The Latest James Bond film is a feminist critic’s dream. It is so sumptuously Freudian and so deliciously self aware in it’s overt sexism and castration anxiety themes that it makes me both incredibly indignant and also.. kind of impressed. The Bond franchise is essentially about how funtastic it is to have a penis, but I feel that Mendes is the one director who has captured exactly what the series is about. The film spectacularly encapsulates everything that is wrong about the treatment of women in Hollywood cinema. The three main female characters drive the plot as a result of how they damage the male ego. The Eve character begins by metaphorically castrating Bond at M’s command, Bond then makes her a sexual object in order to dominate her into submission. She becomes a tight-dress-wearing, high-heeled-clad, walking and (barely) talking vagina. M is pursued by an ex agent, brilliantly played by Javier Bardem, who is plagued by a blatant Oedipus complex and is also the cause of Bond’s demise. Lastly the character of Severine betrays the villain of the piece by helping Bond. All of these women are systematically punished. M is killed, Severine is killed and Eve is most cruelly punished than the rest as she is relegated to a desk job, taken off ‘the field’ and placed under Bond and the Ralph Fiennes character who takes over M’s job. Watching Bond is almost as hysterical as watching any number of Hitchcock films which reveal a deep seeded hatred of women and violent fantasies which result in their domination.
By stating this I am not by any means detracting from how visually stunning the film is and what an achievement it is. Down to the most mundane filmic technique it is truly PERFECTION. The point I am trying to make is that this film lives up to everything I associate with the Bond franchise and more in the worst kind of way. What I find most upsetting though, is that there isn’t a female Bond equivalent which makes me as excited about having a vagina as this franchise makes men of having a penis. And no, Charlie’s Angels doesn’t count.
By Emi d’Escrivan-Nott