Sunday, December 16, 2018

Don't Make a Scene: Skyfall

The Story: 
Psychological evaluation: "Alcohol and substance addiction indicated. Pathological rejection of authority based on unresolved childhood trauma. Subject is not approved for field duty and immediate suspension from service advised."
I know it's part of protocol and everything, but who (in their right mind) would do a psychological profile on James Bond, 007?

The guy drinks like a fish and has been known (at least in the books) to use "bennies" despite displaying a pit-bullish tenacity in putting himself through the most rigorous physical exercises in the course of his work. He's addicted to gambling, has been described as "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur," not to mention having a narcissist's propensity for high-living in the excuse that he "will not waste (his) time trying to prolong it" in a profession "that doesn't look good on a form." Plus, there's a hap-hazard approach to things that usually costs the lives of those close to him. He is the best rationale for having a "secret identity," even though the job description is described as a "secret agent" (but his actions usually lead to things being very public and very loud). When offered a job in construction, he demurred saying it wasn't his specialty (to which his boss replied "just the opposite, in fact"). He'll tell you he just "kills people."

He prefers casual affairs to commitment (because the commitment is usually illusory as it has been in his past). That apparently applies to his work as well; He's quit his job more than once and "gone rogue" so many times that it's a surprise when he doesn't. He doesn't trust easily. 

And don't forget his "pathetic love of country."

The man's a mess. It's no wonder that in his last movie he fell for a psychiatrist (and she'll be back in the next one).

The Set-Up: James Bond (Daniel Craig) has risen from the grave! Shot while on assignment, he has "played dead" and let his job at MI6 go. But, when its headquarters are attacked, he comes back, a bit worse for wear. At the "new digs"—the temporary location for the Service in Churchill's secret underground bunker—007 is put through a battery of tests: strength, endurance, marksmanship and finally psychological. 

But, the only thing really tested is his patience.


Dr. HALL: I'd like to start... 
Dr. HALL: ...with some simple word associations.
Dr. HALL: Just tell me the first word that pops into your head. For example, I might say "Day" and you might say...
Dr. HALL: All right.
Dr. HALL: Gun.
BOND:  Shot. 
Dr. HALL: Agent.
BOND: Provocateur.
Dr. HALL: Woman.
BOND: Provocatrix.
Dr. HALL: Heart.
BOND: Target.
Dr. HALL: Bird.
BOND: Sky.
Dr. HALL: M.
BOND: Bitch.
Dr. HALL: Sunlight.
BOND: Swim.

Dr. HALL: Moonlight. 
BOND: Dance.
Dr. HALL: Murder.
BOND: Employment.
Dr. HALL: Country. 
BOND: England.
Dr. HALL: Skyfall.
Dr. HALL: Skyfall.
BOND: Done.
MALLORY: Well, this is going well.

Pictures by Roger Deakins and Sam Mendes

Skyfall is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from M-G-M Studios and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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