Monday, March 4, 2013

HOT: Da Vinci Code

I can remember back in 2003 (possibly 2004) when this book came out and it was all of the rage. Everyone I knew was reading it and they kept telling me that I would love it - it would be right up my ally.

As you can expect I never read the book. The last non-biography, sports book I even tried to read was the first Harry Potter book and that was on my honeymoon. As I've said in the past - if the book is good enough it will eventually be a movie - and I was right.

Tom Hanks stars as Robert Langdon in Da Vinci Code. Langdon is a symbologist who is summoned to a murder. Hidden at the murder scene are clues as to the murderer and the reason for the murder.

He is overseen by Capt. Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) and is helped by French cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tatou).

To say this is a hard film (book) to explain is an understatement. In essence Langdon and Neveu pretty much find and follow clues that show that the bible and most of what the Catholic church follows turns out to be a lie - with examples of Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and a female writing one of the gospels.

Bishop Manuel Aringarosa (Alfred Molina) and his albino monk Silas (Paul Bettany) will do anything - including murder - to protect the teachings of the Catholic church and track down the 'keystone' which is a clue to the final resting place of Magdalene.

So, as if Neveu and Langdon don't have enough to worry about - they are out searching for clues that are hundreds of years old, and hoping to figure those clues out, being followed and hounded by Fache and the French police, and a murderous albino monk is also chasing them down.

However, Langdon reaches out to an old friend Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen), who has spent most of his life studying the 'lost' pieces of the bible and the life of Jesus. He helps them capture the albino monk - and elude the police in order to complete their mission ... for long enough.

Would I have liked this book? Absolutely. I really enjoyed this movie, especially the first time I saw it. And, I am glad I waited to watch the movie - they even got my favorite actor for the lead role.

I love this sort of thing - symbols, clues, etc. and to do it with a subject matter as off-limits as religion and the Catholic church in general has been is outstanding.

I am not as 'educated' as Hanks' character or Teabing's character to even know what the name of many of the paintings or books they are speaking about. But showing the clues that are in these work - whether real or perceived - I found absolutely interesting.


1 comment:

  1. This movie was a travesty in comparison to the book. The book isn't high literature or anything, but it's a really entertaining thriller. The film completely destroys it, cutting or changing almost all the best puzzles or thrills. They even changed the ending. And Tom Hanks wasn't the best Langdon, either. Or at least his hair wasn't. :P

    Funnily enough, this was a better book than movie, but Angels and Demons (which is a sequel in the films but a prequel in the books) was a better movie than book.