The Representation of the ‘Bond Girl'

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  • Topic: James Bond, Dr. No, Goldfinger
  • Pages : 9 (3696 words )
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  • Published : February 13, 2002
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Whenever there is a Bond film, there is always a Bond girl. She is as indispensable as the gadgets, the car, the chase and the villain set on overtaking the earth. They have always been in the centre of controversy; they have always been branded as beautiful women (often with sexually overt names) who need Bond and ironically, Bond cannot complete his mission without them. They always seem to have perfection in everything they do. However, this portrayal of women can be somewhat unrealistic. Some may want the representation of the ‘Bond Girl' to stay as it is but others may want the portrayal of the ‘Bond Girl' to depict the modern idea of ‘girl power.' I for one think that this representation of women is harmless, partly because it is only a fictional character. It is a representation to be regarded only in entertainment.

In this essay, I am going to look at and analyse the Bond saga looking especially at how the ‘Bond Girls' in particular are shown and how their characteristics and qualities have changed over the decades.

The James Bond series was created to boost up Britain's prospects of being noticed as a powerful country with their own hero armed with fast cars, girls, gadgets and gimmicks. Over the years the audience grew to love this hero who they called ‘Bond, James Bond' with his callous persona, dead-pan humour armed with good looks and a sexy voice to go with his trademark saying. In reality, Britain was falling rapidly from the world stage.

The first ‘Bond' film, released in 1962 was ‘Dr. No'. It was created with a meagre £90.000 budget and featured Sean Connery (then a virtually unknown actor) who was to play Bond's character for the remainder of the decade with the exception of 1969's release of ‘In His Majesty's Secret Service' featuring George Lazenby. Throughout the years of Bond, every film has been popular despite the changes in actors, directors and producers. The films gave the audience a visit back to the propaganda-filled forties. It also gave the audience a sense of diversion through all the action and the sense of satisfaction at being able to predict the finish. Every Bond film has followed the ‘Bond formula,' which helps the audience become aware of the chain of events that occurs in the Bond movies. His character, although quite old, is still popular with younger generation. I think this is because Bond appeals to all age groups, as he is an archetype of perfection. He is omniscient. There is no gem he can't name, no language he can't speak, no wine he can't identify, he's also an expert at all sports (skiing, diving, shooting, equestrian etc.) and to add to his list of capabilities, women find him irresistible. Audiences can also identify with the other characters through their field of occupation. Their permanence from film to film gives the series immediate recollection as well as a feeling of participation (e.g. Bond's boss M, M's secretary, Ms. Money-penny, Q, the contraption genius and a multitude of others as well as the Bond villains). There is also a situational continuity. Bond's favourite of Vodka Martini ‘shaken not stirred' and the contraptions devised by Q are awaited and anticipated eagerly by the audience.

The Bond Girls' main purpose is to provide the film with an element of romance, beauty, and glamour. She also provides an opportunity for Bond to save her, thus proving her vulnerability, helplessness and weakness while also proving Bond's masculinity, as to be able to save her, as well as his bravery and strength. They are known as Bond Girls instead of women because of their childlike qualities. It tells us that they are vulnerable, needy, innocent, youthful and expectant. Therefore, the audience's expectation is not much from her except they always expect there to be a Bond Girl who is beautiful, glamorous and has a high-ranking position in her field of work The Bond Girls also provide the audience with something to beautiful look at, look up to and mostly,...
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