By this time, it’s confirmed news that Tom Hiddleston is in talks for the role of James Bond. In fact, for the British bookies, he is the top bet along with Idris Elba and Tom Hardy. A couple of days back I read that Susan Bier is the frontrunner for the job of director for this 25th Bond film after Sam Mendes (Skyfall, Spectre) has confirmed that he is done with the franchise. Yes, Susan Bier, the director of The Night Manager would be the first lady to direct a Bond film and if it becomes a reality, Hiddleston would be her first choice to play Bond. You would understand this when you read what she has told to an interviewer when asked about Tom Hiddleston.
“There’s a certain incredibly enigmatic quality to his eyes. You aren’t sure you can trust him, but you are sure there is a pain there that he doesn’t show. He’s so immaculate and fun and elegant and charming, and there is somewhere inside of him a painfulness, which I think for most women, is irresistible.” These words bring Hiddleston even closer to the role.
So, does he deserve that? Is he capable of playing Bond? If you had asked me this question a few months back, my answer would have been “are you kidding! No chance. Never. Not even in a distant imagination”. I personally don’t like him. As Loki, he was the weakest link in The Avengers and I remember I was very disappointed after watching such a weak villain in front of so many superheroes (the aliens with their monsters came to my rescue).
But what is my answer today? It is a big yes. Yes, he is the best we have today to play Bond. What has changed? I watched ‘The Night Manager’ and Hiddleston playing a spy in this 6 Episode TV series prove that he is the best choice today. Let’s talk about The Night Manager. Initially the sole reason to watch this series was Jean Le Carre, the writer of the novel on which the series is based. I am a big fan of Le Carre and have read several of his novels (my favorite is of course ‘The Spy Who Came in from The Cold’). So, I knew beforehand that the story is not going to disappoint me. Then I learned that Hugh Laurie is also there as the villain and the decision was sealed after having two strong factors in favor of yes.
The best thing that I love in Le Carre’s spy thrillers is that they are the stories of human beings and not technology, gadgets and machines. This is also a story about human emotions; trust, love, deception, revenge, retribution, hatred. The story revolves around two central characters, Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston), who starts as the night manager in a hotel in Cairo and later becomes a British spy, and Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie), who happens to be an illegal arms trader. Hugh Laurie, I knew, would be brilliant as the arms trader who is a monster in his schemes but not in his manners, so, no surprise here. What came as a surprise was the performance of Tom Hiddleston as the night manager turned spy, who has the task to infiltrate the villain’s gang, win the boss’s trust and then deceive him. He is unbelievably brilliant. He plays a perfectly charming gentleman spy who loves to smile even in worst of the situations and I must say he has a beautiful smile and he also has that thing in his eyes that his director Susan Bier talked about. I think acting in front of Hugh Laurie has brought the best out of Hiddleston. Olivia Colman is superb as Angela Burr, Jonathan’s handler from MI6. Tom Hollander as Lance Corkoran, the right hand man of Roper deserves a mention.
I highly recommend this TV series for the viewers who love to watch the battle of wits. There are no ultra-modern gadgets or breakthrough technology. There are only people, real human beings, on their own, to fight this battle.
So, Tom Hiddleston as Bond? For now, it’s a yes.