Casino Royale (2006)
Martin Campbell
Bond, James Bond: Daniel Craig
Arch Rival: Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen)
Bond Girl: Vesper Lynd (Eva Green)

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig becomes the sixth man to don the role of the British secret agent in Casino Royale. The film follows the early professional life of Bond, just after he has been elevated to the 00 status. He is naïve and trusts women he sees. In this installment he follows Le Chiffre, the investment giant who deals with the money lent to him by the leading terrorist organizations and multiplies it using Poker matches. Bond is sent to play him fair and square and turn him bankrupt, forcing himself to run out of business. He is aided by Vesper Lynd, responsible for handling the huge sum of money sent along with Bond, and Mathis, the local agent for MI6. Sure enough, the ordeal becomes one involving more than Bond’s brawns. Meanwhile, it is revealed that the match is not just between Le Chiffre and Bond, but a third hand too.

Bond is no more (or not yet!) the smooth talking, ever punning, suave gentleman. He is a mean killing machine and lives by his code of duty. Daniel Craig is an instant hit unlike someone like Roger Moore who had to convince us for a couple of movies or three. His USP remains his barely legible accent and I-mean-business attitude. Immensely stylish and high on production value, Casino Royale is still a bit unconvincing perhaps because of the nature of Bond himself. The opening stunt scene easily features in the best of Bond and one only wonders what they will come up with in the next one.

GoldenEye (1995)
Martin Campbell
Bond, James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Arch Rival: Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean)
Bond Girl: Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco)

GoldenEye (1995)

GoldenEye (1995)

It is now time for the fifth actor to step into the shoes of the world’s greatest secret Agent. It is not just Pierce Brosnan who is new to the world of Bond, but even the new M is a lady, played by the no-nonsense Judy Dench. GoldenEye follows Bond’s adventures in Russia just after the collapse of Communism as he tries to dig into the mysterious character Janus, whose agents destroy the GoldenEye control center and steal its powering source. As the identity of Janus is revealed in the process of tracking down the criminals, Bond’s past is dug up. Bond meets up with Natalya, a programmer who luckily escapes n the massacre at the control centre, and both of them go to Cuba to trace out the other GoldenEye control centre. They have to stop Janus, who is planning the biggest bank robbery in history, from disrupting the computer systems of all the Banks in England. With Bond’s guilt plaguing him, can he act by the mind and not the heart?

Golden Eye remains the most delayed bond film ever, releasing six years after the previous installment. Yes, both Bond and M have changed, but the Russians still speak English among themselves with a Russian accent. Wittier and funnier than many bonds, GoldenEye tries to shed Bond’s macho image to an extent and delve into his personal life of harsh loneliness. Brosnan is good with his lover-boy looks and gives Bond a much required makeover in this otherwise regular Bond fodder.