James Bond may be shaken and stirred by Rome’s rot

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Feb 07, 2015 13:32 IST

James Bond, the British secret agent, carries the licence to kill. But this privilege can be self-limiting if 007 were to be checkmated by decay and decadence.

With just about a couple of weeks to go before the new Bond saga, Spectre, is shot in Rome by director Sam Mendes (best known for American Beauty and an earlier Bond thriller, Skyfall), the city -- which, as the legend says, was built by the Wolf children, Romulus and Remus -- is garbage-ridden and graffiti- splattered.

What a contrast to the picture-postcard imagery of Rome with its majestically tall structures which seem to disappear into the clouds, its ornate squares and lush gardens!

If Mendes and his men had imagined getting the dashing Bond in Saville Row suits to chase villains through the grand streets of Rome, the production team could be sorely disillusioned.


A number of sequences are to be filmed in Rome, and these include night-time car chases through historic centres and on the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele II thoroughfare. Also, there is a much-talked about parachute drop of 007 from a helicopter on the 15th-century Ponte Sisto Bridge.

The Bridge has been in a state of dilapidation with garbage strewn all over, while the neighbouring Tiber Farnesia Street – scene of the car chase – looks equally pathetic.

Spectre will have Daniel Craig returning on his fourth outing as the secret agent, and Mendes will be directing him the second time. Double Oscar clincher Christoph Waltz, French star Léa Seydoux and Italy’s Monica Bellucci will essay important roles.

Spectre will open in the UK on October 23 and in the US on November 6.

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