|James Bond character|
|Portrayed by||Javier Bardem|
|Affiliation||Spectre (former MI6 agent)|
Raoul Silva (real name Tiago Rodriguez) is a fictional character and the primary antagonist in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. He is portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem. A former MI6 agent, he turns to cyberterrorism and begins targeting the agency he used to work for as part of a plan to get revenge against M, against whom he holds a homicidal grudge.
Skyfall establishes that Silva's real name is Tiago Rodriguez, and that he once was a part of Station H, the MI6 division based in Hong Kong before China took control, specialising in cyberterrorism. When he hacked into the Chinese government's top secret files, M, who was the head of Station H at the time, allowed them to take him prisoner in exchange for the return of six previously captured agents and a peaceful transition of sovereignty. He was tortured for five months, until finally he attempted suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule. He survived, but was left disfigured, with a misshapen jaw, rotted teeth and a sunken left eye socket. He wears a dental prosthetic to conceal his disfigurements. At some point he escaped from Chinese custody and reinvented himself as Raoul Silva, a cyberterrorist for hire, and began forming a plan to get revenge against M.
One of Silva's henchmen, Patrice, steals a hard drive containing the names and locations of MI6 agents operating undercover within terrorist groups; Silva begins uploading their identities and aliases onto YouTube, resulting in several agents being murdered. Silva then targets MI6 headquarters by sabotaging the building's gas main, causing an explosion that kills several agents. M sends Bond to Shanghai to find and kill Silva. Bond seduces Silva's lover, a prostitute named Sévérine, who promises to take Bond to him in return for her freedom; ultimately, however, Silva intimidates her into betraying Bond. Upon taking Bond captive, Silva forces him at gunpoint to participate in a game of William Tell, in which the target is a shot glass of scotch balanced on Sevérine's head. When Bond intentionally misses her, Silva shoots her dead. Bond then kills Silva's men. Moments later, MI6 helicopters arrive to take Silva into custody having been signaled by an emergency distress radio given to Bond by Q.
At MI6's underground headquarters in London, M confronts Silva, who taunts her that his plan is already in motion. Q attempts to decrypt Silva's laptop, but inadvertently gives it access to the MI6 systems, allowing Silva to escape from MI6 custody. Bond realises that Silva wanted to be captured as part of a plan to kill M.
Silva flees into the London Underground, with Bond in pursuit. Silva diverts through London's sewers. When Bond finally catches up to him, Silva detonates an explosive charge that sends a runaway subway train coming straight for Bond, who narrowly escapes. Silva, along with several accomplices, barge into a government hearing where M is giving a deposition, but fails to kill her. Bond barges in and a gunfight follows, in which Silva's plans are disrupted and Bond manages to flee, taking M with him.
Silva follows Bond and M to the former's childhood home in Scotland, where his men open fire. He pursues a mortally wounded M to a chapel at the side of the house, and begs her to kill them both by firing a bullet through her head and into his. At that moment, however, Bond appears and throws a knife into Silva's back, killing him.
In other films
In the following Bond film, Spectre, Ernst Stavro Blofeld reveals that Silva had worked with and been supported by SPECTRE, a worldwide criminal organization, along with Le Chiffre and Dominic Greene, the villains of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, respectively.
The scene in which Silva and Bond first met raised eyebrows among critics and fans alike for its supposed homoerotic subtext. In the scene Silva strokes Bond's thighs and chest while interrogating the secret agent, who is tied to a chair.
Silva: Look what she's done to you.
Bond: Yes, well, she never tied me to a chair.
Silva: Her loss. [begins tracing along Bond's chest with his finger]
Bond: Are you sure this is about M?
Silva: It's about her, and you, and me. We are the last two rats, and we can either eat each other... [lascivious grin] ...or we can eat everyone else. Ah, you're trying to think back to your training. What's the regulation to cover this? Oh well... [strokes Bond's thighs] ... there's a first time for everything.
Bond: What makes you think this is my first time?
Silva: Oh, Mr. Bond!
The scene ignited speculation that screenwriter John Logan, who is gay, intended to imply that Silva and Bond are gay or bisexual. Logan denied this in an interview with The Huffington Post, saying, "Some people claim it's because I'm, in fact, gay but not true at all. [Director Sam Mendes] and I were discussing, there were so many scenes in which Bond goes mano-a-mano with the villain, whether it's Dr. No or Goldfinger or whatever, and there's been so many ways to a cat-and-mouse and intimidate Bond, and we thought, what would make the audience truly uncomfortable is sexual intimidation; playing the homoerotic card that is sort of always there subtextually with characters like Scaramanga in 'Man With the Golden Gun' or Dr. No. So we just decided we would play the card and enjoy it."
- Gilbey, Ryan (27 October 2012). "Javier Bardem: is he the best ever Bond baddie?". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Crow, David (November 10, 2015). "007: Ranking the 24 James Bond Villains From Best to Worst". Den of Geek. London, England: Dennis Media. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Nashawatty, Chris (November 5, 2015). "Ranking All 24 James Bond Movies". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- DiGiacomo, Frank (October 15, 2012). "Is Bond Bi? Daniel Craig And Javier Bardem Weigh In Separately On Their Flirtatious Scene Together". Movieline. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Rosen, Christopher (November 6, 2012). "'Skyfall' Bisexual Scene: James Bond Screenwriter Reveals Impetus Behind Homoerotic Interrogation". The Huffington Post. New York City: Huffington Post Media Group. Retrieved April 18, 2017.