Unexpected return to Venice

Tonight we watched The Tourist. We watched it for a number of reasons. Firstly because Johnny Depp is in it – more or less a guarantee of a bit of fun if nothing else – secondly because it looked like a good Saturday night film and thirdly, because it takes place in Venice.

The most amazing thing was the train journey from Paris. A luxurious journey across green fields with plenty of empty seats and a wonderful dining car with tables, chairs and table cloths. It also didn’t take 13 hours. Suspending my disbelief for a lot, it still isn’t possible to leave Paris mid morning and arrive at Venice in the light. Also there are few green fields once you reach Italy. But let’s ignore that bit of fantasy.

Once they arrive in Venice, the crowds appear to consist of about 50 businessmen in suits with brief cases. No tourists jostling for position at the ticket offices, no hordes sitting on the steps just outside the station. This is a Venice never before seen. Anyone watching this would love to go. Like Disney’s Fantasyland, it seems to be the happiest kingdom of them all.

From the station, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie take a river taxi to their hotel. This is perfectly reasonable except as they pull away from the station they are immediately in the lagoon. Again, this is not possible but looks wonderful.

Ignoring the inconsistencies and impossibilities and wondering how they managed to film in Venice anyway (they must have closed it all from tourists during filming) it’s a good job the film doesn’t have smell-o-vision since they spend a lot of time on the water. At one point an Italian policeman ends up in a canal and doesn’t immediately get dysentery – highly unlikely.

The film was a bit of fun and fluff but it can only convince people that Venice is romantic and a pleasant world destination. The truth would have ruined the film. I much prefer the European scenes in The Bourne Identity where they manage to mix the realistic grottiness of Paris with wonderful footage of the countryside.

Anyway, apart from that, the day was spent picking up the dogs (mad, crazy things) and going into Farnham to see the design for our possibly new kitchen. Beautiful is the only word that can describe the design. Mixed with the conservatory design, the house would be transformed. It’s just a pity the computer model can’t just be added to the house with a press of a button rather than go through the pain of building works.

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