Monday, 1 November 2010

Film of the Week: Octopussy

You know how everyone has a favourite Bond film, well mine is Octopussy. It showcases Roger Moore at  his debonair, witty best, the bond girls are to die for -  and the whole thing is played out against an exotic Indian backdrop with some Eastern Europe intrigue thrown in.

It features not one but two Swedish bond girls - Kristina Wayborn (who plays Magda)  and Maud Adams - my favourite Bond Girl and the only one to feature in two bond films - who takes up the titular role of Octopussy - the glamorous  business woman and gem smuggler.

She certainly caught Bond's crown jewels.

Kristina's character Magda  (pictured left) demonstrates a surprising agility and acumen for martial arts in an era predating the big female action heroines of the box office. And who can forget her  balcony exit scene, when she ties her sari to the balcony banister and performs an exquisite rolling back on tissue move, showcasing her incredible legs and bikini-clad body as her gold stilletoed feet touch ground, sari fully unravelled.

Whilst Magda knows how to make one hello of an  exit, Octopussy makes an unforgettable entrance: Clad in a white silk kimono with an octopus embroidered on the back, her glossy red fingertips feeding her numerous exotic fish tanks.... we cannot see  her face,  but can already image how beautiful and glamorous she is from her hands and kimono. As the ringleader of an all-feminine circus, the illusive Octopussy trains her girls to do more than perform in the big top.

The film has lots of little quirky segments - like the  scene where Bond disembarks a boat at Udaipur and is   greeted by an operative  masquerading  as a snake charmer who starts whistling the James Bond theme to get his attention - an uncharacteristically existential moment for a Bond film.

When Bond arrives at his hotel, walking past the swimming pool in a crisp beige suit, he attracts more than one admiring glance from the stiletto-wearing bikini clad pool-dwellers.  Ah, for the good old days where broads used to hang around pools in one piece swimsuits and stilettos.That hotel by the way, the Monsoon Palace,  really does exist, and my friend who spent her honeymoon there, said that they are still milking the film's legacy .. including by constantly playing the theme song.

Now I love market scenes in films,  and these don't disappoint: The bicyclist seen passing in the middle of a swordfight during the tuk tuk chase sequence was in fact a bystander who passed through the shot, oblivious to the filming; his intrusion was captured by two cameras and left in the final film as an unscheduled stunt.

The plot centres around a FFaberge egg  and how many women Bond can bed in under two hours - The Fabergé egg in the film is real.

Yesterday, it was announced that Bond's  Aston  Martin went at auction  for £2.6 million pounds.


  1. I'm so happy to see that someone else's favourite is Octopussy...Maud Adams is inimitable, peerless...and about as competent as any Bond girl should be. She has moments of vulnerability, moments of incredible strength...and is beautiful and elegant and lovely, and probably my favourite. I'm glad to see your comments about lovely Octopussy.


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