Friday, May 19, 2006
We caught the showing of The Da Vinci Code last night at the Galleria. My dad was the one who suggested that we see it which is a bit surprising considering that my Dad's a die hard Catholic (not so much with the "Roman" part after having a personal encounter with God some years ago). It was the first day of showing and we had to rush to the box office before settling down to have dinner so as to secure our place in one of the scheduled showings. My sister was also able to join us at the last minute. So what do I think about the film that generated so much controversy surrounding the person of Jesus? There was 50% disappointment for the handling of the story, 30% entertainment for the special effects and neat symbols, and 10% annoyance with the "big" revelation by Sir Ian McKellen's Teabing character halfway through the film.
Tom Hank's Robert Langdon was ok. The hair wasn't that distracting as I previously it would be. The deciphering parts were ok but there wasn't that much drawn out sense of urgency hanging over them. I haven't read the book yet so I haven't got any idea what was left out and what was changed but comparing it to previous movies with a treasure hunt theme (Nicholas Cage and "National Treasure" comes to mind right now) Director Ron Howard could have deepened the suspense a bit more by adding a few more details to keep the audience more involved with the characters. With regards to the religious side, aside from the annoyance in that one scene in the movie that I mentioned earlier it was majorly forgettable. This was beside my feeble rooting for Langdon for standing up to his old friend (who later turned out to be a raving maniac). We've all heard of the controversy before and there wasn't anything new to say. I'm not sure if those who are weak in the faith will have these shaken out of their system but the good news is that the dialogue about the person of Christ will hopefully help a lot of His followers open a discussion with those who are seeking the truth. The fanatical clergy of the Catholic Church and all those who called for the movie's ban can now heave a sigh of relief (too little, too late don't you think considering the book preceded the film for a good three years). As for the code itself, just in case you missed it, it's oval in shape, it comes in red and green colors and the French call it pomme. Too anticlimactic if you ask me. All these riddles and trouble for this everyday object. The only winner I see in all this hullabaloo are the tourism offices of Paris, London, and Scotland. Only they a very good reason to smile.
* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this controversial movie.