One Great Shot: No Time to Die (2021)


Well, “Hello there.” It’s been quite a while since I last blogged. I could sit here all day explaining why I took a long leave of absence. But suffice to say, sometimes motivation for producing posts can be blighted for whatever reason. For now, crosses have been beared, inner demons have been extinguished, and the warm fussy feelings from writing god awful preambles have been restored. In fact, I intended to return with a review of Rob Zombie’s feature length adaptation of The Munsters. However, I’m still processing that film and where it sits with Zombie’s other films. Perhaps one day. Perhaps…

Despite loving the season of Halloween, I have longed to complete my One Great Shot series on Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies. However, the time never felt right, until now. Today marks Global James Bond day and I could not find a better reason to discuss my favourite shot from Craig’s swan song effort. What’s your favourite shot from No Time to Die? How are you celebrating James Bond day? Let me know in the comments below.

One Great Shot: No Time to Die

Daniel Craig’s Bond looking out at the shore of his Jamaican retreat feels like a homecoming moment. This is not only because the character is in a part of the world that directly aligns with the place in which much of the stories of his literary counterpart were written (Jamaica). But it’s also a shot that reminds us of the appeal of Craig’s interpretation of 007. Steely, stern, but all too human with flickers of subtle emotion, the shot harkens back to the actor’s moments of silent acting in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

The true power of the shot actually jumped out to me with its use in Billie Eilish’s music video for No Time to Die. All the images used from the film have a desaturated look, giving the impression that we’re watching a near monochromatic series of moments from the movie. The subtle shift in colour gives Craig’s Bond a lot more weight. No longer are his blue eyes conveying a portrait of hard edged callousness.

Instead, there’s a sense of deep-seated woundedness and loss as the retired agent considers if he should get involved in a mission that’s been dropped into his lap. The choice of the above shot being shown after a moment whereby Madeline Swan (Bond’s long time love) emerging from the water, reinforces this emotion.

In this way, this silent moment of introspection plays like Luke Skywalker looking at the twin suns in A New Hope. However, instead of a naïve young man looking out to the horizon to consider what his purpose is, we have a veteran considering his place in an occupation that’s clearly not done with him.


About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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