The film provided fans with a new Bond who had just reached 00 status. This change from the previous films in the series made it possible to present Bond as a less experienced agent with some vulnerabilities and a rougher edge. Bond always faces off against interesting enemies, and in Casino Royale, his enemy was Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen. Le Chiffre was able to challenge Bond in more than one way, making him a formidable foe.
Le Chiffre was a private banker who provided funds for terrorists around the world. He profited from terrorist attacks through short selling airline stocks, and was also able to fund his lifestyle by using his mathematical and analytical skills to play poker. Due to having haemolacria, his left eye weeps blood, a defining characteristic that makes Le Chiffre appear villainous, although he suggests that there is nothing sinister about it in the film.
One of the most interesting events that happens during this film is the Texas Hold’em tournament that is held at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. If you’re over 18 and wanting to experience your own game of Texas Hold’em or other card games, then there are plenty of live casino games to gamble on at websites such as Leo Vegas.
In the film, Le Chiffre participates in the game to recoup the millions he lost before anyone else finds out, which also sets up his first encounter with Bond. Le Chiffre and Bond enter an interesting battle of the minds, as Bond tries to bankrupt Le Chiffre and force him into seeking MI6 asylum, while Le Chiffre tries to win as much as possible in order to avoid being killed by his creditors.
As the tournament goes on, Le Chiffre is able to easily trounce Bond in Texas hold ’em poker, leading Bond to team up with CIA agent Felix Leiter to secure more funding when he can’t get any via treasury employee Vesper Lynd.
Le Chiffre also arranged for Bond to be poisoned by having his assistant spike Bond’s drink. Le Chiffre was arrogant in his methods and believed that there was no way Bond would be able to challenge him any further, but Bond was able to fight the poison with some help from Vesper and MI6, leaving Le Chiffre with a surprised expression when Bond returns to the poker table.
Throughout Casino Royale, arrogance is what leads to Le Chiffre’s success, and also causes his downfall. He had been used to success in stocks and poker that he wasn’t prepared to face failure. He was so confident in his plans and abilities, but had never encountered anyone like James Bond. However, there were some points during the film where it seemed like James had almost met his match with this Bond villain.
Le Chiffre had the upper hand against Bond at different points during the film, such as when he poisoned his martini at the poker table and when he had him tied up and interrogated. However, in the end Bond was able to use his own skills to counter Le Chiffre…with a bit of help from others.
Once Le Chiffre turned to desperate measures, the writing was already on the wall. Still, the encounter with Le Chiffre left a lasting impression on Bond, as the loyalty of his cohorts Mr. Mathis and Vesper were brought into question when it was revealed that they were in association with Le Chiffre. This left Bond wondering who he could truly trust.