John Logan
Story - Screenplay

Sam Mendes

Film Review
Spectre:Shaken, not stirred!


Shaken, not Stirred

Other Writers – Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth

Spoiler Warning – The Film is a Spectracular experience, Spoiler Proof.  yes

FACT – Cheers to Martini, shaken not stirred.  yes
fact – Cheers. Shaken not stirred. Shaking experience, but not stirring enough, emotionally. indecision

There are some old things about Bond Films, which have been loved over years by generations and fans don’t want anyone to fiddle with them. A unique feature of Bond (Films) rarely enjoyed by other franchise.

Even before you are settled in your seat, Bond is on a mission, in his own style. The first 20 min of the film keep shaking you left, right, centre, up, down, upside down and every possible way just like it happens on screen with Bond and his second target (Marco Sciarra) as they duel in a flying helicopter with huge awestruck crowd on the streets below celebrating a festival of dead in Mexico City – A motif that instantly connects you with the title Spectre. cool

This shake is just after a great fall, you witnessed when James shot his first target, an accomplice of Sciarra, and the entire building collapsed due to the explosion.

The above two nail biting scenes BOND you for 20 min such that you don’t notice who is sitting next, if at all you are bothered.

These sequences, if one can ignore the fact that some (or most) of it could be VFX, are enough 'Paisa Vasool'. Or maybe even a call for a repeat.

Well, coming to most loved clichés of Bond - With the above mission, 007 has again crossed the limits and is sent on a compulsory leave. But as usual he will continue with his mission defying the MI6 diktat.

Our Late Old Lady M (Judi) had sent a video message in which she urged her favourite Spy to go on a mission, the man who was responsible for her end and a lot of other things. A part of Skyfall is carried forward here.

In a parallel plot the Joint Intelligence Secretary ‘C’ is planning to bring Intelligence Agencies of nine nations (G9) under one umbrella to counter the International Threats. This Consortium “Nine Eyes” will however spell the d00m of the 00 Agency. C believes 00 is obsolete in today’s times.

Following his leads, when Bond sneaks into a Criminal Conclave in Rome where he learns about the Spectre Syndicate and its head Oberhauser. A dreadful agent Hinx, is sent off on an important mission. (Though there’s a slight flaw here, as why would Oberhauser discuss this when he is aware of Bond’s presence in the hall). enlightened

Through a series of more shaking sequences you are absorbed in this cocktail of action, romance and a bit of Bonding with Bollywood. This Bond does not see women just as means or objects, but also falls in for one and goes to Bollywood lengths to prove that.  surprise

In an interview Daniel Craig once said, his Bond films are somewhat like Bollywood films. You are welcome Craig. Like (Holly/Bolly)wood’s screenplay formulae this Bond also has a backstory which is ‘touching’ not stirring. And then there is transformation too. Well, if you didn’t expect so much of ‘Wood culture from a Bond flick you might find all this forced. indecision

The good thing besides action, especially for Writers is the way all subplots merge in the main plot at Climax. smiley

Another point to note wrt writing is that you don’t find sequences disjointed, unnecessary or forced. Unlike most of our films, all sequences remain integral part of the Screenplay and none of them look redundant barring the Bollywood tadka.

FACT – So what’s the take?
fact – I will love to repeat, Martini; shaken or stirred. laughyes          


   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

Click here to Top