This post has nothing to do with my other posts, this is just a personal indulgence.
I am no movie critic, but in my years I have watched a few, some many times over. Not so much in the last years for some reason – probably my long-lasting infatuation with computers, which is taking more and more of my time. But yesterday my daughter wanted to take me and her husband to see the latest Bond movie (it was Father’s Day here).
I had read a bit about the movie here and there. One bit was that the movie title was meaningless. Because I don’t pay that much attention to movies, I didn’t much pay attention to it. But my daughter asked about the title. So I gave it some thought, and after consulting my dictionaries, I translated it to mean “a (perhaps small) measure of relief or consolation” (in case you wish to take sides on this, take a look at these Dictionary.com references of “quantum” and “solace“).
I don’t know if I like Bond movies especially, but somehow I’ve ended up seeing every one of them except the 1967 Casino Royale. Here are my impressions of the latest.
- This one continues the trend that was visible in Casino Royale (2006) of less “skin”. All the women were dressed practically modestly by today’s worldly standards in the movie itself. No simulated sex acts, either. That I consider a plus, since I think sex is a private affair. You don’t have to show everything.
- The violence was toned down, too. People got killed, yes, but not nearly as graphically as in most current action movies. That I consider a plus, too. And Bond actually gets stabbed – with no real consequences for him, though. It’s just that in the 1970s Roger Moore could get slapped around by hordes of gangsters without even getting his hair mussed.
- The villains were meddling with environmental stuff (in addition to toppling governments and making money). A snapshot of the time the screenplay was written in. As a side issue Global Warming was given an air of artificiality – or then it was just my interpretation. Fuel-cell technology was portrayed as very dangerous. The oil industry must love that movie (I know, not the only way to see it…)
- Action sequences were music video material. Really fast cuts and close zooms. In the beginning I was afraid that it would give me a migraine.
What does that have to do with Mormonism? Nothing, really. The big question of the movie (and the issue that the title apparently deals with), Bond’s struggle to get over the betrayal and death of the woman he loved, took a back seat to action. Forgiveness could have given material for some thought-provoking dialog or something. But who expects that kind of stuff from a Bond movie? It would be nice. I am always looking for answers to the big questions, like how does one get over loss. We all lose something in our lives. It is important to learn to look beyond the loss of something you can’t get back. For many of us, turning to the Scriptures gives us hope of a better day. In the spirit of Pascal’s wager I think that even if the atheists were right and there’s no Judgment, no Judge, I don’t think we have anything to lose by having hope in our lives. I don’t advocate cynicism, but Faith.
By New Testament definition faith is “substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen” (see Hebrews 11). And faith is a choice, it is acting based on what we think is right. Read Alma 32 and think how you can have faith. It is not a cop-out. In this world it can be the harder way, if you want to really have faith, and it requires sincere effort. But it’s worth it.
If you want profundity in a movie, you have to see movies like To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is a different kind of hero, if it’s heroes you want.