Thursday, 24 January 2013
Casino Royale Script Breakdown
Dir- Martin Campbell
Year – 2006
Running Time – 144 mins
Screen writing Genre – Super Hero (People’s Super Hero)
Casino Royale marked the re-launch of the James Bond franchise and made a massive impact in the process. Very cleverly the film takes many aspects from the Super Hero block busters that were flavour of the month at the same time. The critics adored the film and Daniel Craig became the first Bond in history to be receive a best actor nomination at the Baftas.
What’s in a name?
Casino Royale is a quite straightforward name. Belonging to a well established franchise means we already know who the film is about and now we have an idea where it is set as well. The simple name also tells us that we are in for a more low key and serious film than other Bond movies.
What makes it great?
So many things stand out in Casino Royale. The music is exceptional, the action sequences are amazing and the script is incredible. The film is also paced well and the fact the writers manage to hold your attention through a card game is very clever. However, the biggest highlight is the performance of Daniel Craig which brings a gravity and credibility to Bond that has been missing for a very long time. It’s hard to think how the franchise could have been re-launched any better.
Casino Royale as a Super Hero of the People Movie
Super Hero movies deal with the burden of power and being so much more than the everyday man. They also deal with the trouble super heroes have with us lowly normal people. James Bond is a now mystic figure who can get out of any situation and deal with anything due to his brilliance at just about everything. This more than qualifies him as a super hero.
Super Hero of the People films deal with characters that rise from the ranks of the ordinary man due to their great skill. This covers James Bond and other films such as Robin Hood and Gladiator. Casino Royale charts James’ journey to full super hero the same as many other origin movies. By the end of the film he will have full control over his ‘powers’.
Opening Image – A shady organisation in Prague set in black and white. This is our introduction to a new, more brutal, Bond who shoots first and asks questions later. This is followed by a shady organisation in Uganda and our introduction to Mr White.
Theme Stated – As we have seen in the opening scene our new bond is a man who keeps tight control on his emotions and is a cool calm customer, he is also arrogant. This will continue throughout the movie and our theme is based around questions of emotional detachment. Our theme is simply- what do you need to be a true hero and a man? Bond will develop as the story goes on and by the end will emerge as more than the simple number 007. At the minute he lacks the emotion to be anything more than a super robot.
Set-Up – We get to know Bond and the fact he means business, is emotionally detached and cold. During this part of the film we also meet the main bad guys and get to see Bond in action.
Catalyst – Bond finds the bombers phone and uses it to track his next contact. (18)
Debate – Bond and M talk in her apartment about his conduct.
Break into Two – Bond is in the Bahamas to follow his lead. (25)
Fun and Games – Bond is following clues, playing cards in the Bahamas and seducing women. It all culminates in a chase to the airport scene to catch the bad guy.
B Story – Bond meets Vesper and the ‘love’ story starts. (55)
Midpoint – The card game begins.
Bad Guys Close In – The good guys may be closing on La Chiffre but so are the even badder guys from Uganda. The bad guys are also onto James and he is poisoned
All is Lost – This leads to our ‘whiff of death’ moment when he dies and is revived by Vesper. Bond then loses the card game after being outsmarted by La Chiffre
Dark Night of the Soul – Having lost the card game James loses his cool and is about to act rashly and try and take La Chiffre by force. Felix stops him and gives him a way to recover. Bond returns wiser, less arrogant and realising he is not invincible.
Break into Three – Vesper is taken and Bond chases after her. He wakes up in the boat after the car overturns and we are now in act 3.
Finale – Bond recovers from his injuries and decides it’s not worth it. He softens and wants to leave the service. All is going well until Vespers betrayal is revealed. He then follows her to the tragic end.
Final image – James has now become our fully formed Super Hero, not soft and weak or hard and uncaring but a mixture of the two. We end with the line “the names James Bond”. Our hero is now more than a simple three digit number.