From Bond girls to Bond women?

Spectre Movie Review (2015)

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Belluci

Director: Sam Mendes

 

Bond: Who are you?

Pussy: My name is Pussy Galore

Bond: (pauses) I must be dreaming

 Pussy-Galore-Rex

James Bond and Pussy Galore from Goldfinger (1964)

When you hear the phrase “Bond girl”, the first think that comes to mind is a woman who is beautiful, naïve and used for sex. This has been the tradition in all of the 24 James Bond movies.

However, Spectre, the new James Bond movie which was out in the United States on November 6, 2015, gives a new twist to the famous 007 Bond girls legacy.

As we all know from watching these popular James Bond movies, one of the most important parts are the girls.

James Bond is always the same, defeating the villain and saving the day for everyone. However it is the girls and their interaction with Bond that makes us watch these movies. Even from the very first James Bond movie, the “Bond girls” are seen as sexy, naïve, fall badly in love with Bond and aid Bond in his adventures that in the end gives up their life for Bond.

Until Spectre, all of the Bond girls end up dying for Bond himself. They also all fall in love with Bond from the first sight and end up in bed with him from the start of the movie. These girls are all stereotypical and clichéd.

At times it is embarrassing and disgracing for some actresses to play the Bond girl. Angelina Jolie has even rejected to play the Bond girl in Casino Royale, because as she says “my character doesn’t use her sexuality to get anything.” This has been the stereotypical view on Bond girls from the begging of James Bond in Dr. No, which was released in 1962.

Spectre_poster

James Bond and Mandeleine Swann from Spectre (2015)

However, Spectre is very interesting in this sense that it revolutionizes the view of women. After Skyfall, the director, Sam Mendes, decided to change how Bond girls are viewed. We have all seen the stereotypical girls over and over again, it was about time, we saw something different and out of the ordinary on the screens with Spectre.

As the director Sam Mendes puts it “Leau Seydoux and Monica Bellucci have been rebranded as Bond women.” What makes both of these women so different than any other girl is that they are smart, Bond needs them to get clues about the villain, and they do not let Bond treat them as a sex object, sleeping with him in the first seconds they meet Bond.

Looking at the first Bond girl in Spectre, Lucia Sciarra, played by Monica Bellucci, she is very different than the usual Bond girls. She is the first women in the Bond movies history to be older than Bond himself, being 51 years old, where James Bond is known to 45. Bond is usually known for sleeping with younger girls because they are “hot” or “attractive”. However, Lucia is an elder woman who is very loyal to her family, smart, having all the clues Bond needs, and knows how to play him instead of being naïve and falling for him.

The second and main Bond girl, Mandeleine Swann, played by Leau Seydoux is a very smart and independent woman. She is smart enough to know that Bond is a dangerous man, so she tries to leave him couple times in the movie because she wants to go on with her own life instead of tagging along Bond. In this history of Bond girls, a girl leaving Bond has never happened. This shows that instead of being compelled by Bonds charms, she is independent and can make decisions for herself. Mandeleine also ends up saving Bond’s lives twice, which is shocking because she is only suppose to be there to aid Bond, not be the hero of the movie. This is very different than the other Bond girl’s because, it is the first time we see a Bond girl with an occupation, she is a well-educated doctor. She is very independent and intelligent who can protect herself and Bond. Mandeleine almost makes it seem like Bond and her are on equal level of power and role. Can this mean that the way Spectre treats women is a revolution in this Bond girl tradition? We can only hope that after this movie the women will be perceived something more than a sex object in James Bond.

Even though there is a huge improvement about the way women are perceived, the movie ends with James Bond saving the day and being the big hero, as always. After all, he is James Bond and a Bond girl cannot ever outshine him and take on his role. As much as Sam Mendes tried to give the Bond girls dominance, James Bond will always be the one to save the day, because for years that is how it has been done and it’s a tradition that has never been broken.

Even though, the movie ends with James Bond being the hero and the Bond girl being the helper, there was a huge step towards equality between the women and James Bond. This could mean the start of a new era of Bond girls, where they are perceived as smart and as equal as James Bond, instead of only focusing on them being a sex object and too naïve.

Sam Mendes has done a great job reaching his goal with this movie. Before the start of the movie he has promised Leau Seydoux that she will play a different type of Bond girl, a character that no one has ever seen on screen yet.

After all, this movie is a Hollywood produced movie, meaning that this concept of men and women being equal does not only apply to James Bond, but Hollywood in general. This movie could have potentially sparked an equality of both genders on screens, with thanks to Sam Mendes.

Rating: 9.2/10

 

 

 

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