Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hero or Professional

*For those of you who haven't seen Casino Royale, be warned that I give away the ending ahead.*

So, imagine you're Bond. At the end of the movie, Vesper Lynd is trapped in the elevator, which is sinking into the Venetian waters. Do you save her? Keep in mind this is before M spoils it all by tacking on the fact that she's being coerced into doing this.

I posed this question to my girlfriend, who said, "Of course." You know, standard hero-thing where you save the woman you love (and were recently about to shoot).

I said that I wouldn't. She had betrayed me (as Bond), stolen the money, and was about to transfer it to criminals. As a professional, you let her die. You can't trust her to be honest with you, and you have too much baggage to be objective in your assessment of her. At the most, I would save her to see who she had handed off the money to, but that could probably be achieved by mining her cell phone.

Probably cold-blooded of me, but then again, it's a movie and there's a reason I don't want to be a spy.


hcduvall said...

I think they're in Venetian canal water, they'll die from disease soon enough. And the long, central non-action bits are meant to establish that the soldier has genuinely fallen in love. Awkward pacing, mind you, but that's the give. He was planning on leaving the life for her, so obviously he's willing to break the rules and expectations of the spy role.

But more importantly, I don't think he's the spy you're thinking of until the very end, in the last shot. This is his origin story if you will, and he's a thug hard man in the beginning, and the hard spy at the end. The trail of sexual dalliances doesn't begin with Vesper, but begins because of her. After that his personality has the sort of moral impartiality, or in his case mental damage, to be the spy you want.

Chengora said...

That's fair, with the only issue being that he was about to kill her when he dropped in on the hand-off. Man receiving the money grabs Vesper, yells "We'll kill her!", to which Bond replies "Allow me". Only some eratic shooting by whom we can safely assume to be "nameless henchman #16" interrupts this.

So, I think he had already committed to killing her, which is why the "gotta save her from drowning, then cry over her body when I can't" thing struck me as particularly odd.

HoBs said...

Nice analysis hcduvall, makes me want to see the movie.

But the scenario, and the proposed course of action which you never see in movies, reminds me of perhaps the best scene in battlestar galactica, between Colonel Tigh and his wife (just recently this season).

Which goes to show why (despite the continued awkwardness of script and dialog) bg is still perhaps the best show on television right now.