The more undercover, the bigger the desire to uncover. Secret agents such as James Bond and Jason Bourne steal the audience with their breathtaking capacity to break in and out of forbidden systems. While combating a dozen different enemies using a dozen different weapons and speaking a dozen different languages, our 007 successfully focalizes every humanly possible skill executed to perfection.
Viewers turn to the screen insatiate from reality. Spy films mediate the thirst multifold in addressing a load of common concerns optically quenched through fictional characters of the cinematic verisimilitude. Our ideal hero is not only marvelously skilled and omnipotently equipped, but also irresistibly charming and generously selfless. Subconscious sanctification haloes the protagonist into a dynastic trust in which we invest our momentary happiness and get reimbursed with the type of excitement buried deep down if even really exists. Placed next to the daily lives of secret agents, our mundane work routine finds vents out from the stuffy cubicle of physical passivity. The hero gives us an emotionally electrifying opportunity to have fun and disarm ourselves of the loaded burden that is our lives. A thrilling simulation that stimulates our curiosity, the film relaxes us in its intensity and distracts us from ourselves for the time being. Once reality wakes, the 2.5 hours nap will have rejuvenated our minds like a portable battery that charges our iPhone on the go.
Our dynastic trust necessitates security, and heroism seems to be the perfect fit because humanity craves it by default. In fact, the idea of heroes has been indispensable even throughout history. The forgotten Vercingetorix of the Arveni tribe was suddenly recollected during the FrencoPrussian war when France needed a non-german symbol to keep fighting.
Popular culture infiltrated the mind no less than the atomic bomb in a time of planetary destruction where instability drove people crazy. In From Russia With Love (1963), our beloved Bond fought victoriously and reminded a lost American population of residue sanity, not to mention that Russia seen through the entertainment lens appeared to be less of a scary enemy and more of an exotic outsider. Consequently, the film not only distracted viewers’ from the current warfare but also healed to some extent, the cause of their discontent.
One modern equivalent to the 1960s nuclear warfare is the absence of privacy in a world of transparent surveillance. The increasing popularity of digital products poses a danger typified in the Jason Bourne trilogy, where the entire premise is set on the agency’s enduring means to find Bourne wherever he goes so long as he is carrying a phone which would betray him to the CIA any second without negotiation. An extreme example, the downside to being constantly connected is being constantly watched. In response, the screen absorbs our fear with a warrior who virtually takes over the battle against technology and manages to escape Big Brother’s grasp every time.