50 years and still Bond-ing

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Photo – Coventrytelegraph.net & Blue-ray Disc

A thousand miles apart, Where worlds collide and days are dark
You may have my number, You can take my name, But you’ll never have my heart
Let the sky fall, when it crumbles, we will stand tall, and face it all together

~ Let the Sky Fall, Adele – OST “Skyfall” ~

As you listen to Adele’s intense dramatic ballad, evoking a sense of mystery, and danger, the world goes into a frenzy over Jame’s Bond’s 50th anniversary. The Production House is going the whole nine yards, to make the year of the Bond, the most memorable one ever. The soundtrack itself was released 7 minutes shortly after midnight [0:07] on 5th October. The internet world and that outside was abuzz with the much awaited “Skyfall”, the 23rd 007 movie, which is scheduled for release on 26th October 2012.

It’s been a long roller coaster journey indeed. The Bond Franchise, stands tall as one of the most successful box office grossers of all time, second only to Harry Potter. Over the past 50 years, Agent 007 has stood the test of time, and  pervaded the collective consciousness of avid cine goers as the gun touting, womanising, irrepressibly charming alpha male, super spy with a licence to kill.

Now why women would go hysterical over such an ineffable chauvinist, who is charming without a shadow of doubt, but an emotionally disconnected playboy nevertheless, was beyond confounding. He was the epitome of male icon that every woman wanted, and every man wished to be. And then with “Casino Royale” in 2006, Daniel Craig happened. 007 has never been the same again. It was then that the grand metamorphosis of James Bond, from the unashamedly chauvinistic super spy to the more intense, emotionally fallible MI6 Agent happened.

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007 has seen it all – from the Cold War era to combating terrorism. The Cold War was a period that Bond’s creator Ian Fleming was familiar with. Having served in the British Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, this was his sole inspiration to the Bond Series. He infused in Bond all the characteristics like cynicism, ruthlessness, covert backdoor diplomacies of the murky world of political espionage and intrigue, where nothing is as it seems.

But Bond did not stay frozen in time. His creators made sure that he changed according to the political climate of the period. From England, US, Russia, Middle East and China, Agent 007 has managed to save the world a dozen times over. And it’s not just the geopolitics of the changing times that were adapted in the James Bond movies, his essential personality changed and matured as well.

From being a witty, quick gun, Casanova, he had now become the icon of everything that the previous Bonds were not – emotional, faithful, visibly scarred for life and yet capable of one woman love to the point of crying when he loses her. The die hard fans of his yesteryears, and the current detractors of his present avatar, cry foul for deconstructing his original avatar, calling him a “humourless, colourless replica of the original!”

But women worldwide can now heave a sigh of relief! Daniel Craig with his brooding intensity and “real” emotions, is the prototype ideal than the distorted male chauvinistic Agent 007 that the franchise had been trying to sell for too long! Craig’s 007 characteristics they hope, that men will be inspired to emulate.

Celebrating 50 years of Bond’s existence, we present to you some of the interesting Bond trivia:

a) Top Bond Actor: Popular Vote

1. Sean Connery
2. Daniel Craig
3. Pierce Brosnan
4. Roger Moore
5. Timothy Dalton
6. George Lazenby

Team Arabian Gazette’s Vote
: Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig

b) Top Bond Movie Grossers: 

1. Casino Royale : $594.2 Million
2. Quantum of Solace :$586.1 Million
3. Die Another Day : $432 Million
4. The World Is not Enough : $361.8 Million
5. Golden Eye : $352.2 Million
6. Tomorrow Never Dies:$333 Million

c) Top Rated Bond Movies: 

1. Casino Royale
2. Golden Eye
3. From Russia With Love
4. Golden Eye
5. Dr.No
6. The Spy who loved me

Team AG’s Vote
: Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale

d) Relationships:

1. 44 affairs!!

2. Serious ones:
a) Vesper Lynd (girl friend) – Casino Royale
b) Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo (wife) – On Her Majesty’s service

Team AG’s Reactions:
“WOW!”
“Ah! To be a Bond!” ,
“Sexist, Chauvinist!”

e) Most famous Bond lines :

1. My name’s Bond… James Bond

2. A Martini “Shaken, not stirred”

3. James Bond on diamonds: “Well, hardest substance found in nature, they cut glass, suggest marriages, I suppose it replaced the dog as the girl’s best friend. That’s about it.”

4. “Do you destroy every vehicle you get into?”
Bond: “Standard operating procedure. Boys with toys”

5. The things I do for England.

6. I don’t think the dead care about vengeance

Team AG’s favourites :

Name is Bond…James Bond

Take a deep breath, you only got one shot, make it count,”

I have no armour left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me – whatever is left of me – whatever I am – It’s all yours.”

f) Best Bond Actress:

1. Ursula Andress
2. Honor Blackman: Goldfinger
3. Eva Green: Casino Royale
4. Halle Barry
5. Diana Rigg: On Her Majesty’s Service

Team AG’s Vote
: Eva Green, Olga Kurlyenko

g) Famous Bond Cars:
1. Aston Martin DB5
2. Lotus Espirit
3. Ford Mustang
4. BMW Z8
5. Aston Martin DBS
6. BMW750!L

Team AG’s Vote
: Aston Martin DBS, BMW Z8

h) The Next Bond in Waiting:

1. Michael Fassbender
1. Christian Bale
2. Guy Pearce
3. Henry Cavill
4. Jon Ham
5. Sam Worthington

Team AG’s Vote
: Henry Cavill would have been our choice, but since the Superman franchise is already under his belt, there is very little chance. In this case, Sam Worthington would be our next favourite!

Tell us about your Bond preferences and tastes. And don’t forget to give your review on “Skyfall” after you watch it. We’d love to hear from you. So watch this space!

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Husna Mohammad is a Cochin based writer and entrepreneur. She is a dentist by qualification, but her love for the written word lured her into the world of journalism and creative writing. Her areas of interest range from topics such as politics, art & literature, economy & human rights. She is currently a content and social media consultant & the co-founder of a travel & culture portal The Silk Route Co - http://thesilkroute.co. She is also a guest feature writer for Arabian Gazette.