Friday, 30 December 2011

BlogalongaBond #12 - For Your Eyes Only (1981)

(Here is a link to a revised version of my IMDb review of For Your Eyes Only, May 2003)

Discussion of For Your Eyes Only could conceivably cover a few distinctions from the outings thusfar. One might note the conspicuously gadget-low Bond, coinciding as it does with John Glen's first stewardship of the franchise. Glen's approach is muscular, even, narratively-focused and realist. In a canon littered with pseud new dawns, this is the first really new Bond film since the series became properly established (Live And Let Die was not a new kind of Bond film but a familiar Bond film with a new kind of Bond).

Consequently, one might also have to talk about the now over-the-hill Roger Moore. The robust, mobile style of the film shows him in a pitiless light and there's less scope for his trademark humour. Above all he can be seen to be a bit wrinkly, not least in the underwater excavation scene where a scuba-diving mask frames his crow's feet at the moment when he's supposed to be working the magic.

It might seem perfunctory to talk about the perfect diet of supporting cast: beauty (Bouquet) & bimbo (Lynn-Holly Johnson); evil European, preferably Brit (Glover) and stellar, loveable rogue (Topol); we even get a double-headed henchman with Michael Gothard (Locque) and John Wyman (Kriegler) being silent and deadly respectively. I think the rehabilitation of the British Navy (in the year of the Falklands campaign) and the chess-like drama of the cold-war endgame may be worth acknowledgement.

No, in fact For Your Eyes Only is entirely overshadowed by its principal protagonist: Carole Bouquet's hair.

Look at the photo above (courtesy IMDb.com). Even as she poses for an official promotional photograph, so Bouquet's barnet is trying to smother her face and then escape at the bottom of the shot. In the film it's totally out of control, bombing every frame of Bouquet's appearance: whether she's turning into a close-up, revealing herself as the cross-bow assassin or being dragged through a shark-infested bay - even the full-length shots of the actress looking dowdy in a ski resort features her own hair riding her like the sleigh wrangler ('Amore! Amore!').

Yes, it's clear that in For Your Eyes Only, Carole Bouquet's hair is the mane event.

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