Currently watching Body of Lies with the Boy. The film opens with stark white letters against a black background. Manchester, England they proclaim. Then, an interior shot. Suspicious looking arab men do insidious things. A threat is made. We are inside a dark apartment; grubby windows, shabby furniture. Outside…we’re clearly not in Manchester, England.
Everything is wrong. The buildings, the pavement, the elevated train, the garbage cans. Nothing about it looks remotely Mancunian. It looks like the set of The Wire. A quick trip to IMBD reveals that some of the film WAS shot in Baltimore, Maryland.
I get that films can’t always be shot on location. Morocco stands in for Iraq; rural Ukraine for medieval England, but throwing in a red phone box and calling it a day seems a tad lazy. I’ve never seen metal Oscar the Grouch-style garbage cans anywhere in the UK. Would it really have been a stretch to replace them with plastic ones? Seems like such a small detail that would have helped to change the atmosphere. Made it a tad more authentic.
I bring it up because already, not even 2 whole minutes into the film, I don’t believe it. I’m not in the film; I’m aware it’s a set piece. Now I’m curious. Who else has watched a film only to be jolted out of it in a similar way? Anyone notice slightly off sets or locations?