Danny Boyle Enchanted and Amused In an Unmistakably British Opening Ceremony
Danny Boyle bewildered,enchanted and amused in equal measure in an Olympic ceremony that showcased thebest of British. Especially the sense of humour of a nation that knows how topoke fun at itself.
It began with fields in thenewly constructed Olympic stadium. The ceremony eventually took us fromBritain’s agrarian past through the industrial revolution; right up to thedigital age.
It may have been cheesy butperhaps the stand out moment of was Queen Elizabeth II making her acting debut- playing herself - with Daniel Craig as James Bond. Two British icons. Onefictional. One real. It was a truly bizarre moment. Yet amusingly weird andquintessentially British.
Political observerscouldn’t help but notice some of the stand out themes of the show. But therewas something for everyone. The left had a celebration of the NHS and the tradeunion movement, while the right had a show that was unmistakably pro-union.
Being a movie director -with films like Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire under his belt -there was bound to be a twist at the end. We were not to be disappointed. Thegreat mystery leading up to the ceremony was who would light the Olympiccauldron. Would it be David Beckham? Sir Steve Redgrave? The Queen, in herJubilee year?
As it turned out; none ofthe above.
Although a shot of DavidBeckham - not unlike James Bond himself - speeding along the thames in a speedboat transporting the flame, seemed to answer the question early in theceremony. But it was a classic case of misdirection. Dave pulled up, passed theflame to Sir Steve Redgrave. Oh right, we thought, it’s Steve.
Seven Olympic legends,including Redgrave, passed the flame on to seven young British athletes whorepresented a continuity of British Olympic hope. The hopes, dreams andaspirations of an olympic country passed down the generations. Or in the tagline of the London 2012 games:
Inspire a generation.
And Danny Boyle’s openingceremony certainly did that. Now if only the games could live up to such an auspiciousstart.
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