Casino Royale

In 1953, the British writer, Ian Flemming introduced the world to the spy, James Bond. Since then, the cult following behind the 007 series has grown to unbelievable proportions, spawning twenty-six movies, each making hundreds of millions of dollars and some topping one billion. Because of the notoriety of the series, the opening sequences are especially important in catching the eye of new viewers, while simultaneously playing to the emotional appeal of die-hard fans. In the trailer being explored today, Casino Royale, the viewer sees a rather stereotypical James Bond opening sequence; however, after deeper analysis it is clear that the opening sequence is anything but stereotypical. Each of the elements build upon each other to overemphasize the main points of the opening sequence. 


USE OF MUSIC, IMAGERY AND MOVEMENT

Released in November of 2006, Casino Royale marked Daniel Craig’s adoption into the 007 series. The trailer for the series starts in black and white, which is an interesting choice considering there is also no music. For the first few seconds of the opening scene, this creates an eerily intense tone, while also giving the viewer the opportunity to get to know the new James Bond without any of the added 007 flare. As soon as the MGM lion roars, however, color fills the screen and the uniquely 007-esque music begins to play. Action scenes are played in accordance to the beat of the music, with some scenes flashing so quickly that it is nearly impossible to determine any plot information. Intermingled with intense action scenes, are moments of James Bond’s undercover life. He is seen walking around stunning cities, interacting with beautiful women and playing poker. In most cases while these scenes are playing there is a proper British accent giving more plot context for what the viewer can expect during the film. To American viewers, this adds a sense of class to the film and legitimacy to the legend of James Bond and 007 series. 

 

As mentioned before the trailer starts in black and white and color is not revealed until the MGM lion roars. Considering this is Daniel Craig’s first 007 movie, the emphasis on him as a character is evident and depending which trailer is viewed, the emphasis is different in each scenario, but still very present. In the movie trailer, he is present in nearly every scene and the oversaturated clips give emphasis to his blue eyes and the beauty of the filming locations in a mostly animated form. He is almost always dressed in the classic James Bond tuxedo, appealing to the fans of the previous series runs. His emotionless face in most scenes gives credence to his standing as a no nonsense, brutal spy. However, this persona shifts near the end of the trailer when he meets a woman in the sequence. It is not clear who she is, but it is clear that James Bond is entangled emotionally with her, something viewers have not seen from the spy and a hint that the series is evolving. The imagery mirrors the music in that it starts in black and white, much like the no-music introduction mentioned previously. It slowly builds into color and the viewer is introduced to the spy persona of James Bond. Shortly after, the viewer is bombarded with a montage of action scenes, moving so incredibly fast, that not much information can be digested. Eventually, the viewer is introduced to the more romantic side of James Bond, as the series tries to broaden its target audience and add a more in-depth less masculine plot line. The colors are all primary and green, which emphasize the importance of the casino in the movie. The animated shapes consists of diamonds, hearts, aces and spades, once again emphasizing the concept of the casino. 

 

The movement of the opening scenes mirror the music and imagery, which clearly hammers in the previous points. We begin with seemingly still portrait shots of James Bond, giving the viewer a chance to better understand the new 007. In the trailer, James Bond is either in a high-stakes conversation or in a fight, meaning the intensity throughout the trailer is high. This keeps the viewer’s interest and leaves them wanting more. The viewer’s need to know ‘what happens next’ is palpable. 

 

Overall, the opening sequence is very successful in emphasizing three rather simple points: there is a new James Bond actor, this is still the 007 series, and there will be more of emotional appeal than previous movies. The imagery, movement and music of the opening scenes all mirror each other. Because there is so much visual information being thrown at the viewer, the trailer is meant to clearly emphasize the previously mentioned points over and over again through the various means of communication. The 007 series is incredibly well-known and their trailers (including the music, movement and imagery) come down to a particular science and are often seen repeated in the plethora of opening sequences of each movie. Their individual nature is evident to those who follow the series and are interested in the plot line beyond just the action scenes.

Casino Royale Titles « Current Configuration
Do I Look Like I Give a Damn?” | Casino Royale (2006) – FictionMachine
Casino Royale Titles « Current Configuration