How and why have Bond films changed over time

For over forty years Bond films have been very successful and extremely popular with the audience. The reason for this is the constant change in style and storyline to keep up with the corresponding world. This almost involves the audience as they can relate the film to real life and there surrounding. An example of this is Casino Royale as the criminals are terrorists which relates to our world because events such as 9/11 involves these groups of people. The focus of my essay is to investigate how Bond films have changed over the years from Dr no to Casino Royale and how they have adapted the film to keep the audience satisfied.

In the first ever Bond movie ‘Dr No’, Bond is first introduced in a posh casino with a suit on. This suggests he’s sophisticated and likes to take risks. Also he starts smoking a cigar which also shows how wealthy he is as in 1960’s, when Dr No was released, cigars were very expensive. His haircut when we first see him suggests he has style and when he starts talking to a woman at the same poker table, his smooth talk and charm also suggest this. James Bond in Casino Royale, however, is introduced in a lot rougher and less prestigious way.

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This is illustrated by Bond as he is shown in dirty toilets having a fight with another man, in casual dress. This represents Bond in this movie as physically as well as mentally tougher and the black and white colour suggests he is more serious. As well as the black and white colour there are many shadows and also everything seems dark. This suggests mystery and also suggests that someone is doing something wrong. These two introductions to Bond greatly contrast as one is posh and expensive while the other is tougher and more serious.

The reason I think Bond’s intro has dramatically changed in the two films is to keep up with what the audience watching the film want. In more recent time’s people want more action packed movies which makes the movie both tougher and more serious. Also, they have changed the slow paced start of Dr No to the fast paced start of Casino Royale. Audience would usually want this as they want to be entertained for the majority of the film and so fast paced action is preferred to slow paced openings. Throughout the rest of Dr No, the audience begin to understand the true characteristics of Bond.

Just a little further on from his intro, Bond gets in a car with the villain’s agent. He knows the man is his enemy but goes along with him anyway. This once again shows he likes taking risks as the man could kill him. The risk taking side of Bond is also shown in the casino when he bets with high stakes. As Bond drives with the man, the car goes extremely fast down a county road where the view is terrific. This makes the audience think that Bond once again has style and also is cool. As the car pulls up, the man tries to kill Bond but Sean Connery uses martial arts and beats up the man.

This shows that Bond is strong and tough. Also bond doesn’t seem at all affected by the fight as he isn’t out of breath or ruffled and sweaty; to the modern day audience this fight scene may seem very unrealistic. In the scene when Bond wakes up during the night and discovers a tarantula on him, he shows the audience a different side to him as he becomes afraid and panicked. This contrasts with his apparent strong and calm nature. In Casino Royale, Bond shows the audience lots of different sides to himself.

We see him chase an enemy terrorist who is young and highly skilled; however, Bond matches his skill and eventually catches him. This shows his physical strength is high and also that he is very determined. Furthermore he looks and acts very young which attracts the female audience to the film. When Bond is on the train to go to Casino Royale, he meets Vesper Lynd for the first time. Bond seems very curious about the women and so asks many questions to her. She responds in the same way as bond by not giving away much and also asking questions to bond. This shows Bond likes her and wants to find more about her.

When Bond is at the poker table, he asks the drink waiter to come over and tells him how to make his martini. This shows Bond knows what he wants and when everyone asks for the same, it shows that Bond is a leader. During the torture scene, Bond is represented as a physically and mentally strong man who sticks by what are right. This is done by Bond not telling the villain the password even if it meant him experiencing great pain. The room where the torture scene took place was dark and mysterious. This was achieved by the lack of windows which meant less light could get through.

Dr No’s Bond characteristics were almost completely different to the Bond in Casino Royale. Daniel Craig is a lot stronger mentally and physically. This is shown at the scene with the terrorist running away from him and also the torture scene. He also looks a lot younger that Sean Connery which appeals to the female viewers. Towards the end of Dr No, Bond has rescued Honey Rider and they are kissing at the back of the boat. She has fallen for Bond, which shows he attracts women and also that he is very charming. This is shown when Bond says smart lines to attract the girl even more.

Overall the ending is happy and bond has managed to save the world as well as get his dream girl. Towards the end of Casino Royale, when vesper has died, Bond acts as if he doesn’t care that she has died. Then when ‘m’ rang Bond to tell him what really happened, Bond’s true feelings came out and he started to show some emotion. After that Bond went a quest to find out who killed vesper and killed the man. This shows Bond really loved vesper and also his determination once again is shown. The last words Bond say is ‘the names Bond, James Bond’ which is the first time Bond says that special phrase.

The endings of the two characters are completely different; Dr No’s ending is a happy romantic ending at the back of the boat where as Casino Royale’s ending is Bond shooting a man in the leg. I think they have done this as today’s audience prefers more action. This is also the reason why Bond is physically and mentally stronger. My final difference between the characters is Sean Connery is represented as someone who is almost invincible where as Daniel Craig can be hurt. They have done this to make the programme more realistic so the modern day audience believe in action and are drawn to the film more.

Also they have done this to remind the audience that Bond is just another human being like anyone from the audience. There has been many Bond women over the years, some sexy some not. The main Bond women in Dr No and Casino Royale are honey rider and Vesper Lynd. These two characters are extremely popular with the audience but for completely different reasons. Honey rider in Dr No is first introduced coming out the sea at the beach in a bikini. This is done to appeal for the men and also to show off her great body. Furthermore the sun is shining at her as she comes out the sea and reflects the water.

This is done to present her as an angel type figure to Bond. As she gets out the sea, she starts walking almost like a model. This is done to show she has self confidence about herself and her looks. Vesper Lynd however, is presented in a more sophisticated and serious manner. This is done by Vesper tying her hair back and covering most of body. She also does this by wearing colourless clothes and wearing mostly all black. This makes Vesper a non-typical Bond girl as at the minute she is not particularly good looking. This contrasts with Honey Rider as she is sexy from the start.

Honey rider is a very definite and mentally strong character. She shows us this when she uses smart comebacks to Bonds phrases. Also she was very confident and outspoken which contrasted with other women in the sixties as they mostly went along with what the men say. She also had a great physique which attracted both man and women as the women would get inspiration and the men would get sex appeal. When honey rider is caught, though, she seemed very vulnerable which conflicts with her outspoken nature. However, Vesper is a completely different character all together.

She is more complex than other Bond women as she shows a variety of emotions. An example of this is when she first meets Bond on the train. She doesn’t talk much about herself and continuously asks questions which give a sense of being self contained. Then, in the shower, she shows great instability when she sits down and just stairs blankly in the shower. After the whole ordeal when her and Bond are together, she seems happier and excited. These complex features too vesper greatly contrasts with the simplicity of honey rider.

I think they have changed the Bond women in this way to keep up to date on how women’s lives have changed. Overall, I think Bond films have drastically changes by becoming more action packed and also more complex and serious. They have achieved this by adding more complex and serious characters as well as adding more realistic action and fighting. The reason they have done this, I think, is to keep up with the current audience. With terrorism being associated in our lives, the Bond director thought it would be good if terrorists were in Bond so the people watching the movie can relate there lives with the film.

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