REWATCHING: GOLDFINGER

 

This should have begun some months ago, actually it has already begun; but never continued. Some wise man said the beginning is half complete, but all that is rubbish.  It is in the follow through that the beauty lies, some time ago however we put our feet down from the chairs and decided that a series called ‘Rewatching’ to be introduced in our little magazine.  There was also a first post about this and somehow science played a part and the rate of ‘Rewatching’ and the rate of writing were not even comparable.

Why ‘Rewatch’ in the first place?

I am not a cine-phile which is a royal term thrown at innocent people most of the time scaring the living daylights out of them, movie buffs is too contemporary for my liking, then the realization struck us that we are after all people who watch movies and write a bit about it too.  There is no particular term to describe, quite group less.

Rewatching is an integral part of that experience; it does get the movie into your nerves, whether I like it or not. And so we begin.

I first watched Goldfinger in Tamil.

Vijay TV had a Bond ‘retrospective’ on Sundays; this was the time before the channel got serious with reality TV; the dubbing was close to terrible and my wandered into identifying who the voice over artists were and where I had heard them before. I did not watch it completely.

It wasn’t long before I saw it in its native language.

Goldfinger begins with the head of a bird, fittingly to the man who was named after an ornithologist; whether this was intended or purely part of the espionage gear that Bond slips into before blowing up a hash factory somewhere south of the Americas. (“At least he won’t be using heroin flavored bananas to finance revolutions” Bond says) Another attack and Shirley Bassey’s wonderful song bellows out of the screen accompanied by the trumpets like hippos in love.

The pre-song sequence or the post-barrel sequence is adequate somewhere between being fantastic From Russia with Love and completely nonexistent in Dr. No (the song just rolls out), the song of course is a paean to Goldfinger the main antagonist. Odd isn’t it?

I have never read Goldfinger,I cannot lay all my fingers on the table and say that I will never read it, but I’m not sure if I will enjoy it, with much of the scenes running in my head will render injustice to the novel.

James Bond is at an advantage, he is generic and yet unique (rhetoric #1). I will proceed to justify this by saying you need not know anything about James Bond (but the fact that almost every movie watching human being would have heard the name) to walk into the theatre, like say a Star Wars/Trek addition. One can say the mould for the franchise was smelted in Goldfinger, a mould that exists to this day, not just with EON productions but most ‘on the run’ action thrillers. The very many clones of Bond itself signify the universality of the character.

Someone said, true love comes out when you watch your loved ones suffer.

Goldfinger made Bond helpless, weaponless and without any potent, he intimidates Bond; equals him in tastes and betters him in quips. (“Choose your witticism wisely Mr. Bond, it might be your last”) Goldfinger in every way more powerful than Bond, more interesting perhaps; I don’t think he cares very much for this secret agent; such is his belief in his plans (Operation Grand slam). Bond is just an observing play thing in scheme of things, or so he thinks.

Bond may lack many things, but he has one in plenty: charm, this of course is the only thing that works (See Pussy Galore)

Worth the rewatch is not exaggerating, it works every time even when you know every corner of the frame.

Ah yes,there is also the Aston Martin DB 5 with eject seats and a mini arsenal and a man with a hat that can slice your head.

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