Movie Review : ‘Skyfall’ (**** Four Star)

(By Akshat Sharma) As the world celebrates the Golden Jubilee year of ‘James Bond’, Oscar winning director Sam Mendes gives a delightful cinematic treat to all Bond fans with his first ever 007 flick, ‘Skyfall’.  This is the third film featuring Daniel Craig as Bond after ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Quantum of Solace’ and probably one of the best Bond films ever made.

‘Skyfall’ is James Bond’s (played by Daniel Craig) journey towards his roots. A Bond who is matured and humane, so much so that he doesn’t mind getting overpowered by his emotions while holding M’s ( played by Judi Dench) dead body.

Like all Bond films ‘Skyfall’ too opens with a bang. It is one long chase scene on the streets of Istanbul where Bond is shown chasing a bad guy who has stolen a list that MI6 is desperate to get at any cost.  Even if costs James Bond M is willing to pay the price.

The story takes a turn when the MI 6 headquarters in London is bombed and the internal security system is breached. It forces M to press Bond into action although his Istanbul encounter has rendered him unfit for the field duty.

Bond is dispatched to Shanghai and there he gets some vital clues about the attack. In China he meets two characters, one of them is Sevriene (played by Bernice Marlohe) and the other one is Silva (Javier Bardem), the villain. Silva is an interesting character who has a funny streak in him. Like the Joker of ‘Batman Returns’ Silva looks deadly with his subtle mannerism and style.

Silva holds personal grudges against M as he is also a former agent who has worked with MI 6 during his prime. Locked in direct confrontation with M and James Bond, Silva leaves no stone unturned to seek revenge. In the process only Bond survives as M and Silva both get killed in gruesome encounter set in picturesque Scotland.

Daniel Craig as James Bond is considered as the darkest and the most unique Bond in many ways. Never before in history any Bond film has decoded and demystified Bond the way ‘Skyfall’ has done. You see him like a real person who has no pretensions of being a ‘Bond’. He still likes women but he is not a womaniser. He goes for the kill but he also cries when someone near and dear dies.

He has also become minimalist in many ways with this film. He doesn’t use fancy modern cars, hi-tech gadgets or pull of those unbelievable stunts which only he could. Daniel Craig in ‘Skyfall’ will go down in the history of Bond films as one of the most vulnerable and real James Bond.

The film will also be remembered for depicting a deeper relationship between Bond and his boss M. Judy Dench has already announced that this is the last Bond film of her career and ‘Skyfall’ gives a glowing tribute to her illustrious career in Bond films.

Javier Bardem is the most talked about actor in the movie for his role as he takes Bond villains to an iconic level. Director Mendes has pitted a villain who can give some serious competition to James Bond with his menacing acts and misdemeanor.

‘Skyfall’ also deserves special mention for splendid camerawork by ace cinematographer Roger Deakins. His camera follows James Bond’s journey all the way from Istanbul, London, Shanghai, Macau and back to the mystique countryside of Scotland using shadows and images with equal finesse.

For music lovers ‘Skyfall’ has an added attraction of the theme song by Grammy award winner Adele. Background score of the film is also commendable. If you have heard about the name James Bond and even if you remotely admire the character, ‘Skyfall’ is definitely a must watch.

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