Breaking Down 007: Casino Royale’s Negotiation and Communication Scenes

00:01:15

Bond ambushing Dryden

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Naturally, we see a distraction here – catching him off-guard so that he’s weakened. Showing up announced. I like how then Dryden is not fazed by this, but then finds out Bond switched his bullets, which is another distraction and more catching off-guard. He’s good at counterpersuasion, but Bond is making good moves;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (By Bond, distractions to catch his opponent off-guard);
    • Grace under fire (Dryden shows remarkable pose and does not show weakness);

00:08:15

Le Chiffre negotiating with the African military leader

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see rigidity by the military leader. He demands certain terms, such as accessing the money whenever he wants. He also shows abundance. He’s laid back in the chair, doing hand gestures, asking about whatever he wants. He knows he has the value here;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity (By the military leader);
    • Abundance (By the military leader);

00:09:05

Le Chiffre making the trade

  • Is It Realistic: No
  • Description:
    • We see the broker using obstacles and testing here. Making sure Le Chiffre knows what he’s getting into before he buys;
    • This scene strikes me as not realistic at all, because he can’t just short a stock without research right before the company crashes. The SEC would be all over him. This is Hollywood trading at its best;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Obstacles and testing (Broker making sure Le Chiffre knows what he’s doing);

00:10:20

Terrorist recognising Carter

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Simple example of salience. The terrorist is suspicious, looking for someone who stands out. Carter stands out due to being on his phone and looking at him. Negative type of salience;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Salience (Carter standing out due to his phone);

00:20:55

Le Chiffre forcing guests to leave in 5 mins

  • Is It Realistic: No;
  • Description:
    • So, we see what is supposed to be ruthlessness here. Le Chiffre says, “Give our guests 5 minutes to leave or throw them overboard”. Seems unnecessary and forceful. I know they’re trying to convey the image of him being ruthless, but this is badly written in my view. We saw him make concessions for the African military leader previously, so he’s wise, and he would get a reputation as a murderer of his guests by doing this. Exaggeration and Hollywood persuasion in this instance, in my view;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity/boundaries (Le Chiffre showing his ruthlessness);

00:23:10

M dressing down Bond

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, all realistic here. Identity contradictions, “I thought you would do better”, and naturally pressure and intimidation here, screaming at him and lashing out;
    • Also, I love the contrast when she sits down. You see the change in tone. She calms down and says, “Bond, this may be too much for you to understand”. Great use of empathy, and switching to the “just between us” tonality, almost confessing something intimate;
    • I like how she shows trustworthiness in the end with adverse transparency. She says, “These bastards want your head, and I’m seriously considering giving it”. She could have lied or not said this, but she was honest. It doesn’t sound good to Bond to say this out loud, but she communicates being honest and transparent due to this;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity contradictions (M telling Bond she didn’t think he would do this);
    • Pressure/intimidation (M pressuring Bond);
    • Empathy + pace/tonality (M shifting gears and changing tonality);
    • Trustworthiness + adverse transparency (M saying she’s considering giving Bond up);

00:26:45

Rich old man mistaking Bond for the valet

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • I love the example of malicious compliance here. Instead of confronting him to his face, Bond is calm and gets his revenge by crashing the car later. It’s a very good instance of grace under fire – he could have blown up at him, showing insecurity, but he just smiled and did what he wanted. Quiet confidence – the best indicator of value and abundance;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Grace under fire + value/abundace (Bond not blowing up at the old man, but taking revenge with class);

00:29:30

Bond socially engineering the receptionist

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a great combination giving here. First Bond decides to rent the room, which can be considered a “favor”, or “giving” to the receptionist (profit to the hotel), and then he takes the chance to ask something in return. Excellent combination, and a great example of favor timing. You give first so the other side owes you, and then ask for something in return right away. I love this scene, because it’s extremely realistic, and extremely on character;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving + favor dynamics (Bond making a reservation and asking for the guest’s name right away);

00:33:25

Bond and Dimitrios’s poker game

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, we see grace under fire here. It’s the key to poker. Not having a “tell”, and being completely unfazed in the face of punches to the stomach, or losing money. We see Dimitrios seem a bit desperate when he loses money. It’s interesting that you don’t see it in his demeanor, only his actions. He is asking to put $20k on the table, and then bet the key to his car, but he’s not communicating desperation. He’s extremely logical. Only his actions convey desperation, due to rushing and trying so hard. Great example of subtle desperation and neediness;
    • We also see a great example of standard manipulation here. The croupier says, “Table stakes only”, so Dimitrios says, “The car key is on the table, I can bet it”. Doing arbitrage of the rules;
    • It’s a little bit realistic, but not extremely. I mean, Bond would have won, but not in such a clinched and major way;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Grace under fire (By Bond, unfased by opponent moves);
    • Abundance (Lack of it by Dimitrios);
    • Standard manipulation (By Dimitrios, bending the rules of “table stakes”);

00:35:30

Bond seducing Dimitrios’s wife

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see distraction here. He shows up in Dimitrios’s car, which catches his wife off-guard. Then a simple identity contradiction here. She says, “I’m not that cruel”, and he says, “Maybe you’re just out of practice”. A fun way to say “You say you’re not that way, but maybe you are”;
    • We also see escalation of commitment here. First he offers to drive her home, then to take her for a drink. And we see tension and value here. She says, “Your place?”, and he says “Yes” and just holds the tension;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distractions);
    • Escalation of commitment (Bond offering different things to seduce her);
    • Tension and value (Bond and her both holding eye contact);

00:36:55

Dimitrios with Le Chiffre

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see intellectual honesty by Dimitrios. When Le Chiffre accuses him of not being trustworthy, he says, “I don’t care, I only care about my reputation”. He’s risking pissing off a terrorist boss to stay true to his principles. Great demonstration;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Intellectual honesty + image/appearance (By Dimitrios);

00:37:30

Bond and Dimitrios’s wife making out

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, although this is pretty funny, we see a great example of specialisation here. As she says, Bond only goes after married women. It keeps it simple. Also, we see effort manipulation. If he only goes after married women, he doesn’t need to be deciding and wondering about picking up others. It’s easy and direct. Simplifies things. Pretty funny use of these techniques, but it is spot-on for both;
    • Then, we see an example of obstacles and testing here. Challenging the yes. She says she’s afraid he only wants to sleep with her to get to Dimitrios, and Bond says, “How afraid?”, testing her and giving her the chance to bail out. She doesn’t;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Specialisation + effort manipulation (Bond only going after married women);
    • Obstacles and testing (Bond asking Dimitrios’s wife if she is very afraid of Bond using her, or just a little);

00:41:30

Bond and Dimitrios knife fight

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, a simple example of a distraction. Dimitrios and Bond are both holding the knife, and Bond tilts his head to distract Dimitrios, who loses control of the knife and gets stabbed. It seems too predictable and easy. Nobody would fall for this. But if they would fall for it, then yes, the technique itself is pretty spot on. I mean, Dimitrios seems pretty insecure, so maybe it is realistic. I give it 50/50;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Bond distracting Dimitrios with the head tilt);

00:44:45

Bond calling M

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see the home advantage here, and gatekeeping. M’s assistant is telling Bond she can’t be disturbed, and that he has to leave a message. But we also see standard manipulation here, in the sense that Bond uses an exception – a bomb about to go off – to go around that rule;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Home advantage (Bond calling M and going through the gatekeeper);
    • Standard manipulation (Bond getting an exception, speaking directly with M, due to the bomb threat);

00:45:50

Terrorist pulling the fire alarm

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmm;
  • Description:
    • Again, a distraction. Causing mayhem will make Bond lose attention and be distracted, catching him off-guard. I don’t how realistic it is, since there should be people flocking to the location immediately, but hey, as a persuasion technique itself, it works;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distraction, by the terrorist, with the fire alarm);

00:55:00

M debriefing with Bond

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see distraction. That is, now that Le Chiffre’s option short went haywire, he will be desperate, or at least likely to make a mistake, and they want to catch him then. The persuasion technique will be pretty simple – sanctuary in return for all he knows (I’m not sure this will work, though – from what we know, he seems to have loyalty to his lifestyle, but oh well);
    • We also see identity here. When Bond asks, “You know I would never stop, right?”, and M says, “Well, I knew you were you”, she’s saying quite directly that she read him because she knows his identity;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distracting Le Chiffre with the money lost to induce a mistake);
    • Identity (M saying she read Bond and knows who he is, so she knows what he would do);

00:58:15

Bond and Vesper on the train

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see some funny flattery in the beginning, when she says “I’m the money”, and he replies “Every penny of it”;
    • We see some implementation intention here. Vesper is testing Bond, to figure out what his plan is, asking “How do you play?”, “How do you bluff, etc?”. She’s going into specifics to gauge whether Bond has a plan or not. It’s also a set of small obstacles and tests;
    • Then, we see Bond using identity. Reading Vesper. She’s not appreciated due to being a woman, she wears slightly masculine clothing, etc. An attempt at reading her and applying empathy in terms of who she is. And she retaliates nicely;
    • We also see specific characteristics here, and what she says is on point. Given that Bond has a need to prove himself and and no family or constraints, that is the type of man the agency is looking for, as they are expendible and can be easily manipulated. Priming with characteristics;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flattery (Bond flattering Vesper in the beginning);
    • Implementation intention + obstacles/testing (Vesper asking Bond about his plan);
    • Identity (Bond guessing who Vesper is, and vice-versa);
    • Characteristics (When Vesper mentions exactly the characteristics that the agency is looking for in agents);

01:02:30

Bond and Vesper going over their backstory

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see see details and specifics here. Anything with specifics helps sell something as more realistic. For example, them having the suite together, but the Catholic background making it a two-bedroom suite. This helps sell the story much easier than just saying, “We’re together”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Details and specifics (To sell the story better);

01:03:45

Bond revealing himself to the receptionist

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see here an obstacle/test, but also a specific type of costly signaling. That is, Bond is so sure of himself that he is willing to reveal his identity. It’s also an obstacle to test Le Chiffre, to gauge whether he is who he really thinks he is;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Costly signaling (Bond revealing his identity at his own cost);
    • Obstacles/tests (Bond revealing his identity as a test to gauge whether Le Chiffre will go through with it or not);

01:05:50

Bond, Vesper and Mathis sit-down

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see Matthis setting up the police chief as being bribed by them. Both a distraction, to catch Le Chiffre off his guard, and also association. The association between the police chief and MI6 is enough to compromise him. Similar to when police pretend that a criminal is an informant as a threat, to make sure they either comply or are liquidated by their own people:
  • Techniques Present:
    • Distraction + association (Distracting Le Chiffre by taking out the police chief, with an association with MI6 through bribery);

01:07:25

Bond giving Vesper the dress

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Again, another distraction tactic. Quite explicit. Making the players distracted by looking at Vesper so they don’t focus on the game;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distractions, by Vesper with her looks);

01:09:55

Game managers dictating the rules

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see both rigidity and escalation of commitment. Rigidity about the capital volumes posted and possible subsequent ones, and escalation of commitment in terms of the players being able to post more money after the initial allocation. Escalation of commitment is very frequent in gambling – possibly, even a core part of it;
    • We could also see a type of home advantage or code of conduct here. Although the players have status, they are forced to obey this type of conduct, and they are the ones coming to the game room. It’s not very strong, as they all have status, but it’s kind of enforced by the mutual power they all have;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity (Specific rules that the players must obey);
    • Escalation of commitment (The players being able to throw good money after bad);
    • Home advantage + code of conduct (The players coming to the game room and agreeing to a conduct);

01:11:00

Bond and Le Chiffre playing

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see Bond doing something very smart here, which is distracting Le Chiffre by focusing on his fake eye. Everyone has a weakness, and Bond using “laser eyes” on his makes him flinch. This puts him on the defensive, and induces a mistake;
    • He also does something great here, which is that Bond himself pretends to be distracted by Vesper, possibly to give the appearance of being distracted, while in reality being clearly focused. Great technique, using a “distraction decoy”;
    • We also see, when Bond is asking for the drink, another distraction. The details and specifics of the drink persuade more, and they also make Le Chiffre, who is already needy, more needy, as he needs the money. More distractions, and catching him off-guard. Bond is playing him well, slowly eroding him;
    • We also see later that Bond’s intention was to find out what Le Chiffre’s “tell” was. Good technique. I thought his goal was just to destabilise him, but in reality, his goal was to learn the mechanism to destabilise him. Very well done;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Power dynamics + grace under fire (Bond putting Le Chiffre on the defensive, and Bond himself not reacting);
    • Distraction (Bond faking a distraction to seem weak to Le Chiffre to trap him);

01:17:25

Le Chiffre being ambushed

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, another distraction. Le Chiffre’s girlfriend trapping him to give the terrorist an opening. Pretty standard. Since they have guns and weapons I don’t think it was that necessary, but still effective;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (African military terrorists catching Le Chiffre off-guard);

01:22:50

Le Chiffre teasing Bond

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, here we see Le Chiffre trying to catch Bond off-guard with the comment about changing his shirt, but Bond doesn’t react, and even fires back. Great example of grace under fire. Also, very realistic – usual trash talk among men;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Grace under fire (Le Chiffre trying to tease Bond, but failing);

01:25:45

Matthis and Bond getting a random person arrested

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • Simple distraction. As Bond says, keeps Le Chiffre and the others on edge, wondering who is going to come for them nexst. This movie is starting to seem like a great game of distractions to get Le Chiffre off his game – and this is extremely realistic persuasion;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distractions, again);

01:27:15

Bond and Le Chiffre’s showdown

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Here, we see a true battle of grace under fire, and who reacts less. Both are holding the tension, eye contact, no reaction. You can also see how they are both trying to destabilise each other. Bond has a smirk when he announces his move, and Le Chiffre goes all in;
    • We see here that Le Chiffre knew he was being analysed for his tell, so he fabricated his tell to trap Bond and make him lose. Great technique, and realistic. I was starting to think Le Chiffre was stupid, and I’m glad to realise he’s more complex than that;
    • This presents a realistic situation. Each side is trying to catch the other off-guard, and each is protecting themselves against it;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Grace under fire (Both Le Chiffre and Bond holding eye contact, keeping the tension);

01:30:20

Bond asking Vesper for money

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Simple escalation of commitment here. Bond burned the money, and needs more;
    • I love how Bond resorts to pressure and removing her exits when she refuses. He’s associating not having the money with Le Chiffre continuing to kill, and by association saying she’s being complicit in her. Great spinning, and great removal of exits;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Escalation of commitment (Bond asking for more money);
    • Spinning/reframing + removing exits (Bond framing not getting money as Le Chiffre continuing to kill);

01:32:15

Felix staking Bond

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • I love how Felix uses preemptive giving here to get an edge. He says, “Oh, I’ll stake you the money… except that the CIA brings him in if you capture him”. Excellent move. Also, future lock-in. Bond gets a favor now in return for being locked into this later;
    • Also, considering he’s an American, the fact that he has too much money and doesn’t care about it strikes me as very realistic;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving/favor dynamics + future lock-in (Felix helping Bond in the present in return for Le Chiffre later);

01:33:00

Bond coming back to the table after getting more money

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see here a great example of initiative through contrast. Paradox intention. Bond was losing and on the defensive, so now he uses that to come back harder, and put Le Chiffre on the defensive. It’s initiative – you can feel his energy, as if he just had a second wind. Also demonstrates how mere confidence, despite facts, can be persuasive and put the other side on the defensive;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Perceived contrast + paradox intention (Bond coming back from destroyed to the destroyer now);
    • Initiative (Bond putting Le Chiffre on the defensive with his initiative);

01:38:20

Bond coming back to the game after the assassination attempt

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, first we see a great example of abundance and costly signaling. That is, Bond is back to the game after an assassination attempt. He’s showing that didn’t hurt him, and almost daring the other side to take another shot. Completely unfased;
    • In the final showdown, we see more tension and grace under fire. It’s also interesting to notice that Le Chiffre is at a disadvantage by going all-in first. This is because your tells and reations are not just until you say the thing. They are also after. That is, Le Chiffre made the play with a poker face, but while Bond is contemplating making his move, he is pressuring him with eye contact. That is, even after Le Chiffre has already played, Bond can still pressure him to try to extract a tell. I would slow down even more and try to “break him” with eye contact and tension here;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Costly signaling (Bond going back to the game after almost being killed);
    • Grace under fire and value (Bond and Le Chiffre not affected by the showdown);

01:43:35

Bond and Vesper having dinner

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, first we see some flattery. “The man who gave that to you must be a very lucky man”;
    • Then, we see a small identity contradiction. When Vesper is talking about Bond killing others, and says that, just because he did in the past, he doesn’t need to keep doing it. This is a bad attempt, in my view, because this is his whole psychological makeup. She literally said this on the train. The agency picks men with a chip on their shoulder and nothing to lose. So how the hell would he change now?
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flattery (By Bond);
    • Identity contradictions (Vesper saying Bond doesn’t need to continue being like that);

01:47:15

Le Chiffre capturing Bond

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, something interesting we see here is that Mathis is supposedly a double agent, but remember how he took down the police chief to earn Bond and Vesper’s trust. Back then, that was adverse transparency. So, Le Chiffre took a hit in order for Mathis to earn their trust. Very common when creating allegiances. Later, we find out that Mathis was NOT a double agent (which is kind of confusing), but either way, arresting the police chief to earn Bond and Vesper’s trust worked;
    • Later, when Le Chiffre is torturing Bond, we see grace under fire. Bond ridicules him. He’s hitting him repeatedly, and Bond is saying, “Oh, I’ve got an itch, can you scratch it?”. It’s paradox intention, also. Taking your biggest fear and making it your strength;
    • Then, when the man from the organisation comes and shoots Le Chiffre, it’s also realistic. Le Chiffre was worried about the money, but the organisation cared about trust. Losing the money is a one-off thing. But not trusting someone is forever. Trustworthiness and credibility;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (Mathis giving up the police chief to be trusted);
    • Grace under fire (Bond resisting torture and making fun of him) + paradox intention (Taking your biggest fear/flaw and making it your strength);
    • Trustworthiness and credibility (The organisation caring only about trust, not the money);

01:56:15

Bond and Vesper after he wakes up

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Interesting that Bond presents a contradiction, when he says, “Oh, you’re warming up to me? Your attitude previously could be described as ‘loathing'”. It’s a playful accusation, but also a test, to get her to admit she now likes him. And she says, “I’m a complicated woman”, which is conforming it, also in a playful way. Very realistic, usual type of playful accusation to get the other side to state they like the person;
    • Can also be considered a type of accelerating to a justification. he’s saying, in a way, “Why do you like me?”, and getting her to prove herself;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity contradiction/testing and obstacles/accelerating to a justification (Bond telling Vesper she’s not behaving like before);

02:16:20

Bond and M’s conversation

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • A simple case of permission manipulation here. That is, now that Vesper is gone, Bond gives himself permission to go back to work, and to turn on that ruthlessness again;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Bond giving himself permission to go back to being ruthless since Vesper is gone);

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