Monday, June 27

‘No time to die’: Daniel Craig, the James Bond we will miss | Culture

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas, in 'No time to die'.
Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas, in ‘No time to die’.

No time to die closes one of the best cinematographic cycles of 007, five films that have served to meet again in the 21st century with a secret agent born in the Cold War. When Daniel Craig took over 15 years ago, few were betting that the British actor would end up taking over the character in such a way. Craig brought an erotic and emotional intensity that was fixed in Casino Royale, one of the best films of the long franchise and the best of the five interpreted by an actor capable of refounding the character as a tortured and bitter man, a kind of disgruntled gesture, icy for sheer prevention.

Casino Royale it hid a tragic love movie in which the woman played by Eva Green (Vesper) turned out to be another success that lasts and which is still being used in this final chapter. In the most carnal sequence of that film, the two remained dressed and without looking at each other, sitting and hugging under the jet of a shower. Bond fell in love with a woman superior to him in beauty, class and intelligence. The famous shot of the actor coming out of the water in a bathing suit wearing a torso and blue eyes matching the turquoise of the sea was the baptism of a new 007 in which the sexual object was him and only him. A man of rugged beauty, in whose first public appearance he did not appear driving a pristine Aston Martin but a dirty bulldozer and that, at another time, when he was mistaken for a valet, he arrogantly brought out his class consciousness. An angry brute force that walked the world carrying its enormous ego, but who, when push came to shove, possessed a heart of glass.

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All that is in No time to die. In fact, it is the basis of this latest installment in which Léa Seydoux (Madeleine) prolongs the archetype set by Green-Vesper of a woman in love, although threatening to the armor of the undaunted Bond. In an explicit nod to the character’s embryo, the agent is a mature man retired in Jamaica, the Caribbean island where Ian Fleming conceived his novels. The film, directed by Californian Cary Joji Fukunaga, emphasizes Bond’s need to turn the page and leave the past behind, but he does so by appealing to the lightness and humor that was always in his essence and that in recent times had been Cornered to make way for a darker and more convoluted action movie model.

The pulse between past and future marks the passage of this new, fast-paced and well-orchestrated tribute to the character. No time to die is a classic action film that circulates at the speed of a highway, and that also opens a series of secondary roads through which to find a way out of the future: A 007 woman? A black Bond? A 007 that gracefully exploits the crisis of masculinity?

Meanwhile, in his twilight, the last Bond does not renounce the greatness of his throne and, like Tarzan, leaps from branch to branch from Italy to Jamaica, from Jamaica to Cuba, from Cuba to London, and from London to Norway. A generous display of references to its predecessors, from Timothy Dalton’s ’80s Aston Martin V8 Vantage to Sean Connery’s famous’ 60s DB5; And in a big way, with sequences as spectacular as the motorized chase that opens the film or characters as delicious as the one played by Ana de Armas, whose episode in Cuba is one of the best in the film and tastes little. No time to die he says goodbye to his hero, so much so that he falls into a somewhat improper end of a saga always open to new opportunities. What is clear is that we will miss Daniel Craig and his way of turning excess testosterone into the most human ingredient in James Bond.

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