In recent years there has been a flood of movie remakes. Both in Hollywood and Bollywood. Hollywood dished out remakes of Psycho, The Omen, and Pink Panther. In the meantime Bollywood was not to be left out in this remake spree. Shahrukh Khan in Don, Aishwarya Rai in Umrao Jaan tried to make their mark. But to be honest, one movie really worth mentioning is the James Bond spy thriller Casino Royale (released in 2006). Ian Fleming (the creator of the fictional character James Bond) moulded Bond’s character after his own life to some extent. Most researchers agree that James Bond is a romanticised version of Ian Fleming himself; he was a Commander in Naval Intelligence of the British Admirality in World War II. The first James Bond movie was Dr.No (1962) where Sean Connery played the role of Secret Service agent James Bond, otherwise known by his serial number 007. It was an instant hit. Connery was able to portray the character perfectly. His was the image of toughness and wittiness that Fleming wrote of. Many actors portrayed James Bond after Connery: Roger Moore, George Lazenby, and Timothy Dalton. But all the movies, except perhaps one or two, including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), more or less follow a clichéd formula: a problem of international proportion arises and Bond gets his orders from M (Chief of MI6). He tracks down his villain and finds attractive women along the way, makes love to her or them. He presently falls in a trap. After figuring out what the villain's motives are he finds a way to escape, foils their plans, kills off the villain and saves the world. The Irish actor Pierce Brosnan took over the role of Bond in the film Goldeneye (1995), it has been said that the image of James Bond has been modernized since then. But one does not have to look far to see that the “modernization” has been only superficial: new gadgets and gizmos, villains with futuristic weapons and vamps with skimpier costumes. Goldeneye was a successful movie, although it did almost nothing to change Bond’s over-polished and “blow dried” lady-killer image.
Casino Royale was Fleming’s first novel, which featured James Bond as the protagonist. It has been made into a Bond parody by Columbia Pictures in 1967; big names were roped in for the movie, including David Niven, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen. It was nevertheless a parody, and its plot in no way resembled the original Ian Fleming novel. In 2006 director Martin Campbell decided to rope in British actor Daniel Craig to play James Bond. Aided by great scriptwriters like Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, he was determined to reinvent the Bond franchise with his version of Casino Royal. All the recent Bond movies (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, The World is not enough) have overused the same formula. The increasingly impractical storylines and even more unbelievable gadgets only served to point out that Hollywood was fast running out of good plots; but Casino Royale overcomes these drawbacks and starts over again. The gadgets this time are humble, and they all fit into the glove compartment of Bond's dependable Aston Martin, and there is no fed-up Q to reproach Bond for being reckless with government property. Veteran actress Judi Dench plays M (who actually gets a chance to show off her acting skills), who is much more apprehensive with Bond's training and development. She takes on the role of his mentor, having promoted him to "00" status despite qualms about his judgment and his apparent failure to bridle his ego. The femme fatales of this movie are not quite as fatale as in earlier Bond movies. Eva Green's Vesper Lynd and enticing Caterina Murino's Solange are every bit as gorgeous as previous Bond girls, but they aren't born killers. Yet they are more fascinating and enthralling than ever before. In fact Vesper Lynd’s character evolves. She has her armor on first. Her conversation with Bond on the Montenegro-bound train proves that...
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