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Topic: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

In CR06/QOS, he was a main antagonist and Bond's highest personal priority was to track him down and kill him.

Years later in Spectre, he finds White, but cooperates with him instead.  White was an extortionist - not a terrorist, and drew the line at Franz/Blofeld's murdering of innocent people.  Apparently, White was exiled from the organization and remained in poor health.  Bond cooperating with him signifies that he's gotten over Vesper and cares more about his mission than his personal vendetta.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

Bond cooperating with him signifies that he's gotten over Vesper and cares more about his mission than his personal vendetta.

This - and also Bond had nothing to gain from killing a dying man. He wanted to finally uncover and track down those at the top of the organization (Spectre) - by the time he finally found him, he'd have known that Mr White and Quantum were just "kites in a hurricane" as well.

"I'm afraid I'm a complicated woman. "
"- That is something to be afraid of."

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Actually I was bothered by it. I find it rather difficult to believe, that even 9 years later Bond can treat White suddenly with respect - as far as I know at the moment he met him James was still thinking that Mr White was responsible for Vesper's death. And by the way - Mr White says about "women, children" but had no problem in QoS with saying something like "if she hadn't killed herself, we would have you too - I think you would do anything for her..." which implies that he honestly did not care.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Vesper's death wasn't intended by Mr. White.  White primarily wanted to the extortion money and that was it.  Her death was just a byproduct of the other events which happened that day.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Yes, but the deleted flashback scene vetoed by Sony, in which we see White insert the Vesper interrogation video into the VCR, then sit back with a cold one did rather cast him in a bad light...

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

MrZareba wrote:

Actually I was bothered by it. I find it rather difficult to believe, that even 9 years later Bond can treat White suddenly with respect - as far as I know at the moment he met him James was still thinking that Mr White was responsible for Vesper's death. And by the way - Mr White says about "women, children" but had no problem in QoS with saying something like "if she hadn't killed herself, we would have you too - I think you would do anything for her..." which implies that he honestly did not care.

I had a different take which is that Bond is a spy who gets information from people.  Whether it's seducing Lucia to give info on where Spectre were meeting.  Or picking Mr White's weak point: his daughter. As someone mentioned earlier, he was already dying. So I didn't see it as Bond giving him respect.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Bond needed information out of him, so decided to go in " Friendly cop" mode, and as
Mr White was dying, all he wanted was his daughter protected, and from past experiences
Bond was probably the only one not only to protect her, but Kill Blofeld. So they made a
deal.

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

I think Mr. White was against Blofeld killing innocent or uninvolved women and children. Vesper doesn't fit into that.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Vesper wasn't even supposed to be killed.  White was supposed to just get his ransom money.

But by Bond getting involve, she was pushed in a very difficult position and committed suicide.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

A few things for consideration:

1)  They've never really figured out what they want from White.  In Casino Royale, he was a cold, devious agent, who not only kills LeChiffre but, we're led to believe, was in on the plot to get Vesper to return the money and then kill her.  By Quantum of Solace, a lot of the menace is gone, and now he's a wheezy old man who likes opera and with some vague warnings about Quantum having people everywhere.  By Spectre, he's a dying hermit who is not only a romantic, but has a daughter he wants to be protected.  He's all over the place for a character that originally amounted to a junior version of Blofeld.

2)  There's no reason to believe much of anything White says to Bond in Spectre.  According to the script, he just wants Bond to protect his daughter and track down the SOB, or ESB, that killed him.  He could be lying about nearly everything.  In fact, if he killed LeChiffre's girlfriend (we don't know who did, but it's implied, as White is the only assassin who makes himself present) and was in on the plot to kill Vesper, then why would he have any compunction about killing "women and children"?  Surely, Quantum was helping to bankroll terrorists, and they aren't exactly known for discriminating among victims.

3)  Bond's handing White his Walther is another rather muddled scene.  Was he doing it to show he trusted White?  To let him take "the honorable way out" by shooting himself?  Both?  If so, it dilutes the motivation, to me, which is why people may be confused now.  Better to be direct.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

MrZareba wrote:

Actually I was bothered by it. I find it rather difficult to believe, that even 9 years later Bond can treat White suddenly with respect - as far as I know at the moment he met him James was still thinking that Mr White was responsible for Vesper's death. And by the way - Mr White says about "women, children" but had no problem in QoS with saying something like "if she hadn't killed herself, we would have you too - I think you would do anything for her..." which implies that he honestly did not care.

I didn't really see it as Bond respecting him. Even when he finds him in his secret room he sees a dying sick man and tells him to get up here. Then he needs vital information from him. Sees a man that's dying and  has no need to tell Bond anything. So Bond goes after the only thing that matters his daughter. I didn't see any respect or gratitude from Bond at all. Just doing what had to be done.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

I still need to see the film a second time, but this is a critical scene for me.

As I see it, although quite theatrical, the location, Chess board between the characters and what White says and wants Bond to do reinforces my thinking that Quantum had an internal coup.
       The key figures we saw in QoS are all gone, and White is the last one. - His code name "The Pale King" reflects this too. The final chess piece - the King, standing on the board after all the other pieces have been wiped out. In Quantum's place? - Spectre. Once White is dead, there is nothing of Quantum left, and its manipulation and decisions by committee.  White doing himself in is a muddled version of the loosing chess player toppling their King, conceding defeat.  In this case, he knows that Bond will continue to fight the good fight and protect his daughter.  Ironically mirroring the fact that Bond came after White himself after Vesper left him that one last clue he found after she died.  In this case, Swann is the last clue as she knows of Spectre.
   In many ways the scene is a critical bridge between QoS and SP. It focuses the nature of the story from that point onwards, while (admittedly awkwardly) leaves arrows joining the dots back to CR-06.

Last edited by Thunderbird 2 (8th Nov 2015 01:42)

This is Thunderbird 2, how can I be of assistance?

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Bond's alignment with Mr. White was done as a means to an end. Bond was determined to carry out this mission, especially in light of the posthumous message from "M".  In Bond's business, enemies can become allies out of mutual need to defeat a common threat. The Bond of CR or QOS might have took out Mr. White at first glance, no questions asked; the post QOS Bond would know better and understand the long game.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

I agree with MrZareba, the rest of you are letting the writers off the hook way to easy on that.

The film spends too much time telling me what to believe instead of letting me feel it through the performances and I just didn't buy much of it.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Look, there are some problems with muddled motivation in the movie (Madeleine!).  But this isn't one of them.

Bond needs information that Mr. White has. Mr. White wants his daughter protected. When he's dead she'll be a dead woman, just like Lucia Sciarra. They make a deal. Bond will protect her in exchange for the information. This is really simple.

Bond may hate Mr. White (probably does) but he has a job to do.

Mr. White may feel bad about what he did or it could be BS. Doesn't matter.

Also, too, Bond can see something of himself in Mr. White, which may cause him to treat him with a quantum of sympathy.

This is really one of the best scenes in the movie. I don't know why people are picking on it other than they don't have anything better to do.

Last edited by Gala Brand (9th Nov 2015 22:07)

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Of course motivation matters.  That's what is the basis for character.  What you describe is simply the mechanics of plot, which may or may not resonate based on the motivations of the characters.  Otherwise, it's just an obligatory scene to move the plot forward.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

I too think this scene is something special. after all these years, those two people meet again after all what was going on.

"You see Mr.Bond, you can't kill my dreams...but my dreams can kill you.Time to face destiny" - "Time to face gravity"

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

But what do they resolve, other than Bond is going to watch over White's daughter?  Did they even bother to mention Vesper in any meaningful way?  The scene just seemed there to introduce a plot point -- nothing remarkable.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Gassy Man wrote:

But what do they resolve, other than Bond is going to watch over White's daughter?  Did they even bother to mention Vesper in any meaningful way?  The scene just seemed there to introduce a plot point -- nothing remarkable.

I can't really see them discussing Vesper - I mean, it's a two and half HOUR film - NOT two and a half DAYS  ajb007/lol
They can't possibly 'fit' everything in...

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Gassy Man wrote:

Of course motivation matters.  That's what is the basis for character.  What you describe is simply the mechanics of plot, which may or may not resonate based on the motivations of the characters.  Otherwise, it's just an obligatory scene to move the plot forward.

Exactly! A plot point to introduce the Bond girl and eventually finding the location of a hotel in tangier becomes more important than the character moment of Bond resolving things with White himself.

The character of White is thereby made weaker for a plot point, Bond's character is made weaker/robotic for a plot point.
And finding Swan and the hotel in Tangier isn't really that important because it's clear that Blopheld wants Bond to get to that site anyway.

And how is White not a killer all of a sudden just because he mentions women and children? He's called an assassin in the film and gives Le Chiffre a very skilled single tap to the fourhead from about 30 ft. in Casino Royal. Either way, extortion destroys lives. That's kind of what makes it so effective for people like Mr. White.

He deserved "Death to wear a familiar face". That's the only decent line in the scene. Unfortunately his death should have come from Bond and it didn't.

And I'm not saying I would have talked about Vesper in that scene. That scene and White's connection to Swan shouldn't have existed. That whole scene sat at the core of a badly written film. The scene should've been scrapped in its entirety along with the wasted Blopheld is my brother sub plot.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

dak212us wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Of course motivation matters.  That's what is the basis for character.  What you describe is simply the mechanics of plot, which may or may not resonate based on the motivations of the characters.  Otherwise, it's just an obligatory scene to move the plot forward.

Exactly! A plot point to introduce the Bond girl and eventually finding the location of a hotel in tangier becomes more important than the character moment of Bond resolving things with White himself.

The character of White is thereby made weaker for a plot point, Bond's character is made weaker/robotic for a plot point.
And finding Swan and the hotel in Tangier isn't really that important because it's clear that Blopheld wants Bond to get to that site anyway.

And how is White not a killer all of a sudden just because he mentions women and children? He's called an assassin in the film and gives Le Chiffre a very skilled single tap to the fourhead from about 30 ft. in Casino Royal. Either way, extortion destroys lives. That's kind of what makes it so effective for people like Mr. White.

He deserved "Death to wear a familiar face". That's the only decent line in the scene. Unfortunately his death should have come from Bond and it didn't.

And I'm not saying I would have talked about Vesper in that scene. That scene and White's connection to Swan shouldn't have existed. That whole scene sat at the core of a badly written film. The scene should've been scrapped in its entirety along with the wasted Blopheld is my brother sub plot.

You really don't like Blofeld, do you?

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

I'm one of the ones that liked this scene. I thought it was played perfectly by both. Both men are clearly using each other by their body language. But, It was also clear in both men's body language that they each had sympathy for each other. Both men are killers, for good or bad reasons, and this is an underlying concept of the Fleming novels (the idea that there is little difference between good killers and bad ones, and Bond's mental and emotional turmoil over that concept). Additionally, Fleming's Bond is stated to not like killing in cold blood, it was nice to see that aspect of Bond in Craig here. He makes the same mistake with Blofeld at the end. Besides, Craig has already learned his lessons about revenge, " I don't think the dead care about vengeance".

Just the way it registered with me.

"Whoever she was, I must have scared the living daylights out of her." & "Tell mother I died game."
CR/QoS, TLD, DN, GE, TSWLM, LTK, TND, TWiNE, TMWTGG, TB
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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

Sir Miles wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

But what do they resolve, other than Bond is going to watch over White's daughter?  Did they even bother to mention Vesper in any meaningful way?  The scene just seemed there to introduce a plot point -- nothing remarkable.

I can't really see them discussing Vesper - I mean, it's a two and half HOUR film - NOT two and a half DAYS  ajb007/lol
They can't possibly 'fit' everything in...

Oh, come on now.  They had time for that cheesiness about White being upset that Blofeld went after women and children . . . when Quantum not only went after Vesper, when it's implied White killed Le Chiffre's girlfriend, and when Quantum bankrolled terrorists and cut off an entire nation's water supply, both of which affect women and children.  If they had time for such an obviously hollow line, they could have worked in dialogue about Vesper.

All they had to do was rework the dialogue so the conversation mentioned Vesper.  It could have been as simple as:

White:  He made us push Vesper too hard.  If it means anything, I opposed it.
Bond:  Your honor as a gentleman?
White:  See for yourself. There are tapes -- 
Bond:  It doesn't matter now.

Then, when we get to the scene later in the hotel, Bond's decision not to watch the tape takes on even greater meaning.  Blofeld's "author of all your pain" line takes on greater resonance.

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Re: Mr. White's change of heart (SPOILERS)

dak212us wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Of course motivation matters.  That's what is the basis for character.  What you describe is simply the mechanics of plot, which may or may not resonate based on the motivations of the characters.  Otherwise, it's just an obligatory scene to move the plot forward.

Exactly! A plot point to introduce the Bond girl and eventually finding the location of a hotel in tangier becomes more important than the character moment of Bond resolving things with White himself.

The character of White is thereby made weaker for a plot point, Bond's character is made weaker/robotic for a plot point.
And finding Swan and the hotel in Tangier isn't really that important because it's clear that Blopheld wants Bond to get to that site anyway.

And how is White not a killer all of a sudden just because he mentions women and children? He's called an assassin in the film and gives Le Chiffre a very skilled single tap to the fourhead from about 30 ft. in Casino Royal. Either way, extortion destroys lives. That's kind of what makes it so effective for people like Mr. White.

He deserved "Death to wear a familiar face". That's the only decent line in the scene. Unfortunately his death should have come from Bond and it didn't.

And I'm not saying I would have talked about Vesper in that scene. That scene and White's connection to Swan shouldn't have existed. That whole scene sat at the core of a badly written film. The scene should've been scrapped in its entirety along with the wasted Blopheld is my brother sub plot.

The scene was a missed opportunity for clarity.  Instead, the characters just do what they have to to keep the story moving forward.