First, as if you have to be advised, there are spoilers right here. For those who haven’t watched No Time to Die, don’t learn this. Studying this may destroy every little thing. Go away and do one thing else till you’ve seen the movie. That is your remaining warning.
It had lengthy been predicted that, in No Time to Die, James Bond would grow to be a father. And it seems the predictions have been partially right. Technically, Bond did grow to be a father in No Time to Die, but it surely occurred through the lengthy five-year ellipsis that came about through the opening credit. Bond knocked up Madeleine Swann, then went by means of an prolonged interval of pouty estrangement, and solely clapped eyes on his daughter after their fraught reunion.
Additionally, Bond is just partially a father. He is aware of his daughter for only a handful of hours. And – provided that in that point she will get run off the street, shot at, kidnapped, proven round a literal poison manufacturing facility after which has to observe her organic father get his physique blown to smithereens by a flurry of exploding missiles – they’re more likely to be the very worst hours she is going to ever expertise in her whole life.
Or possibly not as a result of, by all accounts, Mathilde doesn’t appear to own any identifiably human traits. She greets the arrival of her father with the identical passively clean expression that she witnesses his dying. She sits within the again seat throughout a automobile chase as obliviously as she would if she was caught at some visitors lights. When it’s her bedtime, her mom tells her to shut her eyes and he or she instantly falls asleep. Think about that. Think about bedtime not being a grinding three-hour nightmare of bribery, deflection and persuasion.
Mathilde reacts in the identical method when Bond – within the one second of precise parenting he’ll do in his lifetime – peels her an apple for breakfast. If she was an actual baby, she would have appeared on the apple, flung it to the bottom and screamed “I WANT HARIBO!” However no, she simply quietly eats the apple. It’s this behaviour, alongside together with her nebulous age (technically 5, written as a three-year-old, has the lacking enamel of a seven-year-old) that makes me imagine that she is definitely an AI-style android purchased by Swann within the depths of her regret to lend her life some which means.
As to what kind of father Bond is, I’m a little bit on the fence. True, the sight of him tucking Mathilde’s toy into his braces is among the most tender moments in 007 historical past. However on the identical time his dying sentiment is one among egotism; he notes with pleasure that she appears like him.
Maybe it’s finest that Bond perishes on the finish of No Time to Die, then. He will get to expertise only a surface-level flash of what parenthood is like. Something greater than that will destroy the character solely. We’ll by no means must see Bond sitting at a delicate play centre in an industrial property, or wiping crusted baked bean juice from his cargo shorts after a badly thought-out journey to a restaurant. He’ll by no means settle for a mission on the proviso that he has to kind out emergency childcare first, or attempt to infiltrate an enemy base whereas his cellphone incessantly pings with a great deal of nothingy bollocks from the varsity WhatsApp group. However maybe, given a correct shot, he would have excelled at being a father. We’ll by no means know.
Nonetheless, one factor is for positive. Madeleine Swann is a horrible mom. Within the movie’s closing scene, she begins to inform Mathilde the story of James Bond. However she does it in English, despite the fact that Mathilde has solely ever spoken in French. I’m undecided what’s worse; telling a narrative a few promiscuous drunk assassin to a five-year-old, or doing it in a language she doesn’t perceive. Both method, that child is screwed.