moron!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02 Aug 13 at 12:53 PM
4

Ben—

I’m very sorry that you think Ian Fleming is an idiot (because of course those are the ideas he puts into the mouth of the Japanese secret service agent, which were validated by Bond, as you’d know if you’d read the novels or my article carefully). But it shouldn’t be that hard to accept, as everyone knows the English are a race of pansy buggers and the Scottish are the only real men on the island.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02 Aug 13 at 01:46 PM

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