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The Bond Who Could Not Sleep in Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace (2008) November 11, 2008

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Hollywood, Literature.


Directed by Marc Forster
Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench
Based on Ian Fleming’s Bond series

That Bond is a better creation than Batman is highly disputable – – the farfetchedness of the idea is peppered with so much bias that my fan can actually lose all his nails in his head in trying to overthrow me in a discussion – – because it just crossed my mind, what makes a hero a hero? Or what makes a hero not a hero? And more importantly, what makes someone who is not a hero a hero? Is it bravery? The intention that, more often than not, misleads? The enemy that keeps the fire of heroic zeal burning? Or is it affirmation? A selfish act of proving one’s worth, that he is capable of saving the world, or even a small fraction of it, from the thirst of evil omnipotence? So is heroism, more than a fulfillment of one’s duty that he has firmly established and assumed on himself, a random undertaking given to the individual who gains the utmost confidence in the perfect moment of making a life-changing decision? The operative word is random – – not every one is eligible but every one gets a chance – – even our overseas workers have the privilege of being called a hero by slavering to other races. The concept of hero has been radically reduced into a mere dogtag in the last few years, that sometimes being called one becomes an insult, downplaying one’s actions into boxed social pretentiousness perpetuated by the government. As we can fairly argue, most heroes are far from perfect – – an attestation to their being human, to their foreworn weakness – – and that’s where they get their connection to us, poor, defenseless, insatiable degenerates, even if we don’t recognize ourselves as such.

Bond is no hero; in fact he is the antithesis of being a hero. He cares only for his mission, he kills, he sleeps with women entangled in his web, he mistakes murder for professional duty. Daniel Craig has butchered the Bond character to some people – – he is so rough he needs loads of lubricant to regain his suave – – but to me he has proven otherwise: his smoking cold features, in most cases damaged, add to the ravishing nonchalance of his character; Craig’s built anticipates hard-hitting action, like a god of astonishing virility; and his dour, irredeemable loss of humor builds a thriving solitude reminiscent to a lone samurai in the woods. The effortless geographical travel masks the thinness of its story, giving more time on the deliberate staging of in-your-face action, violence in unfathomable motion. Villains and heroes get mixed up, pure intentions never exist, fear becomes irrelevant, and safety becomes an illusion. Forster relies heavily on parallelism to build up the action, like when Bond chases Mitchell along with the Palio di Siena in Italy, or when he interferes Greene’s conversations with his partners while watching an opera, providing an intense chill of the bloody combat. The seriousness suffocates at some point that some dialogues, no matter how well delivered, do not seem to come through – – Is that how you treat your friends? – – and that final conversation with M fails to push hard enough for us to anticipate the next installment. The difficulty in following the narrative is compensated by the fact that there will be another salvo in the next sequence – – and that’s a good payoff. Only Bond, whether blinded by inconsolable rage or motivated by duty, is not too happy to show his skills off – – because when cinema attempts to borrow the rigidity of human experience, there is no other food to eat but boredom.



1. Yoshke - November 12, 2008

chard, asan na yung stars? bit wala nang grade? haha

2. Richard Bolisay - November 12, 2008

i stopped rating stars after one year. just for a change. hehe. and doing it makes me feel how contradictory my statements are. quantum of solace is fine, it’s not that good but it’s not that bad as well. though i must agree to the short talk i overheard in the restroom on how much Bond has changed when Craig had the role, his attack is rather different. it’s either you’ll really like him or otherwise. and there’s even a boycott site like this!

3. kutosasinema - November 12, 2008

it’s called palio, hindi po rodeo, isang matanda’t nirerevere na tradisyon ng mga taga-siena, italy. baka magalit ang mga kolehiyala ng siena sa iyo. hehehe…

4. Richard Bolisay - November 13, 2008

oh, thanks for the correction, mr kuto. see how ignorant i am. haha. ang rodeo ba sa spain at latin american countries lang?

5. kutosasinema - November 14, 2008

meron din sa pinas, dati, noon, mga early 80s, nung buhay pa si helen vela at nagjojolens pa ko, kaso rootbeer sya

6. me - November 17, 2008

Of course this gay pseudo-critic stopped rating stars because I’ve shown him how pseudo he is. Imagine rating Bakit May Kahapon Pa with 4/5 stars while Dark Night with 1/5 stars. Di ba naman? Hahahah

7. Richard Bolisay - November 17, 2008

A response from a fan, bow. (You don’t look bad. Look who’s hiding. Look who’s scared to be found out.)

In fairness to you, I miss your silliness! It won’t harm if you exist once in every lifetime. I bet you haven’t seen Bakit May Kahapon Pa and you are just surprised by the fact that it’s a better film than the Dork Knight. Well then, for all the worth of being as stupid as you: DON’T FOOL YOURSELF TO FOOL OTHERS. For all I know you may not have understood it as much as you thought you did, or as much as you show everyone you did.

And you’re not getting the data right, wretch. You can do better. (What, you still haven’t moved on? Nanalo na si Obama ah!)

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