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Why Safin Doesn’t Age In No Time To Die | Screen Rant

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for No Time To Die

Given the lengthy passage of time involved in the new Bond flick, audiences are confused as to why the main villain, Safin, doesn't appear to age at all in No Time To Die. Despite playing a crucial role in the movie's opening, set at least 20 years before the main events of the plot, Rami Malek seems to be much the same age throughout the movie. However, although this detail seems like an oversight, there may actually be a reasonable explanation for the unusual creative choice.

Rami Malek's Safin appears in the opening moments of No Time To Die, seen invading the home of a young Madeleine Swann and her mother. Wearing a distinctive kabuki theatre mask, Safin murders Swann's mother as he attempts to locate her father, before chasing the child out onto a frozen lake. However, as she falls into the freezing water, Safin suddenly has a change of heart and saves her from the icy depths. This establishes a poignant connection between the two characters that runs throughout the film.

Related: Does No Time To Die’s Ending Do Daniel Craig Justice?

The rest of the narrative makes it clear that the events of the prologue happened a considerable time before the main narrative arc of No Time To Die gets underway. Despite this, however, when an unmasked Safin does eventually reappear, he seems to have hardly aged at all – perhaps aided by the fact that actor Rami Malek is himself a fairly youthful-looking 40-year-old. At first glance, Malek's lack of age seems to be a major plot hole, given that since his last appearance, Madeleine Swann has transformed from a child to a woman. However, although the clues are subtle, there is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that Malek's character has in fact changed more than seems immediately obvious.

One hint towards Safin's physical transformation over time comes when he first attacks Swann's home. After Swann shoots him in an attempt to defend herself, part of the villain's mask fractures away, revealing a portion of his face underneath. From what's visible, it's clear that his skin has been altered by exposure to something that the audience later learns is poison, with deep bluish lines across his features. However, by the time he surprises Swann at her place of work as part of his plan to kill Blofeld, these striking blue marks are no longer as defined as they were in the opening – suggesting that time has indeed changed the character.

Not only are there signs that Safin does actually age, but it's also important to note that the villain himself is not intended to be an elderly Bond adversary. His backstory and motivation revolves around his childhood, during which his entire family was murdered by the Spectre organization. Given that his quest for revenge begins so young, it makes sense that the man seen in the opening if far younger than many typical Bond villains. It's also true that, though what viewers see of Safin's face initially appears of a similar age to Malek's unobscured appearance later in the film, it is still partially covered by a mask – in reality, he may have seemed significantly different during the No Time To Die introduction. Either way, the duration of Safin's grudge, bourne out of intense childhood trauma means that his seemingly ageless looks reveal how his vendetta has ultimately defined his entire life. It might seem initially jarring, but his relatively young appearance actually helps to make Safin even more terrifying.

More: Casino Royale: Why James Bond 21 DIDN'T Recast Judi Dench's M


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