Director: Martin campbell
With : Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen
Duration of operation: 144 minutes
Casino Royale is fifteen this month and the recent release of Daniel Craig’s last appearance as Bond means there’s no better time to see his very first one again. A black-and-white scene presents the audience with this more violent and serious take on the character, showing that this take will be very different from the one that came before it. Incorporating the iris pose at the closing of the intro is extremely clever, giving the scene an explosive end. If only the last Craig-era Bond films were so imaginative.
The plot of the film is very well written, surrounding a high stakes poker game. This is shown very early on with the opening crawl, with a clever and visually impressive sequence using the various card symbols like balls and people, showing that Bond’s job is not just about skill but also about luck. The Venice ending streak, however, drops the film, as it tries to introduce new villains into the final act without properly exploring them at any point beforehand.
Mads Mikkelsen’s Cipher is quietly unsettling. When presented, it is notably on edge, both the music and the uneasy feeling that clearly show it. Still, as things progress, his cool and calculating demeanor is revealed. An international banker willing to risk his trades in forays into the market and high-stakes poker games, Le Chiffre isn’t the usual mustache-twirling villain. Towards the end, he lets his rage and terror shine through, with brutal Bond torture – it turns out that a rope can do real damage, especially in the most sensitive areas.
In the fifteen years since its release, Casino Royale has not been rated best Daniel Craig film.
However, Le Chiffre sets a problematic trend in the Daniel Craig era of Bond villains. All of them (except Dominic Greene) have some sort of facial disfigurement, which raises questions about the misrepresentation. When a franchise consistently presents people within that community in a certain way, it definitely has a negative effect.
M (Judi Dench) establishes his presence at the start of the film, marking his introduction with a fantastic understudy. She takes a pragmatic approach with Bond and is an imposing figure throughout the film. But Dench’s character also knows when to show sympathy for 007, making the dynamic between the two more human than in the past.
In the fifteen years since its release, Casino Royale was not rated best film by Daniel Craig. It gives audiences a new take on the franchise and Bond, removing the technology, much of the jokes (meaning the ones that remain are sure to get audiences laughing) and presenting a villain with a low-key threat. about him – instead of an exaggerated caricature. However, his misrepresentation of people with facial disfigurements continues to haunt the franchise, and the final scenes crumble under the weight of addiction to so many characters who weren’t properly portrayed.
Did you know? Daniel Craig initially rejected the role of James Bond, believing that the series had settled into a standard formula. He changed his mind when he read the finished script.