Sunday, November 23, 2008

Agent Fields Forever

Easily the highlight of the overall enjoyable but ultimately uneven Quantum of Solace: Agent Fields, the character played by Gemma Arterton. Essentially, she’s Girl No. Two, which is a bad position for a Bond Girl to be in. Sure enough, Agent Fields eventually joins Plenty O’Toole, Jill Masterton, Aki, Fiona Volpe, Andrea Anders, Corinne Dufour, Elektra King, Paris Carver, Xenia Onatopp, Miranda Frost, Solange Dimitrios, and at least a few others on the list of lesser Bond associates who end up dead, whether as a result of them being forces or good or forces evil.

The best part about Agent Fields, however, is that she was written subtly, even if her role in the story as a whole doesn’t hold up well to logic. Throughout the film, she never gives her first name. (Why would MI-6 send some cute, nubile office girl to temp Bond back to London? Shouldn’t M have predicted that Bond would just bang her silly and get her killed? Was there truly no one else that could have been sent? No birthing hipped, lady mustached monster of a woman that Bond wouldn’t dare take a poke at?) The credits, however, list her as “Strawberry Fields,” and that makes her an ideal inhabitant of the new world of James Bond. Though her full name makes her a silly pop culture reference, she seems to know this and has a conscious desire to not be some dumb Bond Girl. It’s almost as if she’s seen the films with Mary Goodnight and Pussy Galore. In a film that was unfortunately lacking in characterization and development, this minor character truly succeeded, at least for me.

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