“I may not be great, but I’m an original.”George Lazenby
A charmingly constructed dramatised narrative of George Lazenby’s colourfully defiant life, as told by the man himself, Becoming Bond is in essence an audiovisual autobiography where the veracity of the personal account is as questionable as it is insightful. Given that Lazenby’s story includes a litany of admissions to acts of duplicity (including fabricating an acting career to land the role of Bond), the man’s relationship with the truth is evidently strained. At one point the filmmaker intervenes to ask him directly how much of the story is true, which Lazenby deflects, “how could I remember it if it wasn’t true?” In many ways it doesn’t matter — this is Lazenby’s story. Although marketed as a unique style of documentary, it actually bears a strong resemblance to Holy Flying Circus, an underrated fictionalised account of the controversy surrounding the release of The Life of Brian, presented in the style of Monty Python. In both cases, the nature of the individuals is the core of the movie and so, as I have often said of fiction, just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it isn’t true.