Topic: The brutality of QOS
Random thought but I wonder if the overt brutality exhibited so frequently in QOS is a conscious or subliminal even turnoff for some folks. There's zero twinkle to the violence depicted and no real romance subplot to distract from it - the main female character's backstory itself is the grimmest in the series since Honey Ryder's, the resolution to it being a quite literal nightmare for Camille (those far-away dream-screams as the flames eat through room are chilling). And has there been a colder kill for Bond in the series than Slate's death, Bond holding him in a wrist-lock until he bleeds out? This is an unpleasant film to watch! Then again, Fleming is one of the more unpleasant-to-read authors on my shelf, flinching from sadism just didn't seem to be in his makeup. In CR, Bond has Vesper and gets to comfort her (and, vicariously, the audience) through all the violence; in QOS Forster leaves us and Bond on our own to deal with death after messy death. And not just the bad guys die horribly, Fields and Mathis meet very cruel ends and in both cases Bond can do nothing in the immediate circumstances but keep moving forward towards what cannot possibly be a satisfying conclusion (it is in a way but a very internal one, no visible fireworks at all).
I guess it's why I'm such a fan of it: the barebones and forward-moving story, the dour tone and brutality, the simple and yes poetic ending all scream Fleming to me. It's also one of the most Bond-centric films in the series, very little happens on-screen that Bond isn't somehow in on (one scene with M and the Foreign Minister, an early scene and a late scene depicting the arc between Greene and Medrano but that's about it for anything of importance). It also drags Bond through a backwater pretty well, yeah there's a fancy dress ball and glimpses of the highlife in Italy and Vienna, but the fiery second half in the desert and slums of Bolivia hark back to the best of Fleming's adventures wherein he tests Bond's mettle against, say, an island (DN) or a less than posh setting (YOLT, and even the extended trek/escape down the mountain from Piz Gloria in OHMSS).
I've read complaints that QOS doesn't have the usual EON light touch about it, but it what it has instead is a much truer - and brutal - Bond and a world for Bond to move through that matches what Fleming wrote in his novels and short stories perhaps better than any other film in the canon. Not what fans of the Bond films expect to get from EON, and doubt we see its like again. Anyway, has anybody else observed or felt trampled on by all that ugly death in QOS?
(oops, just realized I meant to put this in the QOS forum, my bad if there's a nice mod around who could relocate it, that'd be very cool )
Last edited by blueman (21st Jan 2011 21:07)