Friday, July 03, 2015

Octopussy (1983) | Women

I have vague memories of liking Magda at one point, but now I couldn't tell you why that was if you had a Walther PPK pointed at my head. She's arrogant, rude, and generally unpleasant. She's also unsubtle and incompetent. Her whole plan for stealing back the Fabergé egg is to wake up early and lift it out of Bond's jacket. And when he foils that by waking up too, she hides it behind her back while standing in front of a full-length mirror. The greatest deception of Bond's career is pretending not to notice so that she could escape with it and the hidden tracking device.

It's also Magda who tells Bond all about her octopus tattoo, which leads him to Octopussy. Bond wouldn't have otherwise had a clue about that part of the operation.

Maud Adams turns in a remarkable performance as one of the most compelling women in any of the Bond films. But enough about The Man with the Golden Gun.

She's not bad in Octopussy, it's just tough to get a handle on her character. The idea of her is great: the daughter of a Bond villain (although its super inappropriate and creepy that her dad gave her the nickname of Octopussy) who's formed her own cult of warrior women. She's very powerful at first and I love the way Kamal defers to her for a while. We ultimately learn though that Kamal's only patronizing her. He needs her criminal infrastructure and he's perfectly willing to betray and murder her once his objectives are met. As Kamal rises in importance to the story, Octopussy diminishes. She's just a tool in Kamal and Orlov's plan. Her own people (the knife-throwing twins in particular) seem to be actually taking their orders from Kamal.

The script isn't even sure what to do with her and Bond. There's potential for a great relationship and lots of drama when the daughter of a Bond villain becomes Bond's ally and lover. But the only tension the movie offers is a lame argument because he refuses to leave the Secret Service and come work for her. And even that feels manufactured so we can have them immediately go to make-up sex.

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
4. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
5. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
6. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
7. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
8. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
9. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10. Honey Rider (Dr. No)

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