NO TIME TO DIE is the story is the story of the legendary secret agent who returns to service after his past catches up with him. The film starts off with Madeleine Swann’s (Léa Seydoux) flashback. As a child, she had witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) at her home. Lyutsifer tries to kill him. But she attacks him and later Lyutsifer even rescues him when she falls in a frozen lake. In the present day, Madeleine is with James Bond (Daniel Craig) in Matera, Italy. All is going well until Spectre assassins attack Bond. He and Madeleine survive the attack and they even overpower the assassins. However, Bond believes thay Madeleine has betrayed him. She pleads and assures she hasn’t betrayed him. Yet, he leaves her. Five years later, MI6 scientist Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik) is kidnapped from an MI6 laboratory. Their bioweapon project also gets leaked. Bond, meanwhile, is now retired and residing in Jamaica. CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) and his colleague Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) contact Bond and ask his help in finding Obruchev. Bond initially declines. But when he bumps into Nomi (Lashana Lynch), his successor as 007 at MI6 and when Nomi warns him not to get involved in this case, Bond accepts CIA’s offer. Bond then goes to Cuba and with the help of a young agent Paloma (Ana de Armas), they infiltrate into a Spectre meeting. Soon, Bond realises that Spectre members are aware of his presence and are about to use the bioweapon to kill him. But in a sudden twist, the ‘nanobot mist’ kills all the Spectre members instead. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
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Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s story is excellent and has all the ingredients of a mass entertainer. Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s screenplay is entertaining. The writers have peppered the narrative with some highly interesting action and dramatic scenes. The villain track, however, is weak. Dialogues are straightforward and sharp.
Cary Joji Fukunaga’s direction is splendid. There’s a lot happening in the film throughout. Hence, despite the long length (160 minutes), one doesn’t mind as the interest levels are high for most of the film. The 20 minute long introductory sequence is very well executed, especially Madeleine’s flashback. However, the track of the antagonist is not as menacing as intended. The Bond series and many such big action entertainers have had far more evil villains. The climax at the island is impressive but this is where the film drags a bit.
NO TIME TO DIE has a shocking and powerful introduction. The Matera action and chase sequence is thrilling and also the best part of the film. After the creative opening title sequence, the film continues to entertain. The Cuba sequence is unpredictable and also action packed. Post interval, the interrogation of Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is intriguing. But the best part of the second half is the action scene set in the foggy jungle. The climax is a bit dragging but the emotional finale makes up for it.
Daniel Craig, as expected, is splendid, in all respects. It’s really moving to know that this is the last time he’s playing this iconic character and hence, this performance is even more special. Léa Seydoux is absent in the middle of the film but compensates for it with her fine performance in the beginning and in the second half. Rami Malek is strictly okay. Lashana Lynch is great and the constant tension between her character and that of Bond adds to the madness. Ana de Armas is there for just 15 minutes but rocks the show. She looks like a million bucks in her high slit backless dress. Jeffrey Wright is lovely in a small role. Christoph Waltz gets limited scope this time. Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory) and Ben Whishaw (Q) are dependable. David Dencik and Billy Magnussen are decent. Child actor Lisa-Dorah Sonnet (Mathilde) is cute.
Hans Zimmer’s music is grand and exhilarating. Linus Sandgren’s cinematography is appropriate and captures the various locales of varied landscape beautifully. Mark Tildesley’s production design is rich. Suttirat Anne Larlab’s costumes are appealing, especially the one worn by Daniel Craig and the ladies. Elliot Graham’s editing is neat but could have been sharper towards the end.
On the whole, NO TIME TO DIE is a fun-filled entertainer that will give you your money’s worth. It released in India on September 30 and has released in Maharashtra today. Despite the delayed release, it’ll find an audience as its not available on piracy, the word of mouth is very positive and also because it is the last Bond film for Daniel Craig.