Saturday, November 25, 2006

Movie Review: Casino Royale

His name is Bond... James Bond and for a change we meet the MAN James Bond and not the gadget assisted tight upper lipped womanizer!

I am not much of a reader and have not read any Bond novel, but people who have read them tell me that this is more closer to the Bond Ian Fleming had in mind that the gadgety ones we are used to seeing in all the movies. I have always (thought) loved the Bond movies, especially the Sean Connery and Roger Moore ones. Star Movies has been running a Bond special, sorta like a prequel to the release of Casino Royale, they have been playing all the Bond movies ever made for the last 3-4 weeks. I must say that seeing some these flicks again was downright boring. But then, if you give them the benefit because of the time when they were made, maybe they are still enjoyable. Comparatively the Pierce Brosnan ones have been more entertaining. Better plots and better screenplay than the usual bad men being present at some place before Bond reaches and waiting to kill him and Bond escaping unscathed every time. Though Star Movies must have planned this to be a great way to boost Casino Royale, I kinda lost appetite for Bond movies, so to speak.

Now this is my mood going into the theater and the first 10-15 minutes is moooore than enough to blow me away and give me my(company) moneys worth. Here is a Bond acting like no other, actually doing some physical hard work to catch the bad guy. This sets up the rest of the movie and Craig David Daniel Craig does his job fantastically. You gotta give it to the guy, he is not your typical Bond lady killer, but damn he can kick some butt! No wonder the producers of Bond movies decided to force Pierce into early retirement. He could never ever have pulled this one off! To be frank, the plot is quite straightforward and no real surprises till the very end, well... even the end is kinda guessable. So, story wise, not very strong. The second half drags a bit after the big poker match and you get a feel of "If the action is over, get it over with already!". Then the final surprise unveils itself and the movie then ends. Except for this last 20-30 something minutes of drag, the movie is quite nicely paced. I love card games and I understand poker, hence I enjoyed the action-less but tension-filled poker game too. The lady love of Bond is also not your typical bombshell though there is a distinct effort to "uplift" certain parts of the female anatomy. In fact, Bond is mostly monogamous in this flick and that completes the characterization of the new Bond. The new Bond has a heart, has a temper, has no gadgets and packs quite a punch. The only commonality to the other Bond movies is that this one is also a probable hit at the box-office. I would give it a 8.3/10 and the extra .3 is because it rekindled my Bond liking. wink big nose

Now.. whatz next?? Probably Dhoom-2, TOI just gave it a 4 star rating.
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