Well, I’d heard the price of eggs was up (1983)

When 009 is found dead, dressed as a clown and clutching a fake Fabergé egg with a knife in his back, James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to investigate what is suspected to be Soviet involvement. Switching the real egg for the fake at a London auction, Bond follows the Afghan buyer (Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan) back to Rajasthan, India, where he costs the exiled prince even more by besting him at backgammon. Discovering that Khan has been smuggling priceless artefacts into Germany through a circus troupe led by cult figurehead Octopussy (Maud Adams),  Bond sets off in pursuit only to learn that the treasures have been replaced by a nuclear bomb in a bid to double-cross Octopussy and destroy a US Air Force base in the west of the country.

Seriously, did people not kiss before the ’90s? They just seem to rub their mouths together.

The first of two James Bond films to be released in 1983, Octopussy was the only one to be classed as a canonical instalment in the Bond franchise, with independent movie Never Say Never Again (starring a returning Sean Connery, for some reason) falling outside of EON’s official continuity. Taking its name from Ian Fleming’s short story, the film instead adapted elements of the plot from another of the writer’s stories, The Property of a Lady. While it might have been the year of two Bond movies, however, Octopussy was also to mark the second Bond girl to be played by the same actress. Despite having apparently died in The Man with the Golden Gun, Adams nevertheless returned as Octopussy herself, albeit with darker hair and a new backstory.

Contrastingly, onscreen Octopussy marked somewhat of a departure for the series. Rather than skirmish inside the train, Bond instead fights on top of the train; tired of being eaten by sharks, the film’s henchmen are instead offed by an octopuss; and whereas earlier films have shown Bond be racist towards every other creed imaginable, Octopussy sees him finally turn his intolerances towards India. Maybe I’ve just grown desensitised to the Bond franchises xenophobia, but despite Moore’s sixth outing as 007 being one of the most overtly un-PC, it is also difficult to be offended by a movie which features a man riding a hollowed-out crocodile.

Octopussy is beautifully scripted, the sheer breadth of clichés covered in the film’s running time an undeniable achievement.  Rather than limiting the entendre and wit to Bond and his latest squeeze, John Glen’s movie is more equally spread between a wider range of memorable characters. While at this stage Moore might be better suited to clown make-up than straddling a speeding train, the supporting cast seem a better fit for their roles, with Kamal Khan and Octopussy herself proving particular delights. It is Desmond Llewelyn who once again steals the movie, however, as his Q is finally allowed to do something other than spout exposition. It is also interesting to see Lois Maxwell’s growth as Miss Moneypenny, her jealousy subsiding somewhat as she defends her latest assistant.

As has come to be the case, it is the film’s stunt-work and music which ultimately defines it. No longer set in the same universe as Gravity and Physics, Bond’s daring assaults on a bomb-rigged train and aerial jet prove massively entertaining, as Khan’s increasingly put-upon henchman Gobinda (Kabir Bedi) finds himself more and more out of his depth. The acrobatics are similarly spectacular, both in the circus itself and when the performers mount their attack on Khan’s headquarters. Forget that at one point there is a German couple drink driving and throwing a bratwurst around the front of their car and this is one of the most shamelessly enjoyable Bond films to date.


About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Well, I’d heard the price of eggs was up (1983)

  1. Pingback: January 2012 – Your Mom Got Chased By A Shark Once « popcornaddict

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: