Report Underwhelmed By The Opening Ceremony in Beijing 2008 Summer Games Posted August 8, 2008 Frankly, I was expecting a lot from the Beijing's opening ceremony, and the more you expect the greater disappointment you will get.Perhaps it's the impression that Zhang Yi Mou; with his tasteful elegance and timeless aesthetic of his films will be translated into a live event with cinematic quality. And it didn't. The countdown started with full excitement and grandiosity, but quickly dragged on to become a dull segment of thousand drummers. The very first rhythm is lost and there never seemed to be a high point of the performance (except for the cauldron). It all looks like a military parade with absolute precision. Individual qualities of its people are cast aside and each of them is made to perform like a machine. Intricate and gorgeous costume lost its uniqueness and appeal when 2,008 performers are all identical. No doubt the precision of the formation is admirable, but it took away the soul of the human performer behind it. It is breathtaking and grand yet suffocatingly controlled. The floor/ roof video technology is impressively advanced, but they were overused to tell the story/ filled with images that at some points they became distracting and patronising at times for trying to explain too much. The cauldron lighting is unexpected of course, but felt a bit too similar to Atlanta's. The cauldron lighter seems uncomfortably-hanged and is swallowed by the scale of the video and structure. The running is too long which culminates in an underwhelmed way of lighting the cauldron through a roughly made gutter. But praise must be given to the Chinese for putting together such a well choreographed and disciplined performance. But I was expecting a ceremony which move away from the cliche China and presenting to the world a country is more advanced than we thought. In the end, they want the world to know that one world means one China. We must have been watching different ceremonies, because I thought it was a triumph. The 'scroll & picture' narrative was wonderfully imaginative and very symbolic. Furthermore, the ceremony was that much better for not being just like a conventional Olympic ceremony. It was refreshing not to see a segment on the birth of the Games or Athenian culture. We've been there and done that at every ceremony already. This made a refreshing change. Instead the Chinese offered us a slice of their past, present and future (albeit selective and santised). They stayed true to themselves and the theme, and for me, everything flowed perfectly. Indeed it didn't feel anyway as near as segmented or as confused as other ceremonies I've watched. The lighting of the Torch was stunning. It was original, innovative and visually effective, and it wasn't a 'cauldron' on top of the stadium, but a Torch. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the global contention is that the ceremony was the best yet. Indeed those were the words of ITV news in the UK. If you ask me, London will do very well to even get close to what Beijing presented to the world.