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New Year's Cleanup: Casino Royale

January 4th, 2007 (03:09 pm)

Okay, I now officially admit that I worry too much.

© 2007 D. Gordon

Thanksgiving rolled around once again, and with it Mama Wakasa's b-day. And as we've been doing the past few years, I planned on taking her out for brunch and a movie. When I asked about this year's movie, she said, "Casino Royale". Fine by me; after the first few times she's picked things I'd be likely to see on my own, and James Bond is on that list. So i mentioned on one of the movie boards I frequent that we were going to go, and got an answer that beyond the homoerotic sadomasochistic torture scene, it should be fine.[1]


Now Mama Wakasa is from another era, and she's a fairly devout Roman Catholic, but she's a pretty tolerant person despite it all. She was doing pretty well with Man On Fire while I was cringing in my seat (admittedly because of her possible reaction). But I was finding it hard to see her getting through homoerotic sadomasochism with a bit of torture on top. And hard to see that my sister wouldn't kill me for taking her.

So I stressed for awhile. After about a week, I talked to Sister Wakasa, who suggested I just tell her it was really violent. So I tried that. I warned her that it wasn't going to be like the Bonds of the 60s, and she said what I thought she would: "Oh, that's okay. That doesn't really bother me." Great. She cracked a tooth, which granted me a week reprieve, and then it was time again. The night before, I talked to my b-in-law about it, then warned her one more time - but she was not to be swayed.

So I bit the bullet, bought the tickets, and we went inside.

The movie proceeded on a kinda violent track, but wasn't terrible; actually the violence wasn't much beyond anything in general release (although I wouldn't say this was a PG-13 movie, which is what it's rated). So we get to what I'll call the ball-busting scene, and I realize... torture on the horizon, here we go. I'm about to slide onto the floor. James Bond, in the middle of much pain, makes a joke to taunt his torturer, and...

...my mother laughs.

She thinks it's funny.

And you know? It wasn't that bad at all. Daniel Craig is bulked, but he's not a Pierce Brosnan - so I wasn't getting into that element of the movie. I didn't get any homoerotic vibes from the scene; in fact, I didn't get any S & M vibe (which may depend on how you define S & M, but no one in the movie was getting off on it). The point was torture for information, pure and simple. It was torture, not sex. So I should go harrass the person who got me all worried to begin with!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The movie itself? Well, I saw the original years ago, and I remember the song and David Niven. Not much else. I'm going to have to dig this up - or maybe even find the book - and do some comparing and contrasting. But I liked how the story remade Bond as a human driven far far down a difficult path. Daniel Craig gets away from the beefcake and into the brutal. Eva Green: sufficient, although not the best as Bond girls go, and the story falters whenever it looks towards their relationship.

But overall, a pleasant afternoon - and another reminder to stop assuming everyone always knows what they're talking about!!!

1 Admittedly, this is a combination of info I saw about the film.