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SkyFall

The name is Bond, James Bond. Since the release of the first Bond movie, Dr.

No in 1962 this line is mostly likely one of the most famous lines in western culture.

With a release of 22 more movies, the character of James Bond has been solidified in

pop culture. When one thinks of James Bond, the idea of who we think he is comes to

mind. He is a tall, handsome, charming, somewhat wounded man who is very good at

his job and very good at getting the ladies. The usage of women in James Bond films is

so customary, that the viewers are no longer surprised by it. In fact, it is expected of him

to use women. If Bond had fallen in love, quit his day job and stayed faithful to one

woman in the earlier films, the series would have ended a long time ago. For some

reason James Bond is a lot less sophisticated without a different woman in his bed

every night. Its safe to say that Bond is the love and leave them type.

According to Wikipedia a Bond girl is, is a character or actress portraying a love

interest of James Bond in a film, novel, or video game. They occasionally have names

that are double entendres, such as Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole, Xenia Onatopp, or

Holly Goodhead. Bond girls are considered symbols of glamour and sophistication.

There is no set rule on who a Bond girl will be or what role she will play. She may be

ally or enemy, pivotal to the mission or simply eye candy. The ongoing appeal of the

fantasy world represented in the Bond films relies heavily on attractive female

counterparts to the Bond character. Prominent female roles are pivotal to the story line

and overall tone of the films. Every Bond film has multiple female characters who
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variously tempt, distract, and assist James in his latest mission. Although there have

been Bond films without a notorious villain or innovative gadgets, there has never been

a Bond film without a Bond girl. In fact, it is the worldwide casting of the Bond female

roles that garners the most attention by the media during each films preproduction

stage.

Despite the importance of these Bond girls whether it is to the plot or the

marketing franchise, the characters are often identified as an appendage to Bond, or in

terms of their relationship to other male characters. Correspondingly, many female

characters in the 007 films are framed as objects of sex or violence, or considered

easily dispensable. For example, In Casino Royale Bond targets the wife of a villain for

information. After seducing her and getting the information from her, he leaves her

abandoned in the bedroom. After the villains superior deduce that wife, Solange is

behind the leak, albeit accidently and without the knowledge of who Bond really is, he

decides to punish her accordingly. Bond returns to find her tortured and killed. The

implication of the scene is clear; he is responsible for her death. He had to have known

that manipulating information out of Solange would come with consequences. He would

have known that if she were ever found out, she would be killed. He took the risk

anyways because to him, she was an expendable loss. Vesper Lynd, a Bond Girl once

said to Bond, You think of women as disposable pleasures, rather than meaningful

pursuits. Truer words have never been spoken.

In the latest installment of the Bond movies, Skyfall seems to be the most

personal. After he is assumed dead, Bond uses his time to retire so to speak. It is said

outright in the film that Bond is suffering from psychological problems and has a serious
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physical injury. Bond works through his problems like many people do, by using alcohol

and sex. In one earlier scene Bond is lying in arms of an unnamed woman after sex, he

looks away almost as though he is bored. The woman in this partially scene seems to

be nothing more than a balm to make himself feel better. Its not the first time he has

done it. Bond has a habit of using sex as a Band-Aid. Its seems despite his advanced

hand to hand combat skills, his knowledge of weaponry and ability to extract

information, Bond still doesnt know how to work through his personal problems.

However, his charm and authority over people he knows how to work with. Take for

example the Bond Girl, Svrine. Bond knows that she is a former victim of sex

trafficking and that she desperately wants her freedom. Of course its the one thing that

her promises her. The two later on have sex. Although she sleeps with him because she

wants to, its implied that the hope that Bond will grant her freedom is also factored into

the choice. By taking advantage of his authority as her White Knight, he has almost

coerced her into sex. Her involvement with Bond, of course gets her killed in the end.

Skyfall is unique in which it provides the theme of mother, which has never been

seen in any of the other movies. In some ways, though, Skyfall really isnt about James

Bond. Its more about M, the matriarchal head of MI6 and Bond's commanding officer.

The movie has a strange fixation with matriarchy in British culture. M is always called

mum like the Queen Mum. She is the metaphorical queen that this movie revolves

around. After all, she was responsible for Bond getting shot, and she allowed him back

into the field even though he was found unfit. She is also partially responsible for the

downward spiral of the Bond villain, Silva. She sold him to the enemy and left him for

dead. So its safe to say that Bond and Silva have mommy issues. M represents
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emotional and professional stability for Bond. For Silva, she represents betrayal and

rejection. The movie plays up oedipal dimension with the sons in love with their mother.

One of them just wants to kill her. When Silva finally confronts M, instead of just killing

her, he puts their heads together and puts the gun to her head so they can

simultaneously commit suicide. Its a very perverse version of Romeo and Juliet. So

what does Ms role say about societal concepts of women? It says that women, mothers

especially are the caretakers of society; that women hold the moral compass. Yes, M

makes some choices were not the most ethical. However, is it a coincidence that that

the son she favors and cares for, is the good guy that the audience cheers for? Is it a

coincidence that the son she left behind strayed into the path of evil and now hates

her? I think not.

Bond films provide an escape from everyday life a guilty pleasure that

exemplifies the trappings of wealth and power. Displaying a sophisticated brand of

machismo, the Bond films glorify the androcentric and sometimes chauvinistic persona

of Bond. Western societys patriarchal, individualistic culture is demonstrated in Bond

films. For example, the lead character, promotes stereotypical, sex-typed male

attitudes, especially when interacting with women. In the Bond world, Bond single-

handedly takes on any bad guy, saves the world and always gets the girl. Bond

accomplishes these feats by the power of his wit and more importantly through violence.

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