Archive for November, 2012
I’m about to commit movie review suicide and say the new James Bond has a major story flaw, despite its major box office success. The theme of overcoming a mother complex is brilliant but the point of success has to be that a man needs to evolve from a mama’s boy (coward) to a warrior king. When James allows Severene to die without a significant reaction, I disengaged from the movie.
Here’s how I see the story from an archetypal level. The villain is a coward with serious mother issues. He is also a tyrant who knows his masculine power and uses it to inflict pain which he feels justified in doing because he has not dealt with his wounded child issues. Orphans make great agents, but at a cost.
James is also an orphan but he has dealt with his child issues and developed a healthy mother relationship where he recognizes being a man is upholding your chosen values and not being controlled by your wounds.
The flaw in the storyline for me occurs when the woman the two “brothers” have slept with is tied up for target practice and James plays the game knowing he is a lousy shot. He doesn’t even negotiate her safe release if he is successful. He seems to be only thinking about proving himself in some kind of sibling rivalry. I would have loved it if he took his shot to do the unexpected, ie. kill the guards and aim his gun at his brother, a close range shot he couldn’t miss.
If I get to be the writer, the brother would have anticipated James going in this direction, foreshadowing his skill at predicting and manipulating situations, and with a gun in each hand, killed the girl right away (because he has complete disregard for women as lovers, he is so obsessed with his mother complex) and held a gun on James looking for praise for his cleverness.
James would have gone to Severene, to hell with the risk, hoping beyond hope he had not failed her and she is still alive. She uses her last breath to tell him this is better (implying that the life of living with a man who is working out his mother issues on you is a living hell) and she is glad to have known at least one good man. He stays to be of some comfort before she dies while the brother goads him to come play or die.
The flaw in Skyfall is that James wasn’t affected by the death of Severene, who he just slept with. I thought the point of this Bond is that he values women, would die for them, because it is the highest calling of a man. This is why women fall into bed with him. Not because they are cheap and easy, but because intuitively they know this about him and honor and celebrate it.
The question now is Moneypenny. Is James going to show a casual disregard for her and completely destroy the archetypal power he held as a warrior king?
This would have been a much more powerful movie for me if it was about more than overcoming a mother complex. I wanted to it be about being a grown man and valuing the feminine on your own terms.
Probably everyone has seen Argo but me. It had even come and gone to Whitehorse before I saw it. The advantage is I get to talk about it openly (warning, spoilers) and see if you noticed what I did.
First I liked it. I loved that it makes moments of my childhood come back to me, like the yellow ribbons and those fabulous clothes and hairstyles, and that it fills in the details. This untold story is more fascinating than fiction.
It is also a story well told. I couldn’t believe how tense I felt given I know how it ends. Great writing and directing.
What makes it a really great movie for me is that it includes a personalization of the ordeal as Joe Stafford regrets that he didn’t listen to his wife when she wanted to go home. He stayed because he wanted to prove he was a man, impress his boss. He thought sticking it out would be a great career move. His self reflection is really powerful because he gave so little consideration to his wife’s fear and his role to protect her and he suffers in regret.
I was so pissed off with him when he kept playing the skeptic, working aginst Tony, as if this was a good role for him. Had he learned nothing?!
And then it happened. At the airport when they were stopped, it was as if something clicked in Joe’s head and he decided to step up to the plate and do whatever it took to bring his wife to safety. And he did it with a passion that made me tingle to watch. He sold that crappy screenplay as if he wrote that baby himself. They were not going to fail because he didn’t show up and do all that he could do. This was the Warrior King in action and I loved seeing it. Great character transformation.
I also have to say Ben Affleck was great. Hopefully it’s not because he reminds me of an ex-boyfriend, but I think he is very charismatic on screen. He echoed the same message. When the warrior king in you is called to a challenge you use your discernment and you follow through. Despite having a lot to lose, and an easy out, Tony Mendez acted out of integrity. It is a beautiful thing to witness and I am grateful for the inspiring movie and the insight into the real life warrior kings that were involved in that moment in history.