Neither Dave and are the biggest of Bond fans, but we saw the new movie last weekend with friends. I'd heard a lot about it beforehand, that it didn't seem like a Bond film, was extra violent, that there wasn't much emotion in it and that Bond seemed so cold.
In order, I'd say, true, sort-of true, completely false, and definitely true.
Honestly, I don't quite know what I think of the movie. In some ways, it reminded me of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I think that's the only book I ever read at 100+ pages an hour (I read it for school, back when I kept track of how fast I was reading). It whizzed by, and it tore out my soul and shredded it as it went. There was something about that book, how it was written and paced and how the story went, that made me feel like I was there. I became each anguished character in turn, not only seeing and understanding their feelings but feeling them almost like they were my own. In some ways, it was bliss; only a truly gifted storyteller can get you so far inside a character's head that you have to look up and blink a couple of times when you put the book down before you fully absorb that the story isn't your reality. In others, it was torture; there aren't exactly many happy people in Bros. K, and not anyone to really root for, either.
Quantum of Solace was a little like that. It wasn't that Bond (once again, superbly played by Daniel Craig), wasn't emotional, it was that he was traumatized in the last movie and had to work it out in this one. He was cold, but it was because he held so much feeling, not so little. I left the theater with a bit of that sick feeling that intense self-doubt and revenge always give me, and yet I felt, with Bond, the relief that he'd worked it out (even though I hope to never need to work something out in his way). It was intense and very well done and a little sickening at the same time.
The day after I saw the movie, I began to wonder about the ethics of art, particularly as it pertains to my writing. I aspire to intertwine the emotions of my readers with those of my characters like this movie and like Bros. K. At the same time, I wonder if it's wrong to show certain things, or if there are certain emotions that my readers just don't need to feel along with my characters. Are certain things too evil or too dark to show? Where is the line between real and gratuitous when it comes to these sorts of things?
I don't have any answers for you, but I think the questions are important. I probably won't see Quantum of Solace again, but I'm glad I saw it once, if only for theses questions it raised.