Raoul Silva

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Raoul Silva
James Bond character
Portrayed by Javier Bardem
Information
Occupation Cyberterrorist
Affiliation Spectre (former MI6 agent)
Classification Villain
Henchmen Patrice
Sévérine

Raoul Silva (real name Tiago Rodriguez) is a fictional character and the primary antagonist in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. He is portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem. A former MI6 agent, he turns to cyberterrorism and begins targeting the agency he used to work for as part of a plan to get revenge against M, against whom he holds a homicidal grudge.

Bardem received critical acclaim for his performance, and Silva is regularly ranked among the greatest villains in the James Bond series.[1][2][3]

Backstory

Skyfall establishes that Silva's real name is Tiago Rodriguez, and that he once was an MI6 agent specialising in cyberterrorism. When he hacked into the Chinese government's top secret files, M allowed them to take him prisoner in exchange for the return of six previously captured agents. He was tortured for five months, until finally he attempted suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule. He survived, but was left disfigured, with a misshapen jaw, rotted teeth and a sunken right eye socket. He wears a dental prosthetic to conceal his disfigurements. At some point he escaped from Chinese custody and reinvented himself as Raoul Silva, a cyberterrorist for hire with a fearsome reputation.

Skyfall

One of Silva's henchmen, Patrice, steals a hard drive containing the names and locations of several undercover MI6 agents, whom Silva's network of assassins quickly eliminate. Finally, Silva targets MI6 headquarters with a bomb, killing several agents. M sends Bond to Macau to find and kill Silva. Bond seduces Silva's lover Sévérine, who promises to take Bond to him in return for her freedom; ultimately, however, Silva intimidates her into betraying Bond. Upon taking Bond captive, Silva forces him at gunpoint to participate in a game of William Tell, in which the target is a glass of scotch balanced on Sevérine's head. When Bond intentionally misses her, Silva shoots her dead. Bond then overpowers Silva's men and uses a radio given to him by Q to signal their location to MI6, who take Silva into custody.

At MI6's underground headquarters in London, M confronts Silva, who taunts her that his plan is already in motion. Q attempts to decrypt Silva's laptop, but inadvertently gives it access to the MI6 systems, allowing Silva to escape from MI6 custody. Bond realises that Silva wanted to be captured as part of a plan to kill M. Later, Silva, disguised as a policeman, barges into a government hearing where M is giving a deposition and draws a gun on her, but cannot bring himself to shoot her. He flees into the London Underground, with Bond in pursuit. Bond chases him through London's sewers and finally catches up to him - whereupon Silva detonates an explosive charge that sends a runaway subway train coming straight for Bond, who narrowly escapes.

Silva follows Bond and M to the former's childhood home in Scotland, where his men open fire. He pursues a mortally wounded M to a chapel at the side of the house, and begs her to kill them both by firing a bullet through her head and into his. At that moment, however, Bond appears and throws a knife into Silva's back, killing him.

In other films

In the following Bond film, Spectre, Ernst Stavro Blofeld reveals that Silva - along with Le Chiffre and Dominic Greene, the villains of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, respectively—was an agent of Spectre, a worldwide criminal organization.

Sexuality

The scene in which Silva and Bond first meet raised eyebrows among critics and fans alike for its supposed homoerotic subtext. In the scene Silva strokes Bond's thighs and chest while interrogating the secret agent, who is tied to a chair.

The scene ignited speculation that screenwriter John Logan, who is gay, intended to imply that Silva and Bond are gay or bisexual.[4] Logan denied this in an interview with The Huffington Post, saying, "Some people claim it's because I'm, in fact, gay but not true at all. [Director Sam Mendes] and I were discussing, there were so many scenes in which Bond goes mano-a-mano with the villain, whether it's Dr. No or Goldfinger or whatever, and there's been so many ways to a cat-and-mouse and intimidate Bond, and we thought, what would make the audience truly uncomfortable is sexual intimidation; playing the homoerotic card that is sort of always there subtextually with characters like Scaramanga in 'Man With the Golden Gun' or Dr. No. So we just decided we would play the card and enjoy it."[5]

References

  1. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (27 October 2012). "Javier Bardem: is he the best ever Bond baddie?". The Guardian. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  2. ^ Crow, David (November 10, 2015). "007: Ranking the 24 James Bond Villains From Best to Worst". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  3. ^ Nashawatty, Chris (November 5, 2015). "Ranking All 24 James Bond Movies". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  4. ^ DiGiacomo, Frank (October 15, 2012). "Is Bond Bi? Daniel Craig And Javier Bardem Weigh In Separately On Their Flirtatious Scene Together". Movieline. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  5. ^ Rosen, Christopher (November 6, 2012). "'Skyfall' Bisexual Scene: James Bond Screenwriter Reveals Impetus Behind Homoerotic Interrogation". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
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