Quantum of Solace


Written on 6:15 PM by Hemanth Kumar

Title: Quantum of Solace
Language: English
Year of Release: 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Actors: Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench
Verdict: ***

First things first...What happened to Bond, James Bond?! To put into a proper perspective, the iconic character of our age seems to have been slowly stripped off his panache. Of course, the new interpretation of James Bond is enthralling for those who bask in realism. But where is his wit?! Where are his jaw-dropping gadgets?! Where is the charm which women find irreristable?! Where did his Tuxedo go? What happened to his own Martini?! There are way too many questions than this if you have just walked out of the latest James Bond flick, "Quantum of Solace". Having said all this, I will not take any credit away from this. Despite all its shortcomings, including a theme which is very unBond like, wayward editing and total absence of everything what we have known Bond for, "Quantum of Solace" is still a movie which has loads of energy and edge-of-the-seat action.

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond, tracking down the people behind Vasper Lynd's death with vengeance in his heart. The movie begins with a stunning car chase in Italy as Bond tries to escape from the henchmen. In Siena(Italy), M awaiting Bond to bring forth Mr.White tries to know about the organisation for which Mr.White works for. And sooner she finds out that the organisation has infiltrated even Mi6, she's caught unaware when her own aide shoots at her. Back in Mi6 as the forensic experts successfully tracks down some of the key people associated with suspicious money transfers, Bond is on his heels. His voyage to track down those responsible for Vasper's death takes him to Carribean and later to Bolivia, Austria. Dominic Greene, the chief of Green Planet, and as a member of Quantum, the organisation behind some of the most heinous crimes across the world. How Dominic tries to dictate terms to the governments in South America? Who helps Bond in his path to redemption? Does Bond successfully tracks down those behind Vasper's death? All this form the basic theme of Quantum of Solace.

Quantum of Solace originally is a short story adapted from Ian Fleming's "For Your Eyes Only", and it really is SHORT! With a running time of around 105 minutes, the film hardly has time to lay down the plot for the convenience of its audience. It's stuffed with as many action sequences, car chases, hand to hand fights ., etc in those 105 minutes. And we end up getting a half-baked plot which could have been a much better one to talk about. When you clinically look at this movie, you will realise that, despite some great cinematography and action sequences, the editing is so wayward that, atleast I had no clue what was happening in that scene. The frames change faster than you can gaze, the scenes and the acts are just too short to give much of a thought and in the end, the void is so clearly seen. Daniel Craig as the Bond, looks as good as any other action hero, but isn't it the charm which the likes of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan once displayed which makes Bond, the Bond?! These are the moments when I truly miss Brosnan, the erstwhile Bond, who despite not having the muscle, had unparallel charm and wit. Olga Kurylenko as Camellie is good in her role, but with zilch chemistry between her and Craig, it's as good as not having her in the same frame as Bond. And what happened to the "Other" Bond Girl?! She's supposed to be the hottest chick in the flick; and they had to choose Gemma Arterton, of all the beautiful women in the world! Phew, if this is what the hotness parameter has fallen to, God save Bond! (She supposed to be the one who can surge the adrenaline levels when she's on screen, but watch Gemma on screen, and you will realise why I am fretting so much!). Dominic Greene(Mathieu Amalric) is perhaps the worst antagonist of Bond I have seen in ages. It's not that Mathieu hasn't done a good job, but his character in the film is so weak that you will realise that the purpose of his existence is to wait for Bond to kill him!!!

The only reason why you cannot walk out of the cinema hall is because of some stunning action sequences (however incongruent they may be), the conversations between M and Bond, and a new theme which takes us to places where no Bond film has ever gone before! And Thank God, the antagonist is not from a country which US and UK always has on their blacklist. He's not into building nuclear weapons or any other such thing to create havoc. Judi Dench as M, shows why no other woman can usurp that role atleast for the next few years. She's almost perfect to her role and delivers a commendable performance. This film was said to be most jinxed in the history of Bond flicks. You will realise why stunt drivers lost their lives and others ended up with broken bones when you see the first 5 minutes of the film....don't miss the beginning!!!

Lets hope that someone who's thinking about the next Bond film's script sees what Bond has missed in this flick. Bring back his gadgets, his tuxedo, his style, his wit, his way with women ! Put the sex back into Bond!!! You don't feel like having seen a truly genuine Bond movie unless we see all this on screen and hear his iconic line....Bond, James Bond!


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