No Time To Die: What The New Bond Featurette Tells Us About Rami Malek’s Safin

16 September 2020
James Bond, Rami Malek, Safin, No Time to Die, Daniel Craig
The new Bond trailer invites us to meet Safin

Rami Malek is set to be immortalised as a villain in the 25th Bond film, No Time To Die. The Oscar winning actor will star alongside Daniel Craig as Safin, a masked antagonist bent on the destruction of the world and the death of James Bond.

But what can this new featurette trailer teach us about the film and Rami Malek's character? Read on to find out:

Safin is as creepy as they come

"What I really wanted from Safin was to make him unsettling," says Malek. And he’s definitely achieved that. There’s something about Bond’s mega-villains that seems to invert the idea of what might ordinarily be intimidating. Scaramanga, Elliot Carver, Blofeld, and now Safin: they’re never the biggest, the most physically imposing. Instead they are the most sinister.

He appears to enjoy avante-garde Japanese menswear

In Ian Flemming’s From Russia With Love, the author suggests that a Windsor tie knot “was often the mark of a cad”. We’re going to go one further here and suggest that anyone cutting about in (an admittedly beautiful) mix of house robes and workwear inspired overcoat, is also bound to be a psychopath.

His mask only goes so far

A really good Bond villain tends to wear their pain for all to see. A metaphor for the suffering they have endured which has driven them to the point of megalomania, there’s plenty to choose from: Blofeld’s scar, Le Chiffre’s bloody tears, Jaws’ metallic choppers. And now, Safin’s heavily disfigured face.

For a Bond villain, he has some perfectly reasonable requests

“I just want to be a little…tidier” says Safin, explaining his motivations to Bond during the “we’re not so different, you and I” speech that is now agiven in Bond films. And who can blame Safin? We all long for a little order, don’t we?

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Safin frightens Bond

What frightens a man for whom killing is a profession? According to No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukanaga, what Safin wants and what he is willing to do makes him personally frightening to Bond. In this case, that appears to mean using Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann against him.

The stakes have been raised

Barring a miracle, this is almost certainly Craig's last Bond, and after the huge success of Skyfall and then Spectre, he will want to go out on a high. How best to do this? Raise the stakes. This trailer appears to imply that the world, and Bond, are in even more danger than usual. Could this be the movie which ends Craig's Bond for good in a 'scorched earth' style?