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Queen in a helicopter, Beckham on a boat: what more can you ask for?

United Kingdom,Sports, Sat, 28 Jul 2012 IANS

London, July 28 (IANS) What can you say about an opening ceremony of the Olympic Games that managed to get the queen of Britain into a helicopter with James Bond and David Beckham piloting a speedboat along the Thames river.

Director Danny Boyle spent 27 million pounds on the opening ceremony and if anyone doubted whether or not the title "Isles of Wonder" was far-fetched, they won't now. Nor should they wonder where the money went, that was clear to see, report Xinhua.

The "Isles of Wonder" may have left some people confused, but as Boyle said in his pre-ceremony briefing: "You do the show for yourselves, you have to. I try to represent the whole country."

Not just the whole country, but a whistle-stop tour through British culture from a pastoral idyll to the industrial revolution in a shift of scene which saw the fields lifted up and replaced by smoking chimneys to force five Olympic rings among the white heat of change and war. In minutes, the Olympic Stadium was filled with smokestacks and machinery, and a reflection of the social upheaval that it brought in its wake.

It was fast, dynamic and on a huge scale, perhaps on such a big scale that some segments may have been hard to see, but to criticise too much would be nit-picking.

Boyle said he had tried to reflect the values that "are honest and true", and nothing reflects that more than the British National Health service, which ensures everyone can receive free medical treatment no matter their class, wealth or status.

A dance with nurses, who all work for the NHS reflected that wonderfully, while the "sick" children provided the stage to highlight children's literature.

A glimpse at some of the characters on view -- Lord Vordemort, the Queen of Hearts, Peter Pan, the Childcatcher and the savior of the hour, Mary Poppins, who descended in multitude to vanquish the bad guys gave just a glimpse of just how many of our loved personalities have come from these eyes.

Mr.Bean was also there, as was a homage to British cinema, British family life and a run through pop-culture.

The final section of the ceremony celebrated digital communication and ran through some of the hits and TV shows of the 1960s, 70s and 80s up to the present.

The section even began to the music from long-running radio show "The Archers", itself a reflection of the change these islands have undergone.

All in all, it was carried out with speed, skill and perhaps most importantly, with affection. That is how it should be.

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