Wanted in Prague
In Universal Studios 2008 production of Wanted, Wesley Gibson (James Mcavoy) is just a normal guy who discovers he has a new destiny set in place for him. Forced into the Brotherhood of Assassins by Sloan (Morgan Freeman) and Fox (Angelina Jolie), Gibson struggles to commit to this new found destiny, ultimately discovering the truth of his father’s murder as well as the deceit within the Brotherhood (it’s also referred to as the Fraternity of Assins).
The film, which was mainly shot in Prague, highlights one of Prague’s most famous sites and also the interior of an old factory. Charles Bridge (the famous site) is a Gothic stone bridge that connects Mala Strana and Old Town together. It has a dirty, rustic feel and at first glance, does not seem aesthetically appealing, however, up a closer look, the bridge seems to almost reveal its history to us, that warn-in yet timeless feel.
Much of the movie was shot in an old sugar factory in Prague that was built in 1914. All the ‘Fraternity’ and ‘loom factory’ scenes took place in this plant. I was fascinated mostly by this factory because this is not a place I was expecting to see in a place like Prague. In a way, these scenes in the factory made me think, as Kolton notes that, “…contemporary films which deal with the Westerner traveling to the less developed world project a fantasy of self-discovery and “authentic” experience for the traveler, as well as an inevitable confrontation with extreme danger upon seeking this unconventional encounter.” There is something very both unconventional and authentic within the depiction of this sugar factory (post industrial, steel beams, rivets, etc).
I’m used to thinking of Prague as this fairy-tale castle town, which is why I found it quite interesting that the director chose to shoot it in a factory that presents Prague in a different light. I hope that my experience abroad will surpass my current expectations and introduce me to a Prague I am unaware of.