SKYFALL: A REVIEW
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What is your “Skyfall” or should I say, “downfall?” Sounds like the same thing, right? But, as I dig deeper into the movie, “downfall” isn’t so far-fetched after all. Double O-7 or simply 007 (Daniel Craig), a close-to-perfect agent provocateur in this franchise almost died by accident. In his own selfish ways, feeling betrayed by his own master M (Judi Dench), Bond lived in solace hiding in an island with an unknown woman, who just like most James Bond films, will forever be forgotten in the movie. But as his commitment to the agency runs through his very veins, the news about the impending doom of the agency being attacked from within came as a wake up call. Double O-7 as if rising from the “dead” then came to the rescue. Surprised by his “resurrection,” M took him in. Despite failing the tests, M banked on her guts and considered Bond to be the most qualified person to finish the job as ever. Call it indebtedness and luck, but as it turned out, Bond came out as the best of all her luck knowing that her very own life was in the line.
Just like any of us, we face tremendous challenges each day. But, oftentimes, we cannot face them because deep inside us, we too, are struggling from inner issues that keep us from living our lives to the fullest. Nevertheless, should this become our downfall? Facing those challenges may be like, “passing through the eye of a needle” (Matthew 19:24) as Scripture puts it, but that’s what makes life meaningful. Besides, we go through life following the very footsteps of our Master, Jesus Christ, who in His own terms, went through His own passion, death and resurrection. Just like James Bond, we have to face our own Silva (Javier Bardem), Bond’s antithesis who lived the rest of his life sulking over his troubled past blaming M when he was on active duty. Unlike Bond, his was a resolve filled with vengeance and hate.
A true disciple of Christ is marked with courage, compassion, and more importantly, with a positive attitude to rave the “waves” or “storms” in life. If we are unable to face life squarely in the same way Bond did in his will to turn things back in shape, then we’re not worthy of greater rewards from our Master. Clearly, “gold is tested in fire” our adversities test us to become a full-grown man. What makes us become out of our experiences mark a character that would speak about our true selves.
Moreover, “Skyfall” took us in a ride to our humble beginning. There is a saying in Filipino, “Ang taong hindi marunong lumingon sa kanyang pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa kanyang paroroonan” which could literally be translated as, “A person who’s unable to look back to his/her humble origin/beginning won’t be able to move forward successfully to achieve his/her goals.” This quote makes a lot of sense in the movie since as it turned out, “Skyfall” literally resembled Bond’s birthplace. It may be a place he’s unwilling to give up, but when necessity arose, he would do so to save his dear life and those that he cared the most. Are we willing to give up everything for our Master? By everything, I don’t mean selling all you have to give to the poor (though great Saints did that). What I mean is that in whatever we do, our actions must always be directed to the path of Christ to TRUTH, GOODNESS and BEAUTY.
Our humble beginning speaks greatly of us as it speaks of our first environment growing up. What made Bond a very strong person was due to the fact that his feet were strongly grounded to his humble beginning. Growing up as an orphan made him stronger and invincible. M clearly put it in the movie when she said, “Orphans make good agents.” It could be because they no longer have someone to hold them back. But more importantly, it could be for a reason that their lives were made stronger by their humble beginning. Our past makes us who we are at present and it gives us a stronger resolve to face the future. Dealing with our past in a healthy way as opposed to simply forgetting it (which is impossible), will give us that right attitude to face life’s challenges. It is therefore logical to deduce from this principle that a true disciple of Christ is also someone who is able, as what the Gospel taught, “to strive to enter into a narrow door” (Luke 13:24). The word strive in original Greek is “agonizomai.” We can actually hear the English word “agony” in this. This Greek word means more than just striving. It is a word often associated with winning, such as to win in an Olympic event, or a performance, or a lawsuit or a contest. In this context therefore, Jesus is actually saying, “put everything you have into getting through that narrow gate.”
Bond could have lived his life anew after the accident as enticingly suggested by Silva playing devil’s advocate as he successfully lure him into captivity through Sévérine(Bérénice Marlohe) but he didn’t. A new identity could be “freeing” but he knows his true identity and is committed to enter that narrow path by giving his all to it. If we only have that same commitment as Bond has to his agency, this life could be a life filled with hope and meaning. Splashy gadgets and Aston Martins aside, we can live our lives like Bond by emulating his strong attitude in facing all obstacles in life with courage, compassion, and a positive attitude without taking our humble beginning out of the picture. As its theme song goes,
Skyfall ... Dry your eyes ... The sky falls ... For all your lies ... Rise again or let life pass you by
Skyfall ... You must survive ... The sky falls ... For you and I ... When you get up again you'll never have been so high.
Skyfall or downfall the choice is yours. Just make sure to get up from where you fall. This time you should be stronger … and better!
L.A. Times Review
- Movie review: 'Skyfall' shows James Bond still sharp and fit at 50 - latimes.com
Director Sam Mendes breathes new life into the James Bond franchise with a well-cast, well-acted 'Skyfall.' Daniel Craig is again at the film's center, Javier Bardem his enemy and Judi Dench is M.
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