Thursday, November 22, 2007


Octopussy was released in 1983, staring Rodger Moore this is the 13th official Bond film. The beginning sequence for this movie sets the tone for the rest of the film; the audience starts by watching agent 009, dressed up as a clown for his undercover role, being killed by knife wielding brothers (later we find that they too are part of this twisted circus) while in Germany. When 009’s body is found so is a fake Faberge egg, which sets the scene for Bond. Again Bond has his unique technology, in the beginning of this film we see him pull a plane out of a horse trailer (complete with a fake horse’s bottom in the back), this plane can apparently out fly missiles, fly fast enough and has enough maneuverability to get though closing doors, and somehow is unharmed by a bomb going off in that same building while flying through it . . . of course then it runs out of fuel. At the time the movie was being made there were some issues going on with NATO, which is then used as a plot device in the film; the Russians are planning to set off a nuclear weapon, blame it on being an American accident which would then lead to Western disarmament leaving the world clear for Russian nuclear domination (thankfully this plot is clearly outlined by Bond in one scene, just in case viewers couldn’t figure it out). The obvious fears are socialism, in one scene the unaware Soviet leader even says “world socialism will be achieved peacefully.” Again this film takes us to the ‘third world’, this time we are visiting India, which, in case we didn’t understand from the many times they mentioned the location, was defined through a series of stereotypes (such as sword swallowing, walking on hot coals, lying down on pins, tigers, elephants, and cobras).

All Bond movie have some general themes: the shot framed with the gun barrel, a beginning sequence, the 007 sequence, a quick exchange with Moneypenny, an assignment from the boss, Bond going off to some foreign location where he will meet his ally on the case (who will usually die since they are likeable characters who become friends of Bond and their death spurs him on), a minion who is extraordinarily strong but usually brainless and just follows orders from the main villain, and a Bond girl who is usually strong in her own right but is weak when it comes to James.

In this case the location is India, the ally is/was Vijay, the minion was there and as per normal his name is unimportant, and the girl is Octopussy. One thing I have to say about this particular Bond film is that the actress who had to say “that’s my little octopussy” when questioned by Bond about an octopus tattoo on her hip, ought to be given an award for being able to pull off that line. All in all not the best Bond film, and definitely not Rodger Moore’s best, but it is still a Bond film.

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