Start of minute 8-9

Le Chiffre..

.. arrives to the Ugandan camp. He is dressed for business in a brown suit, deep aubergine shirt and black on black grid check tie. He is also wearing dress shoes which suggests he has no other mode, strictly business. It’s also a way to show he is a man completely out of his element as he has not dressed accordingly for the jungle. A nice quote on the Bond Suits blog by Matt Spaiser breaks down this Chris Kerr suit very well,

The darker a shirt is, the less formal it is, and shirts darker than medium shades are not formal enough to wear with most suits. By boldly showing they don’t follow the rules of dressing up, they’re also showing that they don’t follow other rules.

Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre casino royale

Mads Mikkelsen as Casino Royale (2006)

Heroes and Villains

Le Chiffre and Steven are the only ones talking.

The money is shown and Le Chiffre takes a hit of his inhaler. We see that one eye is lacking pigment and has a scar running down it. Classic Bondian trope. The villain will usually be scarred or have an impediment of some kind. He thinks he is a man whose reputation proceeds him and doesn’t need to beg for this money. He believes he is the one presenting the deal.

Steven is the one that asks if he believes in God. Why would he ask that? I think he wants to know if there is anything beneath this icy exterior. Is there any humanity in Le Chiffre? Can he connect with him on any level? Maybe he wants to him to know that there is a higher power. He sees Le Chiffre as someone who thinks he believes he could be God. He has freakish mathematical like powers. Which is also a strange super power. One of connivance, intellectual mathematical ability. One who believes in numbers.

Steven Obanno meets Le Chiffre in Casino Royale

Isaach De Bankolé plays Steven Obanno in Casino Royale (2006)

Higher Power

Le Chiffre responds coldly, No I believe in a reasonable rate of return. Which deep down, is probably something that Steven wants to hear. There is no God factor when it comes to lending someone this amount of money. No God can be blamed if it all goes wrong. God has zero involvement in this, and there are no acts of God that will prevent Steven from getting his reasonable rate of return.

Some shots of Mr White in the background, but he is giving nothing away.

From IMDB 

He says he hadn’t watched any Bond films before getting the role. He lied in the audition and said he had. Also he knew that there was pressure, but not as much as Daniel had. So I think that made it easy on him to do the film.

In the book Le Chiffre is a Russian agent who squanders his bosses money in an ill advised venture and tries to win it back through baccarat. In the film he is a money launderer for international terrorists, makes a bad investment in sky fleet and tries to win it back in a high stakes poker. No Smersh, Russians, not in the mix at this point.

Mads Mikkelsen in Pusher (1996) Image sourced IMDB

Daniel Craig’s input

Daniel spotted Mads in Pusher and said he’d be great Martin Campbell agreed and casted him without auditioning.

In the Daniel Craig biography by Sarah Marshall, Mads is quoted as saying,

You have to make some specific choices when you do a character like that. And since he plays poker a lot and wears his poker face, we decided that Le Chiffre is a poker face. He doesn’t let his feelings out and he’s lived all his life like an iceman; in the shade, never outside, almost like a vampire. He’s not an open charming fellow, he doesn’t use a lot of energy to get what he wants. It seems as if he almost doesn’t care about anything.

Final thoughts;

It’s a shame we couldn’t weave a dance scene in with Mads. He is a trained dancer and gymnast, it would have been good to see him strut some stuff and go up against Bond in a balletic v brawn punch up. When Mads played Hannibal there is a great scene where he squares off against Laurence Fishbourne, it’s a terrific fight but it starts with Mads launching himself over a kitchen counter showing off his dexterity.

Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (2006)

End of minute 9