Scene of the Week: Casino Royale - "The name's Bond..."
Our Scene of the Week feature is now in full swing, and in it, somewhat obviously, we talk about a scene a week. They aren’t necessarily ‘Best Ever’ poll regulars, but more scenes that we have a particular love for or have meant a lot to us. This week, I’m looking at a rather short but very sweet scene; the end of Casino Royale.
For me, there are two key elements to this scene. Firstly, the sheer suave that Daniel Craig oozes. The minute he was cast as Bond, die-hard fans were instantly critical of his look and feel as Bond, seemingly discounting his acting ability in an instant. The general consensus seemed to be that his fairer-haired appearance just didn’t fit in with the Bond look, which is a fair point at face value, even if rather shallow (the response to Idris Elba’s rumoured casting as Craig’s successor has somewhat outdone this criticism!). It was clear early on in Casino Royale that Craig fit the bill perfectly, capturing that rawness that his fledgling Bond was supposed to have. In this closing scene, however, it was almost a goodbye to that grit, seeing Craig finally make that transition from pre-Double O to sleek, finished-article Bond, further establishing that he was, in fact, a perfect choice. In this scene, we see Mr White, the high-level Spectre member and secondary villain of Casino Royale, get out of his car at his mansion, and take the view in. He then receives a call, and we hear Craig’s Bond tell him “Mr White… we need to talk”. White then takes a bullet to the leg, which has him scrambling on the floor for his front door, where he reaches the first step. Enter Bond. The shot is impeccable, as we first see his feet, then the camera scales up his entire body, capturing first his immaculate dress before reaching Craig’s face, where he stops for a second and then delivers the classic line that we all know and love - “The name’s Bond… James Bond”, and he does so with ridiculously effortless levels of smooth, undoubtedly winning over many a doubter as a result.
The second standout element in this scene is, naturally, the Bond score/theme. It is used to sheer perfection here, from the moment White takes the bullet, to the moment Craig delivers Bond’s signature line. The first notes are played as Bond’s shot takes White’s leg out, and from there it’s almost a tease, with the classic theme being played at a snail’s pace in the background as Bond skulks on his approach, building the anticipation perfectly. As we see Bond climb the few steps, we hear rumblings of brass hitting the familiar notes. Then comes the pièce de résistance, where, after Craig’s delivery, the full-blown Bond theme is unleashed, and along with it, the goosebumps.
This has long been a favourite of ours at Life of Films, and, as stated previously, for a scene that is so short but sweet, a hell of a lot of enjoyment is packed into its mere one and a half minutes. Enjoy it below.