‘The Other Fellow’ Shows the Ordinary Lives of People Named James Bond

Ulises Duenas


Having a famous name can be a conversation starter or a way to ensure that you will be made fun of as a child. Depending on the name and circumstances, it could be a blessing or a curse, but for most men named James Bond, it’s been a hindrance, and “The Other Fellow” documents this.


The documentary starts by showing the lives of various men around the world who are named James Bond. Many aren’t fans of the movies and have grown to despise their name because of the annoyances it has brought them in life. Things get more interesting when the film focuses on a man in Denmark who has become famous in his community for embracing the character to the point of obsession. 



As a boy, this man discovered Ian Fleming’s books about Bond’s fictitious escapades and he created a fantasy in his head that the books were about his father who abandoned his family when he was a young boy. He convinced himself that if his father was still around, he would have taught him how to be exactly like James Bond, and so he molded his entire personality and lifestyle after the superspy. He’s the most interesting character in the film, and I wish it focused more on him because the script feels often unfocused.


It’s hard to nail what the general theme of this documentary is since it hops between different stories often. It’s just an exploration of how having the name James Bond has affected so many different people’s lives. It led to one man being falsely imprisoned for murder, gave a woman the chance to hide her son’s identity from her ex-husband-turned-stalker, and it gave one man the opportunity to be in an online casino ad, even though he hated doing it. Some of the stories are interesting; others are not as much, so the whole film ends up feeling scattershot with its approach.



The use of dramatized reenactments keeps “The Other Fellow” from feeling stale or played out in its second half. The editing and choice of subjects are a mixed bag, and when it all comes together, it doesn’t make for a standout documentary -- which is a shame because there’s a lot of potential in some of the stories that should have been fleshed out more.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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