18 November 2006

Casino Royale - Cultural Observations

Saw Casino Royale in a packed cinema studio this week and thought I would share a few random thoughts with my readers. Firstly, I found myself glancing at my watch for the last third of the film. I think I could have left after 90 minutes quite happily.

Secondly, I'd like to say that the world's newest state of Montenegro came out of the film smelling of roses. In the film, I noted the most picturesque spots in the beautiful historic Bohemian towns of Cesky Krumlov and Karlovy Vary were depicted as Montenegro. I have attached pics of these towns that were taken from very similar spots to some in the film including at the bottom of the post the Grand Hotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary which was used for the hotel scenes and is one of the venues used at the wonderful Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Whilst I would love to visit this new and tiny state, initial browsing of Montenegro doesn't indicate it would be easy to locate similarly opulent surroundings as those depicted in Casino Royale.

The final point of interest is what got the laughs. As some of the audience were howling with laughter at some of the pre-film ads, it's fair to suggest that the theatre was packing an uncharacteristically bubbly Prague crowd. In the first scene of the movie - shot in a film noir style - we were introduced to an office in Prague, Czech Republic which received a ripple of sardonic laughter. The silhouette from the Prague office was a high-rise skyline which is certainly not the Prague of today. Ho hum.

An early line that raised the roof was when Judi Dench said talking about 007 embarassing the service "in the past, he would have had the good sense to defect - Christ I miss the Cold War". I wander if that got the same reaction in the West.

And the bit that got the biggest laugh was when Bond said Guten Tag to the fat German tourists whose car he had just totalled - the Czechs loved that.

Personally, I liked the humanity and fallibility of James Craig's Bond, but I don't think this film will go down as a all-time great, mainly because it dragged. Maybe the next one?

7 comments:

james higham said...

Pity you have no e-mail contact because I just ran a post on you. Nice to see a site like this running.

Praguetory said...

Thanks for the link from your aesthetically pleasing site. Although my post was based on watching the film I happen to know one of the crew on Casino Royale so I might be able to give you a more in-depth description of the locations if that is of interest. I have an e-mail address on my mybloglog profile that can be used.

Anonymous said...

ACH JO........

Ellee said...

I think your insight on the locations were great. I shall still go and see the film, despite your mixed reviews, there are not that many that the whole family can enjoy with teenagers.

Anonymous said...

My ex and my youngest daughter both say they were bored when they saw it last night. I will still give it a go though.

Praguetory said...

I am finding the drooling reviews a little incomprehensible. Let us know how you get on Duncan and Ellee. Borat is out here this week. ;-).

Anonymous said...

I went to see Casino Royale yesterday and must say that despite it's certainly not a typical Bond movie (its plot, fights and of course, Daniel Craig are quite different from what we were used to so far), I liked it very much and once again I'm in 'a 007 mood' - I have downloaded Bond-ringtone to my mobile device and hanged a Casino Royale poster in my office :) Although I agree with PT that there were at least 2 moments in the film when I thought that it's the end.