I saw Quantum of Solace last night, and I wasn’t impressed. It was the kind of thing I describe as ‘stuff happens’ there’s a lot of movement and action, but it doesn’t mean anything, nothing important is happening. They were very impressive set action pieces, and some very fancy technology, but nothing to engage with.
The portrayal of women was disappointing as well. I shouldn’t really expect much from a mainstream film like that, let alone from a Bond film (although I don’t recall having this problem with Casino Royale), but from the opening credits I was told that I was not welcome in this world, that a woman could only exist in it as decoration.
Judi Dench’s M is, of course, a strong female character, and one who is allowed to look flawed – shown with mottled skin as she takes her make-up off – but I can’t be overly impressed by such tokenism any more.
Camille looked like a manga character, and although she was shown as being physically strong, and getting the revenge she was after, she ended up as a terrified child (literally, as she flashed-back to the childhood fire set by the man who murdered her family) in Bond’s arms – in mainstream films women are rarely allowed to get away with being strong without also being damaged, as if strength in a woman is a transgression in itself that can only follow some trauma that pushes them out of normal society.
It is interesting how the politics have changed to reflect the present. It’s no longer governments, it’s multinationals, and water is the new oil (I spotted that one coming right at the beginning). The thing is, this is probably a fairly accurate reflection of reality; democracy is meaningless, governments are powerless, in the end money is the only real power in the world.