Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Not Another Movie Review

Title: Casino Royale 007

Author: Ian Fleming

Published: Originally 1953; ed. 2006 Peguin Books

ISBN: 0143037668 Page#s: 213

Began reading: November 11th 2006 Finished Reading: November 12th, 2006

The Buzz: Yes so the movie is out but I always wanted to read Fleming ever since my friend Tammy complained of having Casino Royal as required reading for her literature class at McGill. Her suprise in enjoying the novel intrigued me and it remained in the back of my mind for some time - a good 3 years before I got around to it!

The Content: Bond is the Good Guy. Handsome, aweful blue eyed agent fights evil high roller Russian bad man Le Chiffre... at a casino! Bond is chosen not because he aims well or has some great skill at constructing home bombs. Oh No! JB is chosen because he is the best 'gambler in the agency'. What follows in this volume that introduces the Bond series is not as much a series of adventures but more schemes where the less physically capable but oh-so-witty Bond tries to get away from alive.

Comments: Bond's character is more 3-dimensional then what is witnessed in his films. Regret, error, helplessness, self-conscious, doubt - all these he expresses behind a well trained though far from perfect mask. There are 2 passages of extreme accuracy and truth - one of lust and the other one evil (the entire Chapter 20) - which makes Flemings extra ordinary Bond character take on more of a Batman feel then a Tech guru he is made out to be in visual media. The female character is severely lacking though Bond's views of women provide an interesting perspective on the male psyche. Worthy of note is the lack of side-kick James Bond has in comparison to other known protagonists in similar genres. We the audience relate to this often imperfect human that remains in the sidelines yet has intimate dealings with the larger then life hero/heroine. Think of Nero Wolfe's Archie or Sherlocke Holmes' Watson.

Best Line: " He wanted her cold and arrogant body. He wanted to see tears and desire in her remote blue eyes and take the ropes of her black hair in his hands and bend her long body back under his." Page 17-108

Worst Part: At times, Bond's analysis of the female sexe is just so off its revolting. Also, the whole Russia thing seems so over done but one must keep in mind he wrote this in the 50's. The first Bond movie - Dr. No - was filmed in '64.

Not a Movie Review But... I loved the movie though it was long by most peoples standards. Everything was better. There was acacting and a storyline. The means in which they integrated it into the present were supereb and the story integration accurate. They left the 'chesseness' that is Fleming (Le Chiffre's name remains, the cut & corny humour) but removed/ added some essentials to make it entertaining for us - namely making the principal game of choice Poker and not Bakerat. Finally, the torture scene was AMAZING! The villian accurate. My only regret is the integration of the 'rescue' at the end. Events remain the same its some small - but pivotal from my perspective - dialogue that is changed.