Jump to content


Photo

Book and film comparision, the torture scene


  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#1 Brent

Brent

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 25 posts

Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:19 PM

Having watched the film 4 times now, 3 in the theater and once on the DVD, I realized why I had not warmed up to Daniel Craig as much as I think I should be considering he is the closest to Fleming's Bond since Timothy Dalton. It is because I read the book before seeing the film and I was disappointed because as close as the script hewed to the book once reaching the casino, the final encounter with le Chiffre was very different. In the book, Le Chiffre is rather condescending towards Bond, calling him "my dear boy"(a chapter title) and telling Bond the game of Red Indians is over and that he has stumbled into a game for grownups. The whole ritual of Le Chiffre sitting down and pouring then drinking coffee while explaining how Bond was an amateur using childish hiding places and there was no rescue coming then describing how Bond would be tortured would have fit in well with the premise that the film is a reboot and Bond is in the beginning of his career. Then that last line in the chapter as he reaches for the knife on the table "Say goodbye to it, Bond".

Not having that made part of the film was more disappointing than I realized and ended up coloring my judgement. Although I still see Craig as being a little long in the tooth to play a spy at the beginning of his career(should be closer to 30), I can at l;east judge him and the film more objectively and I put in up in my top 5 films along side OHMSS, TLD, LTK and FRWL, replacing Goldfinger in the list. Has anyone else felt this way?

#2 Mamadou

Mamadou

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 305 posts
  • Location:Chicago, USA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 12:17 AM

I think it would have worked if they decided to make Le Chiffre an older villain. Mads, who appears to be roughly DC's age, would have looked very odd calling him "My dear boy" and telling him that he's in a game for grown-ups.

They also set up Le Chiffre as more desperate in the film than he is, or at least lets on, in the book. Unlike in the novel, in the film we see that he is in very real danger (the confrontation with Obanno). So that will color how they depict the torture scene. Because after that level of danger, it would have been jarring to see him as calm and confident.

Of the two versions of the scene, I have no favorite. Both have their strengths: the novel in portraying absolute fear and pain; the film for giving us one of the most painful laughs in the history of cinema. That said, I actually preferred the final line of the film--"I will take from you what you seem not to value"--to the line in the book, which to me is fairly generic and not as insulting.

Just my $0.02.

#3 Brent

Brent

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 25 posts

Posted 11 May 2007 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for your reply. I agree about Mads being the same age. That is part of the reason I think DC is a little to old for playing Bond at the beginning of his career. An older actor for Le Chiffre would also have been better.

#4 LadySylvia

LadySylvia

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1299 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:13 AM

Thanks for your reply. I agree about Mads being the same age. That is part of the reason I think DC is a little to old for playing Bond at the beginning of his career. An older actor for Le Chiffre would also have been better.



Craig was not portraying Bond at the beginning of the character's career as a spy. He was portraying Bond at the beginning of the character's career as "an 00 agent". Big difference. Bond had been with MI-6 for quite some time before he joined the 00 Section. At least in the movie.


As for the film/book comparison, I read the novel several years ago and was not that impressed by it. The movie, on the other hand, impressed me.

#5 blackjack60

blackjack60

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 151 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:44 AM

The novel's torture scene is vastly superior to the movie's. The movie softened Fleming quite a bit.
1. Making LeChiffre close in age to Bond was ultimately a pointless move. It's far creepier to have LeChiffre as a perverted father figure--it adds an entirely different psycho-sexual vibe to the scene, and it would have given LeChiffre's jibes about Bond's "nanny" in London extra resonance, since that nanny's played by an elderely woman who really could pass for a nanny, and who really does act as a kind of nanny figure to Bond. LeChiffre's taunts about Red Indians help Bond realize that LeChiffre is right, and that he needs to reconfigure his role as a spy or quit. Bond's decision to quit in the film might have had more resonance had this angle been retained.

2. The LeChiffre of the book is almost entirely silent and inscrutable until the torture scene. To me this was far more effective than the chatty, desperate Le Chiffre of the film. I think it's far scarier to be tortured by someone who's confident and taking their time and pleasure in causing you pain, rather than by some desperate schlub who's just flailing away at your balls. To return to the father figure metaphor--if you're simply being beaten by your daddy because he's angry and desperate to punish you, that's one thing. But if he's actually luxuriating in the experience, it becomes far more unsettling. (Though to be fair to Fleming, Le Chiffre's desperation later becomes apparent, and again far more so than in the film--I don't recall Mads making snarling "like a wild beast.")

3. "Say goodbye to it, Bond" strikes me as far more direct and urgent than LeChiffre's far too drawn-out and (paradoxically) literary line of cutting off and feeding Bond what he seems not to value. Fleming's line lets you know that the second of truth is at hand. The movie's lets you know that LeChiffre prefers speaking in a round-about way at the least appropriate of times.

4. I guess I'm alone in this, but the ball-scratching line struck me as [censored]ing stupid. How does Bond know LeChiffre's going to die scratching his balls? And if Bond is in such pain, how can he be dropping witticisms? The book is far more vivid at conveying those "horizons of agony," with Bond continuously fainting, barely able to croak when conscious as he bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. The film is sanitized in comparison. Instead of making the viewer share in feeling brutalized, it lets the viewer off the hook by scrounging for laughs. That's the return of standard movie Bond--no matter how horrible the situation is, trust in 007 to make a stupid, fake-witty quip. The movie wants to reassure you that Bond can still triumph over pain, whereas the book says the opposite.

No, the movie's torture scene did not impress me. The novel can still make you wince and curl up in vicarious pain. The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.

Edited by blackjack60, 11 May 2007 - 01:47 AM.


#6 Turn

Turn

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6707 posts
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:02 AM

I'm impressed EON had the courage to actually do a version of the torture scene at all. It would have been very easy to insert some modern torture device and call it even, but they went with the closest thing to the novel (how many people would have actually known what a carpet beater was?). It worked in the film version of GF, subsituting the laser, which was new at the time, for the spinning buzz saw, which was the stuff of movie serials by then.

Fleming's passage was masterful. It really gave you the creeps. But the film version worked as well. Especially having Bond use his wits to bide his time.

I do doubt they could ever pull off the whole volcano seat execution from YOLT the novel. But who know? After what they did with CR, I'd be curious to see the results.

#7 Brent

Brent

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 25 posts

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:13 AM

I do doubt they could ever pull off the whole volcano seat execution from YOLT the novel. But who know? After what they did with CR, I'd be curious to see the results.

That is the one scene where it was clear that Flewming was being influenced by the film character. The whole "effects man knows his stuff" and "Noel Coward" dialog is nothing like anything Bond had uttered before in the novels.

The torture scenes have never really been filmed. The Brooklyn stomping in DAF. The blowtorch in Moonraker. The Pressure room you mention in YOLT. The films have generally stayed away from them. The notable exceptions being Goldfinger, TWINE, DAD and now Casino Royale.

#8 Harmsway

Harmsway

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 12537 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:18 AM

4. I guess I'm alone in this, but the ball-scratching line struck me as [censored]ing stupid. How does Bond know LeChiffre's going to die scratching his balls?

Doesn't he explain it right after (saying, "because," even?)? He states that because Le Chiffre has sealed his fate in this moment because Bond's not telling him anything and his clientele will come and kill him. Le Chiffre then makes it quite clear to Bond that Bond is mistaken, though, and it's a nice turn of dialogue, leaving Bond utterly defeated.

And if Bond is in such pain, how can he be dropping witticisms?

Well, I've never been in such pain, and I don't think any of us have - Fleming included - but the torture isn't as drawn out and as long as it is in Fleming's pages. I imagine Bond would be able to think a thing or two, trying to get his mind off of the pain.

The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.

The movie's torture scene was as shocking and brutal and suggestive as it could have been and still be a huge success. I'm glad EON went as far with it as they did, and it's a great scene. One of the most memorable and intense in the franchise's history.

Anyone who was expecting a really extended, extremely graphic torture scene was setting themselves up for disappointment.

#9 Tiin007

Tiin007

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1328 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:22 AM

In my opinion, both torture scenes worked. The one in the novel worked better for a Fleming novel, while the one in the movie works better for an EON movie.

#10 Brent

Brent

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 25 posts

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:29 AM

The novel's torture scene is vastly superior to the movie's. The movie softened Fleming quite a bit.
No, the movie's torture scene did not impress me. The novel can still make you wince and curl up in vicarious pain. The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.

IO have to agree with about all you said. I was buoyed up by the possibility of actually seeing the scene as it was in the book where I think Le Chiffre is more menacing. The little atmospherics Fleming described of the light of the dawn through the venetian blinds, the table and glass coffee cup and the knife and carpet beater plus the pool growing under the chair. It just wasn't the same in the film. In the film Le Chiffre is a little to desperate and his comments about being taken in my MI6 even with Bond dead seemed a little hollow.

The other thing that disappointed me was putting a cloud over Mathis who in the books is as good a friend to Bond as Felix Leiter.

Thanks for replying. I'm glad In not alone in my opinion

Edited by Brent, 11 May 2007 - 02:30 AM.


#11 mrsbonds_ppk

mrsbonds_ppk

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1297 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:02 AM

The novel's torture scene is vastly superior to the movie's. The movie softened Fleming quite a bit.
1. Making LeChiffre close in age to Bond was ultimately a pointless move. It's far creepier to have LeChiffre as a perverted father figure--it adds an entirely different psycho-sexual vibe to the scene, and it would have given LeChiffre's jibes about Bond's "nanny" in London extra resonance, since that nanny's played by an elderely woman who really could pass for a nanny, and who really does act as a kind of nanny figure to Bond. LeChiffre's taunts about Red Indians help Bond realize that LeChiffre is right, and that he needs to reconfigure his role as a spy or quit. Bond's decision to quit in the film might have had more resonance had this angle been retained.

2. The LeChiffre of the book is almost entirely silent and inscrutable until the torture scene. To me this was far more effective than the chatty, desperate Le Chiffre of the film. I think it's far scarier to be tortured by someone who's confident and taking their time and pleasure in causing you pain, rather than by some desperate schlub who's just flailing away at your balls. To return to the father figure metaphor--if you're simply being beaten by your daddy because he's angry and desperate to punish you, that's one thing. But if he's actually luxuriating in the experience, it becomes far more unsettling. (Though to be fair to Fleming, Le Chiffre's desperation later becomes apparent, and again far more so than in the film--I don't recall Mads making snarling "like a wild beast.")

3. "Say goodbye to it, Bond" strikes me as far more direct and urgent than LeChiffre's far too drawn-out and (paradoxically) literary line of cutting off and feeding Bond what he seems not to value. Fleming's line lets you know that the second of truth is at hand. The movie's lets you know that LeChiffre prefers speaking in a round-about way at the least appropriate of times.

4. I guess I'm alone in this, but the ball-scratching line struck me as [censored]ing stupid. How does Bond know LeChiffre's going to die scratching his balls? And if Bond is in such pain, how can he be dropping witticisms? The book is far more vivid at conveying those "horizons of agony," with Bond continuously fainting, barely able to croak when conscious as he bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. The film is sanitized in comparison. Instead of making the viewer share in feeling brutalized, it lets the viewer off the hook by scrounging for laughs. That's the return of standard movie Bond--no matter how horrible the situation is, trust in 007 to make a stupid, fake-witty quip. The movie wants to reassure you that Bond can still triumph over pain, whereas the book says the opposite.

No, the movie's torture scene did not impress me. The novel can still make you wince and curl up in vicarious pain. The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.


I think you have hit the nail on the head. I couldn't express it any better. I agree 100%. The book's version of this scene was very eery and impressive. I didn't think the "You died scratching my balls" thing was stupid, but very funny.

#12 00Twelve

00Twelve

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7702 posts
  • Location:Kingsport, TN

Posted 11 May 2007 - 05:05 AM

The novel's torture scene is vastly superior to the movie's. The movie softened Fleming quite a bit.
1. Making LeChiffre close in age to Bond was ultimately a pointless move. It's far creepier to have LeChiffre as a perverted father figure--it adds an entirely different psycho-sexual vibe to the scene, and it would have given LeChiffre's jibes about Bond's "nanny" in London extra resonance, since that nanny's played by an elderely woman who really could pass for a nanny, and who really does act as a kind of nanny figure to Bond. LeChiffre's taunts about Red Indians help Bond realize that LeChiffre is right, and that he needs to reconfigure his role as a spy or quit. Bond's decision to quit in the film might have had more resonance had this angle been retained.

Ah, but I think the same effect was achieved by Mads when he reminded Bond that even if he didn't talk and was killed, MI6 would still give Le Chiffre sanctuary, thus crushing Bond's bravado and his hope of escaping as well. Watch Bond's face as he realizes the "big picture." He knows he needs to reevaluate his role as a spy. :cooltongue:

2. The LeChiffre of the book is almost entirely silent and inscrutable until the torture scene. To me this was far more effective than the chatty, desperate Le Chiffre of the film. I think it's far scarier to be tortured by someone who's confident and taking their time and pleasure in causing you pain, rather than by some desperate schlub who's just flailing away at your balls. To return to the father figure metaphor--if you're simply being beaten by your daddy because he's angry and desperate to punish you, that's one thing. But if he's actually luxuriating in the experience, it becomes far more unsettling. (Though to be fair to Fleming, Le Chiffre's desperation later becomes apparent, and again far more so than in the film--I don't recall Mads making snarling "like a wild beast.")

I couldn't say with certainty whether Bond would really have cared how old the man crushing his balls happened to be. The literary Bond certainly didn't look to Le Chiffre as either a superior or father figure.

3. "Say goodbye to it, Bond" strikes me as far more direct and urgent than LeChiffre's far too drawn-out and (paradoxically) literary line of cutting off and feeding Bond what he seems not to value. Fleming's line lets you know that the second of truth is at hand. The movie's lets you know that LeChiffre prefers speaking in a round-about way at the least appropriate of times.

It's a movie. Movies characteristically have more overdramatic and graphic lines. Whatchagonnado?

4. I guess I'm alone in this, but the ball-scratching line struck me as [censored]ing stupid. How does Bond know LeChiffre's going to die scratching his balls? And if Bond is in such pain, how can he be dropping witticisms? The book is far more vivid at conveying those "horizons of agony," with Bond continuously fainting, barely able to croak when conscious as he bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. The film is sanitized in comparison. Instead of making the viewer share in feeling brutalized, it lets the viewer off the hook by scrounging for laughs. That's the return of standard movie Bond--no matter how horrible the situation is, trust in 007 to make a stupid, fake-witty quip. The movie wants to reassure you that Bond can still triumph over pain, whereas the book says the opposite.

I didn't see Bond as being able to triumph over pain in the film. It only got worse after the "itch" bit. And Bond had no reason to hope that it would end after having his hopes crushed by "the big picture" as I said, as well as any other time before Mr. White left, after NOT shooting Bond as well as Le Chiffre. But by then, he had blacked out from the pain (of the torture, rather than the carving) as in the book. :angry:

No, the movie's torture scene did not impress me. The novel can still make you wince and curl up in vicarious pain. The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.

I thought they did as well as any PG-13 film treatment could have made it.

But don't get me wrong, the literary scene is indeed more brutal, and in that scene at least, the general rule of thumb of the Fleming novels being superior to their adaptations stands firm.

#13 stamper

stamper

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2972 posts
  • Location:Under the sea

Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:37 AM

I say overall, the movie version of the scene was too short. They should have kicked out some of the later romance, and extended that scene by about 5mn, to really make us, like in the book, question how bond is going to get away from this.

#14 blackjack60

blackjack60

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 151 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:58 AM

Watch Bond's face as he realizes the "big picture." He knows he needs to reevaluate his role as a spy. :cooltongue:


If the movie were better than it actually was, we might have felt Bond's anger at the moral perfidy of the service playing a large role in Bond's decision to quit, but as it is, it doesn't really come into play, and one ambiguous facial expression doesn't really cut it for what in the novel was part of an extended and on-going self-interrogation (and the idea of the service offering LeChiffre protection could have been introduced without the balls line anyway.

I couldn't say with certainty whether Bond would really have cared how old the man crushing his balls happened to be. The literary Bond certainly didn't look to Le Chiffre as either a superior or father figure.

The point is not whether or not Bond cares how old the man is (WE are meant to care), and whether Bond looks to LeChiffre as a father figure is inconsequential, because LeChiffre sets himself up as a metaphorical perverted father figure anyway, like many of Fleming's villains, and the metaphorical implications change one's entire reception of the scene. LeChiffre makes the reader feel that he's treating Bond as a helpless child in the clutches of an evil, sadistic father who is going to take delight in punishing him. That's a far more twisted dynamic than having LeChiffre express homoerotic delight about how fit Bond has kept himself.

It's a movie. Movies characteristically have more overdramatic and graphic lines. Whatchagonnado?


Movies at their best, especially action/thriller/western movies, characteristically have pithy, memorable, and direct dialogue. What I'm going to do continue holding to that standard. I think something's wrong when the movie version has more self-consciously literary lines than the book.

I didn't see Bond as being able to triumph over pain in the film.

The fact that Bond is awake and alert enough to taunt LeChiffre up to what he thinks is his near end is a triumph over pain. Had LeChiffre castrated book Bond, he'd have castrated a beaten, near-speechless, barely alive automaton. Movie Bond nearly got to go out with a line laughed at by the audience. And the movie's very end is of Bond triumphing over his pain by assuming true Bondian status--he stands triumphant over his foe, having found Mr.White, holding a phallically super-sized gun in a badass pose and lording it over the villain. The book ends with a man driven to a shocking act of emotional bitterness and negation in the wake of incredible damage done to both the secret service and his emotional life. The books ends on notes of waste and bitterness.

That is the one scene where it was clear that Fleming was being influenced by the film character. The whole "effects man knows his stuff" and "Noel Coward" dialog is nothing like anything Bond had uttered before in the novels.


It's also not quite like the movie dialogue. What it most resembles is Ian Fleming's own sense of humor, as displayed in both biographies of the man, and which he kept out of the Bond novels for a long time, until the humorous tone of the movies persuaded him to cut loose with Bond's character, which by that point took on more and more of Fleming's sardonic personality, including his sense of humor.

Doesn't he explain it right after (saying, "because," even?)?


It doesn't account for Bond apparently having enough ESP to predict that LeChiffre will die scratching his balls. It's still stupid.

the torture isn't as drawn out and as long as it is in Fleming's pages. I imagine Bond would be able to think a thing or two, trying to get his mind off of the pain.

If I wanted to present a scene of excruciating torture, I think having the character think up witty lines would needlessly dilute the impact and power, and question whether that torture was really so intense or excruciating. You don't need to have been tortured to know that being alert enough to crack witticisms probably means you're in much better shape and less brutalized than someone who can barely talk. In any case, Fleming was a naval intelligence officer during WWII who was very well acquainted with enemy torture tactics (as well as the French torture tactic that inspired CR's) and I believe that he knew pretty well what men went through during truly extreme torture.

I'm glad EON went as far with it as they did, and it's a great scene. One of the most memorable and intense in the franchise's history.


And not as memorable or intense as it easily could have been.

Anyone who was expecting a really extended, extremely graphic torture scene was setting themselves up for disappointment.


This is a bit of a false presumption--you don't need a twenty minute, full-frontal extended torture scene to get across the power of the original scene. Look at the book--the torture scene doesn't actually go on for so long, and is not described with sentences such as "the carpet beater bit into Bond's scrotum, leaving angry red welts." Fleming doesn't go into a graphic description because he knows he can suggest just enough to let the reader do his own imagining. Similarly, in movies, you can do a lot through simple suggestion. Showing something like LeChiffre's hand arcing upward, followed by a cut to blood spattering on the floor, is enough to make the viewer cringe. And the viewer would have found the sequence far more "memorable and intense" if they had seen something they'd never seen before--James Bond rendered utterly helpless and at the point of complete collapse. Instead we got the cop-out that's standard in the Bond films--the release provided by Bond saying something flip, to prove that he's still hanging in there. Had the movie denied this, the torture sequence would have easily been far more "intense and memorable," despite actually being shorter (due to the loss of those lines). I have to question the idea of doing the torture scene if the filmmakers are going to lose their nerve.

Edited by blackjack60, 11 May 2007 - 09:05 AM.


#15 spynovelfan

spynovelfan

    Commander CMG

  • Discharged
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5855 posts

Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:47 AM

Blackjack60, I agree with most of your excellently articulated points. Of course it could have been more intense and brutal. Yes to Le Chiffre as a perverted father figure. It's sanitised, and the nanny line would have been superb. All agreed. :cooltongue:

But I think despite the 'cop out' of Bond managing to taunt Le Chiffre, the scene nevertheless unsettles to the extent that I think the audience does feel, for the first time in a Bond film, that the hero is rendered utterly helpless and at the point of complete collapse. Okay, he's still cracking a joke, but it feels like a losing joke. It's a joke made from pure bravado, and we know there is nothing to back it up. We know Bond is helpless. He doesn't have a pen-knife in his watch to untie his knots, or poison gas in his tie. He's naked, bound, and in the midst of being tortrued: there is seemingly no way out. It's not plausible in real life that he'd make jokes, but we still know in film terms that he is helpless and in agony. We're laughing because he's joking like he has always done, but we've never seen him like this before, with sweat pouring off him, his face bruised and battered, screaming. Never. It is clear to Le Chiffre, the audience and Bond himself that his jokes are pissing in the wind: that's the difference.

I think if they had done it any more like the book, the film wouldn't have made the rating it needed to make to be a success.

#16 MarcAngeDraco

MarcAngeDraco

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3310 posts
  • Location:Oxford, Michigan

Posted 11 May 2007 - 10:08 AM

The novel's torture scene is vastly superior to the movie's. The movie softened Fleming quite a bit.
1. Making LeChiffre close in age to Bond was ultimately a pointless move. It's far creepier to have LeChiffre as a perverted father figure--it adds an entirely different psycho-sexual vibe to the scene, and it would have given LeChiffre's jibes about Bond's "nanny" in London extra resonance, since that nanny's played by an elderely woman who really could pass for a nanny, and who really does act as a kind of nanny figure to Bond. LeChiffre's taunts about Red Indians help Bond realize that LeChiffre is right, and that he needs to reconfigure his role as a spy or quit. Bond's decision to quit in the film might have had more resonance had this angle been retained.

2. The LeChiffre of the book is almost entirely silent and inscrutable until the torture scene. To me this was far more effective than the chatty, desperate Le Chiffre of the film. I think it's far scarier to be tortured by someone who's confident and taking their time and pleasure in causing you pain, rather than by some desperate schlub who's just flailing away at your balls. To return to the father figure metaphor--if you're simply being beaten by your daddy because he's angry and desperate to punish you, that's one thing. But if he's actually luxuriating in the experience, it becomes far more unsettling. (Though to be fair to Fleming, Le Chiffre's desperation later becomes apparent, and again far more so than in the film--I don't recall Mads making snarling "like a wild beast.")

3. "Say goodbye to it, Bond" strikes me as far more direct and urgent than LeChiffre's far too drawn-out and (paradoxically) literary line of cutting off and feeding Bond what he seems not to value. Fleming's line lets you know that the second of truth is at hand. The movie's lets you know that LeChiffre prefers speaking in a round-about way at the least appropriate of times.

4. I guess I'm alone in this, but the ball-scratching line struck me as [censored]ing stupid. How does Bond know LeChiffre's going to die scratching his balls? And if Bond is in such pain, how can he be dropping witticisms? The book is far more vivid at conveying those "horizons of agony," with Bond continuously fainting, barely able to croak when conscious as he bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. The film is sanitized in comparison. Instead of making the viewer share in feeling brutalized, it lets the viewer off the hook by scrounging for laughs. That's the return of standard movie Bond--no matter how horrible the situation is, trust in 007 to make a stupid, fake-witty quip. The movie wants to reassure you that Bond can still triumph over pain, whereas the book says the opposite.

No, the movie's torture scene did not impress me. The novel can still make you wince and curl up in vicarious pain. The movie diluted that scene's impact. Shame.


Excellent post, blackjack60! Your points are spot on and well articulated. I also vastly prefer Fleming's torture scene, but doubt I could have explained my preference so well.

#17 stamper

stamper

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2972 posts
  • Location:Under the sea

Posted 11 May 2007 - 10:36 AM

To hit the nail on the head, there's no real structure to the movie torture scene. It doesn't play like a drama, but like an exchange of lines. This should have been a 12 mn set piece remembered not for the set up, but for the emotional rollecoaster it could have been, just like in the books.

Another thing that bugged me is that when Le Chiffre goes to cut out 007 balls, the arrival of the bad guy is telephoned. "HELLO , SOMEONE IS COMING !"

To be really cool, Le chiffre should have been shot just as the knife was about to cut. No one is around. it's just him and bond. He takes the knife, get ready to cut. BLAM, surprise Le chiffre is shot in the chest ! He falls down, then Mr White come in, says his line and shoot him in the head.

Real suspense. As it is, the torture scene was probably deemed to bold already, so they just included it in, but really fast forwarded to the end of it. I would have liked the "child game" reference to be included too, it's the key to the novel.

#18 bond_girl_double07

bond_girl_double07

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2322 posts
  • Location:My Underground Lair - err in Ohio

Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:34 PM

Actually, the thing I missed most in the film version of the torture scene was the setting.. in the book, Bond is carried off to a VERY secluded farm house in broad daylight. I think just the fact that they can carry somebody around in the middle of the day shows how secluded this location really is.. in the film, it's night, and there isn't any time taken to set up where this action is taking place. There's a real sense of desperation in the book (Bond doesn't even know where he is, let alone how to get back or find help) that was missing from the film..

It's a little thing, but I kind of miss the carpet beater too.. yeah, the rope does the job, but all of the dialog where Le Chiffre explains how common place things can be very effective in torture was super scary. I think hearing Bond's inner dialog helped in this scene as well (obviously nothing can be done about that for the film, but still..) I remember a scene in which Bond really believes that he's going to be impotent the rest of his life, and the terror he must have felt.. I think the fact that he keeps quiet despite this made for a very dramatic scene, and it was better because of it..

Just to play the devil's advocate, I loved the scene in the film too.. just not as much :cooltongue:

#19 00Twelve

00Twelve

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7702 posts
  • Location:Kingsport, TN

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:17 PM

My responses in blue within original quote.

Watch Bond's face as he realizes the "big picture." He knows he needs to reevaluate his role as a spy. :cooltongue:


If the movie were better than it actually was, we might have felt Bond's anger at the moral perfidy of the service playing a large role in Bond's decision to quit, but as it is, it doesn't really come into play, and one ambiguous facial expression doesn't really cut it for what in the novel was part of an extended and on-going self-interrogation (and the idea of the service offering LeChiffre protection could have been introduced without the balls line anyway.
Well, I got the message. Sorry if it didn't come across clearly enough for your taste, but I thought the setup in M's apartment and the tie-in during the torture scene made a clear point about his assuming he was more valuable and effective than he really is to his superiors. Coupled with his falling in love and desire to retain his soul, I definitely understood why he would have quit the service without regret. True, there's a difference in tone, but rather than perpetually lament that, I'm gonna appreciate it for what it is. I'm just glad that the tone was much closer to the literary mark than any Bond adaptation's yet.

I couldn't say with certainty whether Bond would really have cared how old the man crushing his balls happened to be. The literary Bond certainly didn't look to Le Chiffre as either a superior or father figure.

The point is not whether or not Bond cares how old the man is (WE are meant to care), and whether Bond looks to LeChiffre as a father figure is inconsequential, because LeChiffre sets himself up as a metaphorical perverted father figure anyway, like many of Fleming's villains, and the metaphorical implications change one's entire reception of the scene. LeChiffre makes the reader feel that he's treating Bond as a helpless child in the clutches of an evil, sadistic father who is going to take delight in punishing him. That's a far more twisted dynamic than having LeChiffre express homoerotic delight about how fit Bond has kept himself.
Yes, it was a good dynamic that Fleming set up. He set the bar highly for the rest of his villains, no doubt. What I'm saying is that since I'm so invested in Bond by this point, I'm gripping the arm rests just as much at the homoerotic banker who is being hunted just as much as the sadistic father figure. I really do agree that it would have been even more twisted, but it wasn't enough of a loss to make me bitter.

It's a movie. Movies characteristically have more overdramatic and graphic lines. Whatchagonnado?


Movies at their best, especially action/thriller/western movies, characteristically have pithy, memorable, and direct dialogue. What I'm going to do continue holding to that standard. I think something's wrong when the movie version has more self-consciously literary lines than the book.
There's scant a movie in history that has reached the bar set by it's source book in terms of the script. That's good that you hold to a high standard, and I applaud you for that, but there was no way that a good portion of this book's dialogue wasn't going to change somewhat. To expect differently from EON is to set one's self up for a fall. Maybe that's pessimistic, but I'll be the first one who gives a standing O when they finally meet the bar.

I didn't see Bond as being able to triumph over pain in the film.

The fact that Bond is awake and alert enough to taunt LeChiffre up to what he thinks is his near end is a triumph over pain. Had LeChiffre castrated book Bond, he'd have castrated a beaten, near-speechless, barely alive automaton. Movie Bond nearly got to go out with a line laughed at by the audience. There was a significant amount of tension after that line that said to me that Bond just got himself in deeper trouble and was in for worse pain. He had no reason to expect to live. No, he wasn't as much of a battered mess, but they went as far as PG-13 was gonna let them go. And they were unequivocally bound by that rating.

And the movie's very end is of Bond triumphing over his pain by assuming true Bondian status--he stands triumphant over his foe, having found Mr.White, holding a phallically super-sized gun in a badass pose and lording it over the villain. The book ends with a man driven to a shocking act of emotional bitterness and negation in the wake of incredible damage done to both the secret service and his emotional life. The books ends on notes of waste and bitterness.
True, and I'd almost always prefer Fleming's tone and endings, but the original novel didn't have a legacy and fan following like our (anti)hero does now. In a perfect world, I'd probably prefer they approached it as if there weren't any fan expectations. But this was a film for mass audiences as well as hardcore fans (as you well know), and us Fleming purists are a pretty small minority in comparison. Believe it or not, I'm a Fleming purist like yourself, but I'm actually satisfied with this film, and will therefore defend it where I think it didn't fail. It unexpectedly came out as not just the best Bond film I've ever seen (and by far the best adaptation of Fleming's tone), but a fantastic stand-alone movie completely apart from the Bondian stigma.

That is the one scene where it was clear that Fleming was being influenced by the film character. The whole "effects man knows his stuff" and "Noel Coward" dialog is nothing like anything Bond had uttered before in the novels.


It's also not quite like the movie dialogue. What it most resembles is Ian Fleming's own sense of humor, as displayed in both biographies of the man, and which he kept out of the Bond novels for a long time, until the humorous tone of the movies persuaded him to cut loose with Bond's character, which by that point took on more and more of Fleming's sardonic personality, including his sense of humor.

Doesn't he explain it right after (saying, "because," even?)?


It doesn't account for Bond apparently having enough ESP to predict that LeChiffre will die scratching his balls. It's still stupid. It's got nothing to do with clairvoyance! He's just screwing with his torturer because he thinks he has him over a barrel. He just refuses to submit, and is cocky enough to pull that line. He assumed that he could hold out on the password (and Le Chiffre needed him badly enough not to kill him) long enough that Le Chiffre's employers would track him down. He could hear the conversation in Le Chiffre's room with Obanno (point A), and knew from the beginning of his mission that if Le Chiffre didn't recoup the funds lost due to Bond's intervention in Miami, that Le Chiffre was as good as dead (point B ). He didn't know that Mr. White was so close, but he didn't care how long he had to hold out, he was committed to doing it. He was dead sure that Le Chiffre would be dead before him. And Le Chiffre shattered that little thread of hope by explaining that even if he killed Bond, MI6 would still give him sanctuary. Bond's demeanor changed quite a bit after that, and yes, his few facial expressions and cries of pain were enough to explain that to me. But that's me.

the torture isn't as drawn out and as long as it is in Fleming's pages. I imagine Bond would be able to think a thing or two, trying to get his mind off of the pain.

If I wanted to present a scene of excruciating torture, I think having the character think up witty lines would needlessly dilute the impact and power, and question whether that torture was really so intense or excruciating. You don't need to have been tortured to know that being alert enough to crack witticisms probably means you're in much better shape and less brutalized than someone who can barely talk. In any case, Fleming was a naval intelligence officer during WWII who was very well acquainted with enemy torture tactics (as well as the French torture tactic that inspired CR's) and I believe that he knew pretty well what men went through during truly extreme torture.
Again, yes, it was less brutal than the book. Unfortunately, the same could be said for every single trial and tribulation that Bond has faced in the films vs. the books. I hate it, too, but I was pleasantly surprised by the extent to which they drove him in at least this movie. Maybe you were expecting more fidelity to Fleming, I was cynically expecting less, and was rewarded handsomely. Yeah, the comedic line was way off from the original scene, but as I said, Bond thought he had Le Chiffre over a barrel (Much moreso than in the book). He KNEW Le Chiffre was being pursued, from the two points I made above. That's a major difference from the novel; literary Bond didn't have as much insight into Le Chiffre's peril. Literary Le Chiffre wasn't as vulnerable, and EON Le Chiffre's vulnerablility was a welcome change, IMO. So, for me, it fit with what had been set up in the film.

I'm glad EON went as far with it as they did, and it's a great scene. One of the most memorable and intense in the franchise's history.


And not as memorable or intense as it easily could have been.
I hope you're not gonna be lamenting it this intensely forever, because it's just you who's gonna grow more bitter, not the rest of us that enjoyed it for what it was. I promise, they weren't gonna let it be rated R (Every Fleming novel would be rated R if done exactly). Every last Bond movie could have stood to adapt the novels more closely, and would have been more interesting for it. Of that I'm convinced. Was it as good as the book? Not quite, ONLY in terms of the downtrodden tone and unabashed brutality. (In nearly every other aspect, yes, at least as much.) Was it a good film? Certainly so.

Anyone who was expecting a really extended, extremely graphic torture scene was setting themselves up for disappointment.

This is a bit of a false presumption--you don't need a twenty minute, full-frontal extended torture scene to get across the power of the original scene. Look at the book--the torture scene doesn't actually go on for so long, and is not described with sentences such as "the carpet beater bit into Bond's scrotum, leaving angry red welts." Fleming doesn't go into a graphic description because he knows he can suggest just enough to let the reader do his own imagining. Similarly, in movies, you can do a lot through simple suggestion. Showing something like LeChiffre's hand arcing upward, followed by a cut to blood spattering on the floor, is enough to make the viewer cringe. And the viewer would have found the sequence far more "memorable and intense" if they had seen something they'd never seen before--James Bond rendered utterly helpless and at the point of complete collapse. Instead we got the cop-out that's standard in the Bond films--the release provided by Bond saying something flip, to prove that he's still hanging in there. Had the movie denied this, the torture sequence would have easily been far more "intense and memorable," despite actually being shorter (due to the loss of those lines). I have to question the idea of doing the torture scene if the filmmakers are going to lose their nerve.
Well, ok, and I'm sorry to keep harping on this, blackjack, but the key is the rating. It had no hope of being more graphic and keeping it's PG-13. And EON was committed to that rating. Would it have been a better film if the scene had been left out entirely? Or the book not adapted at all? I wish that "EON" was the policy as well, but they're not in business to satisfy purists like me and you. Not everyone agrees with us on the novels' superiority, whether that's a misunderstanding of the character or not.




#20 Binyamin

Binyamin

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1074 posts
  • Location:On Assignment in the Caribbean

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:44 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.

#21 bond_girl_double07

bond_girl_double07

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2322 posts
  • Location:My Underground Lair - err in Ohio

Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:54 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.


Oooooo, good point! Bond humorously taunts Le Chiffre in the novel as well, good comparision (and back ground leg work!) :cooltongue:

#22 Harmsway

Harmsway

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 12537 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:16 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.

Hoorah for Binyamin!

#23 LadySylvia

LadySylvia

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 1299 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:28 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.



Have the movie's writers ever hinted that they were aware of this syndrome when they wrote the script?

#24 00Twelve

00Twelve

    Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7702 posts
  • Location:Kingsport, TN

Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:37 PM

Even if they didn't, how do we know they didn't think of it?

#25 Mamadou

Mamadou

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 305 posts
  • Location:Chicago, USA

Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:48 PM

Would they really need to know the name of the syndrome? They could probably tell from experience that some people deal with God-awful situations by making jokes (usually not very good ones). I certainly know a few people like that, though I'm not one myself.

#26 bond_girl_double07

bond_girl_double07

    Lt. Commander

  • Veterans
  • PipPipPip
  • 2322 posts
  • Location:My Underground Lair - err in Ohio

Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:18 PM

Would they really need to know the name of the syndrome? They could probably tell from experience that some people deal with God-awful situations by making jokes (usually not very good ones). I certainly know a few people like that, though I'm not one myself.


Ooooo, I've been there, it's scary.. A doctor told me I was going to die once and I laughed until I cried :cooltongue: I was the queen of shakey bad jokes for like 2 hours too.. nasty business..

Which, btw, is an excellent nuance in Craig's acting in this scene.. when he's laughing, you can't tell if he's really laughing or crying.. there's just so much to this scene, it's remarkable!

#27 Brent

Brent

    Midshipman

  • Crew
  • 25 posts

Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

Wow, I would never imagine my first posting drawing so much input. All of you have brought up excellent points. I consider myself a Fleming purist and I agree with many of you that this is the closest of the films to the way Fleming wrote. No film will reproduce a novel and even small changes can become huge later down the road, such as EON substituting SPECTRE for China in DR No and SMERSH in FRWL or the biggest, in my mind, the reversal of the Blofeld Trilogy, making YOLT after Tball. The CR reboot gives an opportunity to return to Flemings roots with a clean slate, although it is hard to wipe the paradigm created by Sean Connery.

The nanny in London line would have made a great line in the film and a reason to have Judi Dench be in the film as M. Le Chiffre should not have been played as being desperate. He is a card player and a gambler and desperation does not fit in with the character. The film did a good job of conveying Bond's desire to wage a vendetta againt le Chiffre's employer as it did in the book with his desire to get revenge on SMERSH which set up Live and Let Die so well.

The biggest change between the book and film is the portrayal of Mathis. When I saw Mathis in the film I thought, wow, a major character from the books is finally getting his due. Instead, they create a nebulous character and leave him with a cloud of suspicion.

I keep picturing How Timothy Dalton would have done in Casino Royale if it had been done in 1969 instead of OHMSS if EON had somehow gotten the rights from Feldman before the Peter Sellers spoof. I think of him as he was in The Lion in Winter opposite Peter O Toole. A young Bond at the beginning of his career. That would have been something to see.

#28 JackWade

JackWade

    Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • PipPip
  • 836 posts
  • Location:The Ohio State University

Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:27 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.

I was about to say this. I read that instituting humor in a situation like this is a method in trying to counteract the pain and such.

#29 JackWade

JackWade

    Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • PipPip
  • 836 posts
  • Location:The Ohio State University

Posted 11 May 2007 - 07:28 PM

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--

"It is called Ganzer Syndrome. When a psychiatric casualty suffers from Ganzer syndrome he will make jokes, act silly or otherwise try to avoid the horror and fear with humor."

http://en.wikipedia....Ganzer_syndrome

Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.

Bond would have this training -- and it would match his personality perfectly.

I was about to say this. I read that using humor in such a situation is a method to try to get the person's mind off of the pain.

Edited by JackWade, 11 May 2007 - 07:29 PM.


#30 blackjack60

blackjack60

    Sub-Lieutenant

  • Crew
  • Pip
  • 151 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 12 May 2007 - 12:31 AM

It is clear to Le Chiffre, the audience and Bond himself that his jokes are pissing in the wind: that's the difference.


My general experience is that the joke tends to get a good deal of audience laughter. In that sense, it isn't pissing in the wind, because it throws the audience a lifeline and dissipates the tension, at a point when it really doesn't need to be dispelled.

I think if they had done it any more like the book, the film wouldn't have made the rating it needed to make to be a success.

It would be useful to see rougher cuts of the torture scene to see what it had originally been like before the ratings board was appeased. But I think that just by eliminating the humor, and showing Bond blacking out once or twice, with a very quickly glimpsed (i.e. shock cut) of blood, one could have stayed within the PG-13 rating.

To hit the nail on the head, there's no real structure to the movie torture scene. It doesn't play like a drama, but like an exchange of lines.


Exactly.

at the same time I kept thinking, what is it about men and their balls? It's not like he had to give birth to a baby or anything,what's the fuss about?


Balls and babies are issues wherein neither of the sexes can truly say "I feel your pain." If you've never had either, you can't say how bad they are.

I thought the setup in M's apartment and the tie-in during the torture scene made a clear point about his assuming he was more valuable and effective than he really is to his superiors.


The set-up in M's apartment is more about having Bond get the drop on M, a time-honored and rather stupid tradition in the Bond movies. It says that Bond can still go behind the backs of and outfox his superiors by putting them off-balance. When Bond quits later on in the movie, the filmmakers don't bother implying that Bond has been lastingly angered by the perfidy of the service. In other words, they don't stress the most Le Carre-ian aspect.

I'm just glad that the tone was much closer to the literary mark than any Bond adaptation's yet.

It wasn't. Both Goldfinger and On Her Majesty's Secret Service do a far better job of adapting Fleming.

There's scant a movie in history that has reached the bar set by it's source book in terms of the script.



Nonsense: plenty of movies have--Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Big Sleep and Out of the Past all match their sources, and within the Bond series GF and OHMSS were even better than the original novels. As long as it's not Henry James or something like that, movies can do very well in adapting "lower" literary genres.

but there was no way that a good portion of this book's dialogue wasn't going to change somewhat

That's not the issue. I expect the dialogue to change. I just have a natural objection to it changing for the worse.

No, he wasn't as much of a battered mess, but they went as far as PG-13 was gonna let them go. And they were unequivocally bound by that rating.


Maybe I just have more faith in this mater, but I think a skilled filmmaker could imply that within a PG-13 rating.

He was dead sure that Le Chiffre would be dead before him.

So in other words, it is about clairvoyance. If he's sure that LeChiffre would be dead before he finished with Bond, then I applaud his psychic powers.

Maybe you were expecting more fidelity to Fleming, I was cynically expecting less, and was rewarded handsomely.


I reward infedility to Fleming if it improves on the source. Unfortunately, the movie's torture scene is a disimprovement.

That's a major difference from the novel; literary Bond didn't have as much insight into Le Chiffre's peril. Literary Le Chiffre wasn't as vulnerable, and EON Le Chiffre's vulnerablility was a welcome change, IMO.

I don't see much to welcome. Why should LeChiffre feel vulnerable if it decreases the power and intimidation so vital to the character and cuts him down to size? Fleming's LeChiffre was enigmatic, frequently silent, and as Fleming put, moved with the ominousness of a large deep-sea monster. Again, were the filmmakers to have improved on Fleming or substituted a suitable equivalent (Telly Savalas' Blofeld is in no way Fleming's, but he serves the story equally well) there would be no reason to be dissatisfied.

I hope you're not gonna be lamenting it this intensely forever, because it's just you who's gonna grow more bitter, not the rest of us that enjoyed it for what it was.


Paradoxical as this sounds, I think you're taking this a little too personally, and mistaking intense lament for considered rebuttal. This may come as a shock to you, but I do not spend my days and nights shaking my fist at what I had already expected to be a compromised adaptation of CR. I do however enjoy arguing with those who are perfectly satisfied with a movie that wasn't as good as it could have been.

Well, ok, and I'm sorry to keep harping on this, blackjack, but the key is the rating. It had no hope of being more graphic and keeping it's PG-13.

Once again, this is a false dilemma. The issue is not making the torture scene more "graphic," which would presumably entail showing nudity and gallons of blood and ropes pounding into flesh in plain sight. It rests on making the scene more deeply felt--in getting across the original rhythm of the scene, with its bouts of exhaustion and agony, with its original tone, all without throwing unnecessary sops to the audience.I think most of that could have been accomplished by suggestion, as most good horror scenes are, and that it wouldn't have necessarily have required an R rating, but perhaps a little more skill and ingenuity on the part of the filmmakers, who chose as usual to give the scene the usual Bondian throwaway line instead. Business as usual. As Bobby Kennedy used to say when quoting some Greek chap, "There are those who see things as they are, and ask why? While others see things as they could be, and ask why not?"

The humor in this scene is actually very accurate--
It is called Ganzer Syndrome...Using humor and positive thinking to "re-frame" a situation is actually taught as a military escape and evasion technique. Bond's line about LeChiffre "dying scratching his balls" is just this -- a battered agent forcing himself to re-frame a horrible situation and trying to stay sane with humor.


So now we're using medical excuses to sidestep the issue? The original issue wasn't whether people crack jokes as an escape and evasion technique. The original issue was that in the original scene the pain had become so bad that Bond wasn't even in enough shape to engage in ganzer syndrome behavior. He was battered beyond the point of using humor--he was battered to the point of barely even staying conscious. The stage at which Bond would and could have used his Ganzer powers was passed relatively early in the original torture scene, whereas in the movie that stage comes pretty much near the end of his torture. In other words, the movie curtails the original and thus softens it, while conveniently throwing a laughline to the audience.

Edited by blackjack60, 12 May 2007 - 12:33 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users