Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Living Daylights (1987) | Women

Already kind of talked about the function of Margot's friend. The credits call her Linda, but she's never named in the film. So let's move on to...

Kara Milovy is one of my favorite women in the whole series. She functions the way women do in Fleming's novels. Not as part of an endless procession for Bond to have his way with and leave, but as a person who - for better or worse - has an effect on him. She's a perfect companion for Dalton's authentic Bond.

More than any other woman in a Bond film - including Tracy - her relationship with Bond feels like a real thing. I can see with my eyes that she's falling in love with him and I believe it every step of the way. And I believe that he also likes her. It's never going to last because he's too messed up and driven, but that carnival stuff is beautiful and (because we know how it's going to end) heartbreaking.

I love that Kara's a normal woman. She's not a spy or a villain (or even "kept" by a villain). She just got involved with the wrong dude. But she's brave and tough. I don't think she gets enough credit for that, because she does spend some time getting rescued and yelling, "James!" but she's the one who convinces Kamran Shah to help Bond escape the Soviet airbase. Everything she does in that battle is to help and rescue him.

There's a great scene at the end of that battle that defines her for me. She's stolen a Jeep and is racing down the runway to catch Bond's plane so that she can escape with him. She pulls up alongside the cockpit and he pantomimes that he's going to lower the back ramp and let her drive up. She doesn't get it right away and his frustration is funny, but then - without any additional effort from him - she gets it and pulls the Jeep into position. At first, it looks like she's a comedic ditz and a danger to herself and Bond. That's what we expect from this kind of character. But in reality, she's very smart and a way better partner to him than he - or we - hoped for.

My Favorite Bond Women

1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
4. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
5. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
6. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
7. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
8. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
9. Mary Goodnight (The Man with the Golden Gun)
10. Andrea Anders (The Man with the Golden Gun)

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