From East to West
Tania Romanova would do anything for Mother Russia.
Ordered to seduce James Bond, she brazenly sneaks into his hotel room and waits for him naked in his bed. It seems that in Soviet Russia, the bridal suite comes with a free bride.
Weirdest Job Interview Ever
Prior to taking the mission, Tatiana's grilled by Rosa Klebb (aka Number Three) to see if she's down for the task. After Klebb checks her up and down, with obvious interest, she continues:
KLEBB: And then you have had three lovers? Did you enjoy their attention?
TANIA: What is the purpose of such an intimate question?
KLEBB: You are not here to ask questions! You forget to whom you are speaking! Did you enjoy it?
TANIA: I was in love.
KLEBB: And if you were not in love?
TANIA: I suppose that would depend... on the man.
KLEBB: Sensible answer.
We're not sure what the sexual mores are in Russia in the 1960s. Considering that country's reputation, we'd imagine them to be pretty conservative. But here, Tania shows herself to be a modern Western girl with a liberal attitude toward sex. Or at least toward using sex to ensnare an enemy spy.
Hey, we get it. We've seen The Americans.
As Tania gets closer to Bond, she seems to be genuinely attracted to him. This is an occupational hazard for all "Bond girls." We're unsure what quality is more appealing to Tania—his sexy back hair or the door he opens to being Westernized. Early on in her relationship with Bond, she expresses a bit of envy.
TANIA: Am I as exciting as all those Western girls?
And later, when Tania's assigned her fake identity as Caroline Somerset, she's overjoyed.
TANIA: Caroline! I like that name.
It seems that despite her loyalty to her country, the appeal of escaping cold Soviet Russia for a more liberal Western climate might be appealing to her.
Of course, there's also the possibility that she actually is falling in love with James Bond. We have no idea why. Yes, the back hair is alluring, but he's oddly insecure around her, he's probably using her just to get her decoder machine, and he makes her get up and answer the door when Kerim Bey knocks on their train cabin door. Rude.
Oh, and there's also the fact that he hits her.
After Bond strikes Tania, she pleads with him.
TANIA: I know I love you, James. I love you.
BOND: Just tell me.
TANIA: I love you, I love you, it's true.
"Sure," isn't exactly convincing us that Bond loves Tania or feels any remorse for hitting her because he thought she was working against him. Her repeated cries of love sound more like an abuse victim trying to convince her abuser not to hit her. We know she's Russian and Bond is British, but this is starting to sound like Stockholm Syndrome. To prove her loyalty to Bond, she shoots Klebb dead when her superior tries to take the Lektor machine.
Like Bond, Tania's not a complicated character. She has to hit all the marks for a typical Bond love interest: beautiful, seductive, dangerous, smart. When we last see her, she appears at peace with Bond in Venice. Is she really in love with him? Just using him to get out of Russia?
If it's the latter, at least the feeling's mutual.