Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Casino Royale - Royal case-no

I am not a huge fan of Bond movies but I like them. They are a couple of hours of "fultu timepass". So if I get a chance - I rarely miss them. Now after a long time a real opportunity came - three married guys - one of them me, plan for a movie - that too a james bond movie - and the icing on the cake - without our wives. wow college days are here again. So how would you feel when you sit through a love story in this situation - no don't look at your desktop in amazement. Just sympethise with us because thats what happened to us - a life time opportunity wasted really over a over priced coke and a few sweet corns.

Actually its a good movie except that it rubs the James Bond fans the wrong way - yeah really. Let me explain. what do you expect of a bond movie?? No, tell me what ...... some great action, a superbly intriguing plot, great ladies, lively kisses, blinding pace, imaginative futuristic gadgets, and a high action climax. The bond movies carry a certain positioning with an opening action sequence setting the pace followed by the main body the building of the plot culminating in a thrilling grand finale - oh.. it feels so satisfying coming out of the movie hall feeling like you just went through two hours of adventure ride.

Here is the catch - casino royale turns out to be great bond movie in the first half and touching love story in the second - the carefully built positioning over decades is lost in an hour or so. The first half is really promising - rivetting actually. The movie opens with a great human chase which is amazing, super human still believable. The plot thickens and you are glued to your seats as the world of terrorism, its financing and its money flows unfold in front of your eyes. The idea of it being all a casino - a game of who is a bigger bluffmaster is actually quite appealing. The editing in this part is crisp - that lets the movie glide through smoothly.

Catrino murino - the new bond girl has a stunning entry and you expect a lot of steam on the screen - but then you have to do with just some good looking shots - otherwise she proves to be a very ordinary choice for a bond movie girl. Her characterisation is weak as well. So all in all a disappointing package here.

And she takes you into the second half full of expectations - but alas the movie takes a different turn - Bond seems to have finished his task and is all set to return after transferring the money that he wins in the game stripping the portfolio manager of the money he laundered from terrorists - But then our very smart bond who never trusts anybody - least of all sexy looking girls gives the code to her new lady. Then bond resigns (yeah !! really) because he would rather live a cosy family love life with her new found. Ofcourse she betrays her after this it appears to be a truly Indian Love story.

Why it will finally turn out to the viewers that though she did betray bond - it was to save his life. Yes !! she traded the money to save him and in the bargain she scarifies her love (does that sound familiar to everyone in touch with the bollywood). And icing on the cake who tells bond this fact - oh his so professional motherly boss (God save me). Now what bond goes in search of the woman, finds her - a whole building collapses somewhere in venice (which means you are in deep water) - bond's new yummy is in that building trapped in the lift - he tries to save her - but in the true bollywood style she is too embarrassed and so bids a last sorry and refuses to be saved. She dies - bond is broken and he will take the final revenge. I might sound sarcastic on a good movie actually - but hell - this was supposed to be a James Bond movie - the name was bond - James Bond.
The movie has its great moments - I already told you about the chase at the start. The game of poker at the casino is delicately done and is gripping. Another sequence which I will remember as much for the imagination as for the gadgetry use, is when bond is given some chemical under deception - he realises it and quickly moves into his car - plugs into some gadgets and voila - his head office control recieves data on his health condition - he is getting a heart attack - it is announced. Now very steady instructions are given to bond on what he should if he is to be saved - he tries to follow them and simultaneously the heart arrest is getting severe. As an audience you know he will be saved, and suddenly machines show zero heart activity before he can press the final switch. Everyone in the hall is surprised - bond is dead and the out of nowhere our yummy indian looking dame comes and does the last job ....... Funny actually no - I am telling you this sequence was actually done well.

Our new bond is handsome, a good actor, and lives upto the expectations that I have of a bond. Everything about the movie is good (even the second half if you are prepared to watch a love story) except that it seems to have been directed by two directors changing gaurds after the interval. The action that has been the hallmark of bond movies is missing - badly.