Casino Royale Redux

Arthur and I saw Casino Royale again last night. Damn, what a great movie. Still, I may have to downgrade it from a 10/10 to a 9/10. How perfect can a movie be if it takes two viewings to understand it?

Oh, sure, it’s not as Byzantine as Octopussy, but it takes a lot of work to figure out what’s going on and why. I may do some kind of diagram for a future edition of my book (if there is one).

Delightfully, when you know what’s going to happen, you can see little hints dropped throughout. Unlike, say, The World Is Not Enough, you can actually see little acting cues that there’s something going on behind the scenes.

By the way, if you’ve seen the movie I highly recommend this spoilerific and interesting discussion of the medical facts surrounding a particular scene in Casino Royale.


  1. TehipiteTom says:

    How perfect can a movie be if it takes two viewings to understand it?

    Isn’t that a positive rather than a negative?

  2. deblipp says:

    It’s a positive if it’s something like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but if it’s just an over-layering of plot points, I don’t think so.

  3. Amy says:

    I tend to agree with Tom on this. I love having more stuff going on than I can reasonably be expected to follow.

  4. Roberta says:

    Slightly off-topic, did anyone notice the use of the color red? I don’t remember the first garment that caught my eye, but the quality of the red was remarkable. Throughout the movie, other pieces (uniforms in the casino?) were also a striking red, and of course, her lipstick was perfection. And then finally the dress. It was at that point that I connected the dots… that this was subtle and beautiful art direction; threading the film together with this exact same drop-dead stunning red.

  5. deblipp says:

    It’s an interesting discussion, that sort of bleeds into movie watching as a whole. In general I agree, and mostly I agree specifically about this movie as well. But there are times when a touch of exposition is needed. I mean, you don’t want to walk out of the theater and say “I have no idea what happened.”

    Now, with CR, there were definitely plot threads that got lost, and while it didn’t kill me that I didn’t figure out what “Ellipsis” meant until my second viewing (and I could have figured it out the first time), there are other instances where I think the ball was, if not dropped, sort of fumbled around a bit while being held.

  6. deblipp says:

    Roberta, that’s so interesting. My immediate thought when that red dress was put on was that she would be followed. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a “spot in the crowd” dress, and I was quickly proven right.

    But I think you’re onto something. There’s a lot going on with color to show her vulnerability; have you ever seen a lead take off her makeup like that before? Then on goes the makeup with all its stark colors…and she says he has armor? It’s quite interesting.

  7. Roberta says:

    Oh my.
    I was just thinking… Red. Pretty.

  8. deblipp says:

    Funny. Because all I thought was red=easy to track, until your comment made me think more.

    ‘cuz I watch musicals, and in a musical, you can always tell the lead dancer apart by a different color dress. Either they’re all in blue and she’s in red, or they’re all in bright colors and she’s in black or white. A color the eye can track. The minute I saw a red dress I thought “he can track that through a crowd.” But the symbolic stuff I didn’t think of until you mentioned the art direction.

  9. Roberta says:

    Well really what I was thinking was… it’s all the same PMS color, and probably digitally enhanced to ensure its sameness and amazingness. This is me from Advertising world speaking, and I hadn’t looked for its purpose, other than to brand the color and give the movie a look.

  10. Joe Bond says:

    Deborah, I finally read your book. While I disagree on many (many) things, I must say I never had so much fun reading someones (highly supported) opinion. I true treat for any Bond fan.

    I must say, your analysis on OHMSS has shed a whole new light on that film for me. You bring up some excellent points (particularly Telly Savalas).

    In any event I am glad you gave DC and CR a chance despite your initial concerns. As it turns out, it was a terrific movie-going experience.. which is the most important thing.

  11. deblipp says:

    Thank you so much, Joe. One thing I love about Bond fans is that we do have an enormous capacity to respectfully disagree. One of my best friends among Bond fans—the friend I saw Casino Royale with, in fact—counts OHMSS as his favorite. It is, in fact, a pleasure to discuss our disagreements, and I tried to bring that pleasure to the book.

    I am currently revising the book for a post-CR edition.

    I hope you will visit my James Bond blog as well.