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Oh, Brother! The Course of Two Winters


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#1 Gobi-1

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:32 PM

I have a question about Bond, Blofeld, their relationship and just how long they actually spent time together.

 

How long was Bond under the custody of Hannes Oberhauser? Blofeld tells Madeline that Bond spent "two winters" learning to ski, climb, and hunt, but was it two consecutive winters or was Bond with them for over a year lasting from one winter to the next? I assume that two winters means just that, two winters. Bond spent around three months with the Oberhausers one year and then spent another three months with them the next year. During those two periods Oberhauser was granted temporary guardianship for Bond by his Aunt Charmain. Between those two winters Bond went back to his Aunt.
 
I've seen a lot of criticism about Spectre assuming Bond and Blofeld are brothers and were raised together. This is clearly wrong as the film doesn't support this idea. Bond and Blofeld are NOT brothers. Bond only spent around six months with the Oberhausers over two consecutive years. While under Hannes' guardianship he told his son Franz to treat James like a little brother which Franz despised. It's the equivalent of spending the summers at your Grandparents and having to put up with a bratty cousin who's jealous of you.

 

After Bond left Franz's disgust for how much kindness Hannes showed Bond festers and eventually leads him to murder his father and stage his own death. He takes the name Blofeld and embarks on a darker path which ironically leads Bond back into his life.

 

So was Bond with the Oberhausers for six months over a period of two years or was he with them for over a year?



#2 wdj89

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:21 AM

The criticism is not directed at them actually being brothers - it is more pointed at the fact that a) they spent such close time together as children, one grew to be the world's greatest spy and the other the worlds "greatest" villain - apparently in revenge (literally the spoof plot of Austin Powers: Goldmember taking mindnumbingly seriously) - but how could he know that James Bond would become a spy and that he would have to build a convoluted criminal empire and weave a web of unexplainable involvement in things that he clearly had no involvement in except for a bad script telling us he did- and say he did them all to make James Bond miserable... he had no actual ideology beyond - bwah mean mr bond stole my dads love -  B) Daddy loved you more therefore revenge is stupid motivation



#3 Dustin

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:32 AM

My main complaint is that all this artificial 'personal' motivation is entirely absent in the film. There is absolutely zero emotion present in Bond's reaction to the whole attempt at 'backstory'. Craig sitting moody in his flat looking at a charred photograph just doesn't cut it. Never once do we get the impression this time with the Oberhausers was anything more but two weeks of holidays. And forgettable rainy holidays at that. Bond shows more emotion to the DB5 than he does to the Oberhauser story.

This is not convincing on any level. Not just is Bond immediately willing to accept a man is alive he would have good reason to assume dead for over 30 years - he also swallows the idea hook, line and sinker that this man is the head of a mafia-like crime organisation. It's as if Bond has been looking for a Moriarty all his life. And thankfully finds one.

Finally, the motivation on Blofeld's part is just as ludicrous and it would have helped the film a great deal if Bond had at least addressed this. Franz kills his father out of jealousy? Because of a few weeks some boy, hardly more than a stranger, has spent with them? Are you serious??? That should have been Bond's reaction, even more so after the claim Blofeld was behind the past events. Any sane person would ask Blofeld where he lost his marbles. Bond instead goes along with the freak show. Not because he's just as meshugge as Blofeld - or so we hope - but because the script demands it.

It would have been vastly more convincing if Blofeld had been after Bond because he had a tête-à-tête with his mother. Or better even if Blofeld had been the mother who was Bond's first great love - and then discarded because society tends to frown upon schoolboys marrying older women. She could have followed Bond's progress and then have decided to take revenge. Maybe she even had a son called Mordred...

Anyway, the 'brothers' theme is clearly not a problem of SPECTRE. If anything, Bond and Blofeld come across as too distant. There is no sense they have a common past, however brief that may have been.

#4 Gobi-1

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:50 AM

Playing Devil's Advocate here.

 

Never once do we get the impression this time with the Oberhausers was anything more but two weeks of holidays. And forgettable rainy holidays at that. Bond shows more emotion to the DB5 than he does to the Oberhauser story.

 

Bond loves his car. He doesn't share that sentiment when it comes to Franz. Bond tells Q "He's not someone I'll ever forget." Franz certainly made an impression on Bond, very likely a negative impression, but Bond never realized just how much of an impact he had made on Franz.

 

This is not convincing on any level. Not just is Bond immediately willing to accept a man is alive he would have good reason to assume dead for over 30 years - he also swallows the idea hook, line and sinker that this man is the head of a mafia-like crime organization. It's as if Bond has been looking for a Moriarty all his life. And thankfully finds one.

 

But Bond directly sees all of this with his own eyes. There isn't an idea to swallow. It's all right there. He sees that Franz is alive. He sees that he is the head of a mafia-like crime organization.

 

Finally, the motivation on Blofeld's part is just as ludicrous and it would have helped the film a great deal if Bond had at least addressed this. Franz kills his father out of jealousy? Because of a few weeks some boy, hardly more than a stranger, has spent with them? Are you serious???

 

It only takes a one night stand to ruin a marriage, destroy a family, and get someone killed. A young boy growing jealous over his father spending time with another boy over a period of months seems very plausible to me. Especially if that boy already had problems, something Bond alludes to, if not directly spells out, in his conversation with Q.

 

That should have been Bond's reaction, even more so after the claim Blofeld was behind the past events. Any sane person would ask Blofeld where he lost his marbles. Bond instead goes along with the freak show. Not because he's just as meshugge as Blofeld - or so we hope - but because the script demands it.

 

Bond already knew that Franz was messed up. He's not surprised he finally went off the deep end. Sane people usually do not run Illuminati like organizations.

 

As for Blofeld claiming he was behind EVERYTHING. As the head of Spectre and it's offshoots such as Quantum and Silva he is indeed pulling the strings but it wasn't always directed at Bond. In Casino Royale Spectre was simply cleaning up the mess that Le Chiffre had made and Bond exacerbated. Blofeld may have even been amused that Bond was involved but he remained in the shadows and didn't pursue a personal vendetta. However once Bond brought down Quantum Blofeld realized it was time to strike back at James and those he worked for. By unleashing Silva on MI6 Blofeld was able to embarrass MI6 and get M killed. It played directly into Blofeld's 9 Eyes scheme and Bond still would be none the wise, if not dead. Unfortunately Bond survived and Blofeld knew it would only be a matter of time before they would confront each other directly.

 

It's similar to what happened in the Connery films. Bond starts off as a "stupid policeman" who continually interferes with Spectre and Blofeld's plans until they finally meet each other face to face. I will grant you that EON could have accomplished the same goals WITHOUT the backstory of Bond and Blofeld having known each other as children. I chalk it up to EON not only wanting to do something different with the Bond/Blofeld relationship but also finding ways to explore Bond's past without creating flashbacks. Tying Bond's backstory with the villain's accomplished that. It's also very reminiscent of Tim Burton's Batman. "I made you, you made me first." Having Batman and The Joker responsible for creating each other was controversial at the time but has become less so as each new interpretations of Batman hit the big screen. I suspect that same with Spectre the further away we get.

 

That really gets to the heart of the matter you either buy it, or you don't. It never bothered me because I thought there was enough material in the script to support it but as you put it there's enough material or lack there of to also not buy it. So to each his own.

 

Anyway good discussion.






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