Skyfall marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond. In the year 1962, the super spy made his first appearance on silver screen in Terrance Young’s Dr. No and the rest is history. The next fifty years have been eventful with the franchise going through many ups and downs. There have been six different actors essaying the role of Bond and there have been cut throat debate over who was the best bond ever. It has to be accepted though that Daniel Craig’s Bond is the closest to the source material of Ian Fleming and has a raw physicality to act which is an absolute necessity considering the fact that he is meant to be a ruthless assassin with a license to kill. as Skyfall marks the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise, it had the added burden of making it a memorable one apart from the immense expectations which is generally associated with Bond films.
The movie starts with James Bond(Daniel Craig) in pursuit of a list which contains the names and identities of every MI6 operative working undercover from getting to the wrong hands. He is shot by a fellow in the process loosing the disk and is presumed dead. In a sudden turn of events, MI6 comes under attack and M(Judi Dench) has her office blown with the rest of the MI6 headquarters. Bond comes back from the dead and is handed over the case to track down the nefarious criminal who seems to have a special affinity for M. The search brings bond face to face with Silva(Javier Bardem) who uncovers a side of M that Bond did not know existed. The expose not only tests Bond’s trust in MI6 but also in M.
With a director like Sam Mendes at helm, Skyfall had a brisk start of the blocks and never looses its momentum. The movie starts off with a bang and unfolds beautifully. Some might complain that the first half proceeds at a leisurely pace but I must say that the slow pace takes the viewer in wraps and immerses his senses in the narrative with very little left unexplained at the end. Unlike Quantum Of Solace which was almost incomprehensible in many parts, Skyfall has a linear and very simple storyline but has enough surprises and twists to keep the viewer engrossed. The action is stupendous. Special mention has to be given to the sequence in the subway where a train comes bludgeoning through a crack in the concrete towards bond. The opening sequence and also the one in which a contract killer is shown taking out a target in Shanghai are filmed with breathtaking beauty. The climax however was a little sheepish.
Daniel Craig in his third film as Bond has developed into one of the best bonds ever. his charisma is undeniable and he has a brought a much needed seriousness to the role. He looks perfect in the action sequences portraying both his vulnerabilities and his never say die attitude with equal elan. His sequences with M is a treat to watch. Javier Bardem is the principal bad guy and he is outstanding. He seems to be in the same groove as the character he portrayed in No Country For Old Man and honestly the viewer seems to be enjoying it. We cannot have enough of his psychotic bad guy as he does it so convincingly. Ralph Fiennes does what he does best. Naomi Harris is apt and it seems she is going to be repeated in the following Bond films considering the revelation of her character’s real name in the end and so will be the case with Ralph Fiennes. Ben Whishaw as Q is superb.
Overall, Skyfall has all the ingredients of a Bond film sans the unnecessary gimmick. It has everything going in its favor. A solid first half and an electrifying second half will leave the viewers asking for more. Don’t miss this one at any cost.