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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bring Back the Man

So the next Bond instalment is almost upon us. Picking up where Casino Royale left off, Quantum of Solace promises the usual 007 prerequisites of danger, betrayal, and forbidden love.

It’s what we’ve come to expect of a brand that has become a genre in itself. A formula that has stood the test of time by adapting to the times – politically and socially.

And when it comes to the latter, Bond himself is the masculine zeitgeist. The man every woman wants, and every man wants to be - even before we know it ourselves.

Consider the turnaround in sentiment for Daniel Craig.

I wasn’t the only one to question his appointment in late 2005. Critics were thick on the ground. Could a 37 year-old English actor, little known outside his native Britain, take up the revered Bond mantle?

A sixth successor. And the first blonde.

Perhaps that’s what first threw me. The blonde hair – it didn’t look right. Then again, he just didn’t seem right altogether. It was hard to put my finger on at the time. But like most of my friends who fell for the new gritty version, I would soon learn that Bond is always ahead of the time.

Sure, Pierce Brosnan was good – he must have been doing something right to last four films. But in the wake of a 90s metrosexual onslaught, women were craving something more of their leading man, on and off screen. Something more… manly.

The relatively short-lived ideal of the modern male as someone who cared about fashion and skin care as much as women was losing steam. Just not with men.

Research shows that the international market for male skin care products has jumped 40 percent since 2001. Companies are investing huge amounts of money in men’s skincare including L’Oreal Paris, which hired Brosnan, to spruik its Men Expert skincare range.

And while men’s wanting to take of themselves is all good and well, I don’t want Bond telling me that “he’s worth it”. That’s a line reserved for his female counterpart Halle Berry.

It was the melting icing on the cake of the Brosnan Bond reign. And taking its place, a buffet of masculine grit a la Daniel Craig.

The new Bond doesn’t need fancy gadgets. He uses his bare bloody hands. He makes mistakes and he pays the price. He’s suave without trying. And the female clincher, he shows emotional vulnerability.

Like Christian Bale’s raw new Batman, Craig’s Bond is refreshingly flawed and that’s what makes him so appealing. He displays a brooding intensity that delves beyond the cinematic fantasy and a gritty realism that shows on his face.

Call me old fashioned, but rugged and weathered beats line-free on a man any day. A man who spends more time in front of the mirror than a woman? A smooth fore headed Bond? No thanks. Perfection is not the ideal. Bond should come rough and ready. And I keenly await his return on November 14.

17 Comments:

  • At 9:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Couldn't agree more... Daniel Craig is the best!

     
  • At 10:24 pm, Anonymous Dropbear said…

    What can I say!.. I'm a straight blokey bloke and I think he's awesome.

     
  • At 9:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You write well and seem interesting Sara, blog more often.

     
  • At 10:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Call me racist, but does anyone else think that he looks too Russian to be a Bond?

     
  • At 10:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello, Did you go to school in Bangkok???

     
  • At 4:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    He's pretty good but not perfect

     
  • At 12:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sara, where are you?! We've missed you on the weather for 2 weeks! We need you back - I can't bear to watch Fifi Box. I'm sure she's nice and all that, but it's just way too many teeth for one mouth!

    Carn Groenster, our lives are empty, give us some hope of your return lest we shrivel in front of our plasmas. ;o)

    Peter

     
  • At 11:36 am, Blogger Aussie Unionist said…

    So how did you find the movie in the end? I enjoyed it. Not a huge Bond fan but it is what it is.

    You need to update your blog a little more regularly!

     
  • At 10:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sexy chick

     
  • At 7:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    G'day Sara,
    You're a fabulous wearer of couture, you know that keeping it simple is the key to style. I'm sure you know that. Which is why I'm baffled as to why to persist with that orange number. It doesn't fit you properly, it's not your colour (more suited to a redhead or blonde) and it looks old. And on the eve of the Melbourne Cup too. Lose the orange frock, love, and stick with blues, blacks and reds. You're a winner!

    Peter ;o)

     
  • At 11:06 pm, Blogger Michał said…

    You should blog more often. Your last activity was on september '08. Looks like looong "day off"

     
  • At 11:08 pm, Blogger Michał said…

    You should blog more often. Your last activity was on september '08. Looks like looong "day off".

     
  • At 6:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sara Sara Sara! What were you wearing tonight? I looked like someone cut up Elmo and glued him to a dress. And a horrible coloured dress too. It's very distracting seeing such a gorgeous woman in a fashion blooper.

     
  • At 7:08 pm, Blogger peter said…

    I'm so terribly sorry for your loss Sara. I hope you manage to emerge from such a tragedy in better shape than I would in the same circumstance. I'm sure I speak for all your fans in wishing you all the best at this time.

    Peter

     
  • At 8:00 pm, Blogger DrWhat said…

    Sorry to hear about your brother and deepest sympathy.

    Damian

     
  • At 5:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Millions of Australian men are mourning today at the news of the magnificent Groen being snapped up by an alleged "long term beau".
    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/people/sara-groens-paris-proposal-20100510-unln.html
    We can take heart that the article failed to tell us whether Sara said "yes", or if she is considering her options. Perhaps she will deign to update her blog (for the first time in 2 years).

    Until then we can only offer grudging congratulations to the happy couple.

     
  • At 3:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess you'll want to place a twitter icon to your site. Just bookmarked this blog, however I must complete this by hand. Just my $.02 :)

     

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