Review: Octopussy (1983)

Octopussy (1983)

Directed by: John Glen | 131 minutes | action, thriller, adventure | Actors: Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan, Kristina Wayborn, Kabir Bedi, Steven Berkoff, David Meyer, Tony Meyer, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell, Michaela Clavell, Walter Gotell, Vijay Amritraj, Tina Hudson

Octopussy is the sixth James Bond film starring Roger Moore as James Bond. Roger Moore always gives James Bond more humor than, for example, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan, the latter being the closest to Roger Moore’s rendition.

The interpretation that the actors give to their portrayal of James Bond has ensured that opinions are divided among the public, who now comes out as the best 007. If you prefer Roger Moore, this is undoubtedly one of his best films. It seems like Ian Fleming wrote ‘Octopussy’ with Roger Moore already in mind. It visibly takes no effort for him to give substance to his character.

The acting performances of the renowned and talented cast contribute to making this film, by Bond standards, of a high standard. Maud Adams, who is the only Bond girl to play in three films (“The Man with the Golden Gun” and “A View to a Kill”), plays convincingly and creates a clear chemistry with Roger Moore. Louis Jordan, as villain Kamal Khan, is also a good choice. With his performance he gives more meaning to the role of villain than is usually done. He also manages to arouse some sympathy from the viewer with his interpretation. Furthermore, actor Kabir Bedi stands out as Gobinda, Kamal Khan’s right-hand man. A man of few words, but extremely charismatic. Usually the bad guys from the Eastern Bloc are portrayed very caricatured with the result that there is overacting. Fortunately, Steven Berkoff does not fall into that trap. He doesn’t go over the edge with his character General Orlov.

The scripts of James Bond films show more similarities than differences, but the relations between East and West, so sensitive for the eighties, and the threat of the Cold War play an important role in this film. In this script, the characters and storylines have been successfully combined.

One major drawback of this film is that ‘Octopussy’ is in a way not timeless. The stunts seem rather amateurish now. A good example is the fight scene on the train. The trick is clearly visible. In addition, certain action scenes take too long. In the 21st century, the techniques have been further developed in such a way that you as a viewer no longer remain fascinated.

If you don’t object to this point, ‘Octopussy’ will certainly appeal to you. A perfect film for a relaxing evening watching a bit of film nostalgia.

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