Agent 007, better known as Bond, James Bond is a character many generations have idolized. The charismatic, emotionless, and attractive protagonist saving lives is an all-time favorite storyline.
However, this world James Bond portrays is far from reality, and people have erased the thin line between reality and imagination.
The world James Bond portrays does not only impact the minds of men, but even the British intelligence is not very flattered with the image Bond has created for them.
A top-ranking British intelligence official wrote a letter to the Economist about James Bond.
The agent who goes by the code name “C” states that the rouge behavior of James Bond does not correlate with reality. He calls the character’s behavior “brash antics of 007”.
He claimed that the readers could judge for themselves if the fictional character does, in fact, represent the country or not.
According to “C” Stories about real-world SIS, operatives would inspire national pride if they were not highly classified. The fact that a top-ranking member of the government sent a letter to an economics magazine about someone who doesn’t exist is peculiar, to say the least.
“James Bond” is a very repetitive story?
Drew Moniot, a film critique shared his views in an article in 1976. He believes that all Bond movies a running on the same repetitive storyline. He even tells the storyline, which he claims is similar to every Bond movie ever to exist.
There’s an opening sequence, a title theme, an introductory action sequence, and a trip around the globe. The movie incorporates whatever new technologies, styles, and cultures are forthcoming that year.
Moniot states that the same storyline provides a sense of comfort to the viewer.
Christine Berberich, a literary scholar, argues in his article on “Spectre” (2015) (the Bond movie, which had a worldwide box office gross of more than $880 million). Berberich states that the film provides a “dangerous fantasy” that depicts Britain as a superpower. He exclaims that the Bond movies promote hegemony.
In Bond movies, England is always superiorly depicted. Ian Flemings (the writer of the James Bond Book series) demonstrates how the protagonist conquers all, is considered superior, and is super-spy.
In addition to being products of their time, Flaming’s novels are the expression of their creator, despite his claim that they are apolitical in content and message.
The truth is times have changed. The liberation of women is at its peak, and Britain is turning into a multicultural society. Bond movies depict none of that.
Literary critic and novelist Chuck Klosterman has expressed his opinions in an article in 2006. Klosterman claims to have seen only one Bond movie, 1987’s “The Living Daylights,” but he claims that he’s seen all of them. In his opinion, all movies are the same, so it doesn’t matter if you see all of them or just one.
Is James Bond Sexist and Misogynistic?
The stories of James Bond do not act as a moral compass for any generation.
In a 1958 article titled “Sex, Snobbery, and Sadism,” Paul Johnson described Fleming’s sixth James Bond novel as “the nastiest book I have ever read.”
Bond’s novels are filled with profanity and cheap sexuality, emphasizing a life of killing for Queen and Country as a way of glamorizing the lifestyle.
Chuck Klosterman claims the character of Bond created by Flemings is emotionless and is a “masculine fantasy.” Bond kills as if he has no heart or consciousness for his actions.
Women in Fleming’s books are characterized as hookers who Bond can toy with and then can leave for “saving the country.” His actions are justified because of the glorious work he does.
Cars and other gadgets in Bond movies tend to attract boys/men and create excitement to imitate James Bond. They want to fantasize about the lifestyle Bond lives.
However, the reality is women are not sexual objects as demonstrated in movies, and acting apathetic is even damaging for men themselves.
The Bond movies are further promoting men to tarp their feelings in an unbreakable container which, if broken, is a sign of weakness.
Women are the inferior gender and can be treated in any manner. This leads to toxic relationships and a lack of communication in the real world. Following these patterns can make a person miserable.
The criticism of Bond by Alex Younger, then, might be unintentionally disingenuous. They use a common male fantasy of unrestricted sexual access to make viewers deny their emotions and trade on their doubts.
It has taken Eon Productions multiple attempts to rehabilitate Bond’s image as an arch-misogynist, each time by selecting a new actor to play the character.
Eon cast Judi Dench in the 1995 Bond movie “Golden Eye” starring Pierce Brosnan. When Judi’s character interacts with Bond, she calls him “a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War.”.
The movie fetishizes violence and emotional abuse on women to create an appeal. It backfires now as the world is changing, and misogyny is a thing of the past.
When Daniel Craig took over the role in Casino Royale (2006), the same thing happened. A Royal Treasury accountant named Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) gets to know Bond; her remakes were similar to Judi’s.
She said, “Now, having just met you, I wouldn’t go so far as calling you a cold-hearted bastard… but it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine you think of women as disposable pleasures rather than meaningful pursuits.”
How the character of Bond came into being?
There is a tragic story behind all this hatred in Bond movies that is misdirected.
Flemings was inspired to write about all the Bond Girls because his inspiration came from a longtime lover called Muriel Wright. When Wright began dating Fleming at 21 years old, she was a model and polo player; they had a nine-year relationship.
However, Wright turned a blind eye to the author’s cheating on her. The Nazis shut down Wright during an air raid in 1944, killing the air warden who served in World War II.
He felt overwhelmed with guilt over his infidelity after identifying Wright’s body.
Flemings then penned the story of James Bond. One can sympathize with Fleming’s situation. The story of Bond has been watched over and over again by many generations. Hence it holds a place in every Bond addict’s heart if only the story changed like the world is changing.
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