The film has various point at which it could end, yet doesn’t. I’ve read the book so sort of knew what was coming, but I bet a lot of people sitting there thought it was over after Le Chiffre’s death when Bond and Vesper hooked up. But of course that isn’t the end, because we then get a romantic montage that would have worked fine earlier in the film (see OHMSS again) but at this stage feels somewhat rushed in order to give us an emotional climax (again the book is to blame. Vesper spends the entire book/film hating 007 then falls madly in love with him, for some reason, at the end just in time to kill herself. If anything I think the film handles this better than the book, you do at least get hints she’s warming to him) . Then we go to Venice and the next big set piece where Vesper dies. Maybe this is the end? Nope, we now get Bond pouting on a boat whilst M tells him he’s been a naughty boy but at least he’s learned his lesson. So that’s the end right. Nope, cue the Italian lakes and Mr White. Is that the end? Ok, yes this is the end…
The film is full of good stuff, but sometimes less is more. The ending of OHMSS packs far more emotional weight in my opinion. It’s brutal and ends on a pitch perfect moment, 007 cradling Tracy’s head. We don’t need to see him go after Blofeld, because we know he will, we don’t need to see him broken and bitter because we know he will be. Hell the producers can’t even bring themselves to end the film where the book ends. “The job’s done and the bitch is dead.” Whether that’s because they didn’t want a complete downer of an ending, or whether they didn’t want people thinking Bond was a cold hard bastard (which is odd seeing as that what the entire film is geared towards telling us) is uncertain. Personally I think the film should have ended there (as cool as the Mr White moment is). Daniel Craig is a good enough actor that we know damn well he’s broken up inside about Vesper, and we already know enough to feel some sympathy for her, we don’t need M spelling it out for us.
But therein lies another of the film’s problems (again for me, this is just my take) too much exposition, though at least it isn’t as cringe worthy as Mathis explaining the rules of poker/tells etc
I make it sound like I hate Casino Royale, and I really don’t, it’s a great film, it’s just not quite top five material for me, I have far too many issues with some of the casting and plot contrivances, aside from the above.