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Frederica Elbourne
Sunday, November 18, 2012

JAMES 007 Bond never dies. But the famed M does. And Moneypenny is a far fetch from the traditional geeky lady I imagined she would be. For Moneypenny is now a strongly-built black woman who works out and has luscious black curls to frame her pretty face. That's primarily the jist of Skyfall - James Bond's latest sequel. Oh, and of course the pursuit of an electronic chip that fell into the wrong hands.

The movie wasn't worth Song and my pretty dresses or killer heels. But our chaperones to the flick - "Bond" and "Q" - and the pop corn and frozen ice cream - which was eaten from the bottom up, made it ok. Thankfully, we had knocked back some Coronas prior to the movie, making the otherwise boring show bearable.

Song, to my trained eye, is Fiji's version of Moneypenny. But that's just me trying to be fancy.

Song and I decided that our pals for the flick would be named Bond and Q respectively.

The premier at Village 6 was scheduled to screen at 7:30pm. Late -because we were having just too much fun already - our "Bond" - given his new star status, asked "Q" if Village 6 would wait long enough for us to arrive before airing the movie. That was enough to fill the car with loads of haha.

It's been some 12 years since I last stepped into Village 6. I don't think I missed much. But being there on a Friday night, dead sober, made it feel so old school, so high school, Song said.

We dissected the movie on our way home and around a few bottles of Mexican "chillies" thereafter - the latter ending at around 3am when Song had to join the crew in the clubs compelling me to chase myself to bed. Our local Q said he was amazed at how the real Bond - played by rough and rugged looking Daniel Craig, dodged every bullet fired at him. Well, all except for the fatal bullet that killed him in the opening scene - fired of course by Moneypenny at the command of M.

It's humbling to note that Bond does in fact age, for a human change. He drinks Heineken too in Skyfall - something about sponsorship, our "Bond" impressionist pointed out. But like my great gal pal Caroline, I'm too used to the sleek Bond that we saw in Pierce Brosnan.

Anyway, Bond gets shot at and supposedly dies in Skyfall, as his body is washed downstream and over a waterfall. That was enough to make us sit up - but only for a short while. Like our local "Q", I thought the movie would switch to a tale of terrorism. It doesn't. Except maybe for the part where the MI6 headquarters gets blown up.

And just when we thought Bond was no more, there are scenes of him gulping down shots in a thatched roof coastal island pub somewhere out there with a live scorpion on the back of his hand.

There is an inquiry into the legitimacy of the existence of MI6 where we see some semblance of modern day Boston Legal court room like drama. There are some chuckles as the female judge is sarcastically interrupted in a reminder to let the defence - M in this case - speak. But this ends as quickly as Silva enters the room firing shots like Amitabh Bachan in a Bollywood B-grade movie.

Of interest, there was the pistol built only for Bond. There has to be a Bond toy - which in this case was that pistol and a tiny radio smaller than your average iPod.

"Not exactly Christmas," Craig- who is the sixth actor to play Bond - said in the movie.

The specially built Bond pistol can only fire bullets if Bond's hand is on it - something about it being sensitive only to his touch and responding accordingly therein.

Silva, played by Spaniard Jarvier Barden, brought a breath of fresh air to the movie. His shocking blonde hair - patted down like a wig if not hair spray, accentuated any Asian features he had. When he rubbed his palms up the taunt thighs of the tied Bond -in playful sexual innuendo - the rebuff from Bond had the crowd giggling.

Turns out, Bond isn't so smart after all, as Silva points out by when he reveals Bond's score over tests he apparently

failed at MI6.

For the most part, Silva - who obviously has turned villain, and Bond are embroiled in typical gun shooting scenes where each are out to outshine the other. If anything, this movie had me thinking Bond was in Afghan or a war-torn country. In any case, Bond always wins.

As for the name Skyfall, it is the name of the homestead in Scotland where Bond was raised, where he was orphaned as a child.

I enjoyed the scene that unfolds in Macau where some heavy mafia moves are incorporated, complete with Kermode dragon. It reminded me of a story I heard from around the tanoa at Niu Street - where tavale Big Bear's brother chose to call the cops instead of giving chase to the robbers who had broken into the house next door. Watch Skyfall, Toki, there are new moves in it for you, for both of you to put into action when you have your next taki. Hai ah!

When Silva tells Bond the rat-eats-only-rat story, I wondered what the only surviving rat would eat if he was the last kalavo standing. But that's something for Rafa, Ratu and the boys at Niu to analyze in our next session, seeing as the "crocodile" never made it, Rafa.

There is no "Bond" girl in Skyfall, not that she played a major role since Halle Berry.

The story wouldn't be complete without Adele's theme song, which is aptly named after the movie - and equally cold and chilly.

A hit nonetheless, with lyrics like:

Skyfall is where we start,

A thousand miles and poles apart,

Where worlds collide and days are dark

You may have my number,

You can take my name

But you'll never have my heart.

Let the sky fall

When it crumbles

We will stand tall

Face it together.

Maybe in the next James Bond movie, M will be resurrected as 007 was in Skyfall. Maybe. She sure was adamant to see the job through in this movie. Who knows. This movie didn't win my vote. But Judi Dench did. She always does.

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