In today’s culture, the name James Bond is just passed off as a spy movie of yesteryear. However, the name Billie Eilish is a well-known and household name. Before this year, these two names would never have been thought of together, but that all changed with the release of Eilish’s newest song.
On Feb. 13, Eilish released the long-awaited title song of the twenty-fifth installment of the James Bond film series, “No Time to Die.” The song, which shares the name of the movie, is written and performed by Eilish with a writing and production credit from her brother, Finneas O’Connell. This single was the first Bond theme song to be made out of a bedroom studio and made Eilish the youngest artist in history to write and record a James Bond theme song.
The film, which is set to release on April 10, is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as the MI6 agent James Bond aka 007. Craig is the most recent Bond, starting in the 2006 film, “Casino Royale,” and would portray him in 2008’s “Quantum of Solace, 2012’s “Skyfall” and 2015’s “Spectre.” The character of James Bond, created by Ian Fleming, has been on the big screen since 1962 with Sean Connery as the secret agent in Terence Young’s “Dr. No” and stands as one of the longest-running film series of all time.
The song was immediately met with praise for its meaningful take on the character and the story of Craig’s portrayal of a broken person moving mission to mission. This type of character portrayal has not been seen in the Bond film series before and the same goes for any of the films’ themes.
From “Dr. No” to “Die Another Day,” the portrayal of Bond has always been a very suave womanizer who has the cool gadgets and gets the girl (a new girl every movie, mind you).
When “Casino Royale” was released, audiences were led to believe this would remain the same. However, this would change by the end of the film showing a heartbroken and guilt-ridden Bond that would be seen in“Spectre.”
Every subsequent song would either be a description of the story at hand or an attempt to make a Bond movie advertise the artist’s music; this can be seen in Adele’s “Skyfall” and Sam Smith’s “Writing on the Wall” respectively.
Not to say that all of the Bond theme songs don’t bring anything new to the table or have any importance to movie. In the song “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell, heard in “Casino Royale,” the basis of the song is to reintroduce Bond to a new audience with the proclamation of knowing the name of Bond but being shown a new type of Bond story.
Where “No Time to Die” differs from the others is that the song itself presents the internal conflict that 007 has been experiencing since the end of “Casino Royale;” when there is deceit and betrayal in the world, can anyone really be trusted?
The lines “Was I stupid to love you?” and “Was I reckless to help?” and “Was it obvious to everybody else?” have much larger meanings towards the story rather than being passed off as another Eilish line. These lines reflect the questions Bond asks himself when he attempts to attach himself to someone with hopes of there being a future. Throughout Craig’s portrayals, all have these questions in common; always coming back to haunt him after the death of every woman he has grown close to. Either they betray him or they die for him.
That is the biggest message Eilish is trying to portray in her single: a story of a man or woman broken by the world and never given a chance to be happy. This is how this song can differ from the rest; not with just a story but with a message.
Whether it be cool gadgets, fast cars or dry martinis, “No Time to Die” has me hyped for the new Bond film and excited to see what comes next for the legendary spy. Give the song a listen and the film releases in April so definitely check ahead and get a ticket.