Shomini SenSam Mendes, the director of the latest James Bond film, plays with your mind with his films. He had done it in ‘American Beauty’ and ‘The Revolutionary Road’ and now he does it in ‘Skyfall’, albeit through the antagonist. In spite of having slick gadgets, the best secret agent on board, Mendes evolves a story which is heavily dependent on psychological mind games- where each character has an internal battle to fight.
The film also makes the villain, Javier Bardem, appear larger than life and ‘bigger’ than the hero. Just like Heath Ledger’s Joker act surpassed Batman in ‘The Dark Knight’, Mendes makes Silva a menacing hero in many of the frames. And what a superb evil hero Bardem makes! With blonde hair and eyebrows, Bardem gives a brilliant performance as the crazy, lunatic, venomous Silva who makes you cringe and laugh at the same time. He is smooth and even makes Bond uncomfortable with his ‘ways’. Among the women, talented actress Judi Dench gets a meaty role as M, and mouths poetry and reprimands Bond with equal élan. The other two, Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris, have very dismal appearances. ‘Skyfall’ is also a beautifully shot film. From the snazzy Shanghai, to a busy subway in London to a morbid cold Scotland countryside - all are captured brilliantly by cinematographer Roger Deakins. Sam Mendes pays tribute to Christopher Nolan in many of the scenes. In fact, Bond even says, “A storm is coming,” while revisiting his past. Many of the shots during the climax, Silvia’s eccentricities remind you of Nolan’s Batman series. So does the film live up to the hype? Yes in more ways than one and summarises the 50 illustrious years of the franchise perfectly.
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