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The fuss about Dan Brown's best seller & this subsequent motion picture based upon it is perplexing. So what if Jesus had a wife & daughter? I'd prefer to believe that he had a completely fulfilling mortal life. Does Brown's well researched theory threaten Christendom? If so, how? My faith hasn't changed.
The Roman Catholic church has a vast history of condoning torturous & murderous gangs as the Inquisition & Crusades! Today, the same denomination is notorious for the largest child, teen & adult sexual harassment ring & cover-up by US bishops & cardinals in history. In contrast, Brown's theory isn't a violent one; in fact, it's heart warning to imagine a religious martyr having had a love life that produced a child after his death. There's more evidence in the Gospel of Thomas (that neither Brown's book nor Howard's film mention) in its final verse 114: Simon Peter tells Jesus to get rid of Mary because women don't belong in "the life" with men (disciples). Jesus responds in the last line of the verse, that he'll make Mary male, saying that any woman who makes herself male for God's sake will inherit the kingdom of heaven. He spoke in parables, remember? Not speaking literally about making Mary into a transsexual, Jesus refers to the irrelevance of sex & gender when it comes to spirituality. It's a 'conceivable' theory this movie 'incarnates'. Dan Brown's story, Akiva Goldsman's screenplay & Ron Howard's movie go like this:
On a business trip in Paris, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a symbologist from Harvard, learns that the curator, Jacques Saunière (Jean-Pierre Marielle), of the Louvre museum's dead & apparently murdered there. Once Professor Langdon meets with the French police captain, Bezu Fache (Jean Reno), they find cryptic writing near Saunière's body. Langdon (Hanks) has no trouble solving the encoded writing Saunière left on the Louvre's floor in front of Leonardo DaVinci's "Mona Lisa." 'Agent' Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), who's really a French cryptologist, meets Langdon at the scene & secretly warns him that to avoid Captain Fache who wants Langdon dead. Tension, thrill, chase & intrigue begin at this point.
Cryptologist Neveu & symbologist Langdon flea the Louvre death scene on the run for their lives. The clues they've both deciphered lead to are a hidden in plain sight secret in masterpieces by DaVinci.
The late curator was deeply involved with the Priory of Sion, a true life secret society that has allegedly protected 'The Holy Chalice' for 2000 years. In breakneck chases through Paris, London & points in between, Neveu & Langdon are tracked by members of Opus Dei, a nefarious, Papal approved, Catholic
fundamentalist-supremacist group that's planned to take possession of the Priory's secret charge. Neuve & Langdon hide at the estate of Langdon's professor friend, Sir Leigh Teabing (Sir Ian McKellen). Teabing joins with Neveu & Langdon to unravel the secret mysteries of history of their lifetimes.
Sir Ian McKellen proves that Tom Hanks is no match for his acting skill. There's humor for adults in line the 2 exchange:
Langdon (Hanks): The ancient male symbol was the blade, it's a basic phallus. It's still used today on military uniforms.
Sir Teabing (Sir McKellen): Yes & the more penises you have, the higher your rank. Boys will be boys!
Audrey Tautou as Sophie & Sir Ian McKellen as Teabing each have & deliver the best lines throughout "The DaVinci Code."
The Da Vinci Code is the controversial movie directed by Ron Howard and based on the best-selling Dan Brown novel that has made Mr. Brown a multi-millionaire and at the same time, angered Christians and Catholics around the world. The movie is sure to do the same. In the movie, Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, an American professor trapped in Paris after he is considered the prime suspect in the murder of a prominent French curator and historian. With the help of Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), Langdon manages to elude the police and begins to follow a series of hidden codes and puzzles that lead him to an ancient secret that a mysterious society has been hiding for more than 2000 years. If revealed this secret will shake the very foundation upon which Christianity and Catholicism have been built.
I have to admit I went into The Da Vinci Code fully knowing the negative buzz that has suddenly surrounded the movie in the last 24 hours following its screening at Cannes. Nevertheless, I went into the movie with a fairly open mind and really wanting to like this movie.
Unfortunately, for a movie with so much publicity, so much promise and so much hype surrounding it, Da Vinci is fairly disappointing. It's a tough book to tackle. There's a lot going on here and a lot that needs to be translated to the screen. But I'll tell ya, I read the book and there were parts of the movie I still found confusing. Between all the different characters, the subtitles, the flashbacks, the pointing guns, the cryptic messages, the prolonged dialogue, and Hanks' humoungous noggin, I'm not too sure how someone who hasn't read the book can totally follow what is happening. There are characters in the book who are central figures, yet in the movie, just seemed like a waste of film and make-up (ie. Alfred Molina's Bishop Aringarosa). The movie certainly seems to lack the urgency that exists in the book. And then there's Tom Hanks, who generally is one of my favourite actors and one of the best of our generation and he just seems to play the entire movie in a monotone, unexcited sort of fashion, despite his long, flowing hair and his acting does not stand out like we are accustomed to him doing.
Overall, I have to say that The Da Vinci Code does not live up to the high expectations it seems to have set for itself. The movie has received an extraordinary amount of publicity and in most cases, this would be a studio's dream. It should be interesting to see how this attention translates into box office dollars. There are millions and millions of religious folk who will not see this movie based on its anti-Christian and anti-Catholic premise and that is their right. Hopefully, a lot of them will take the high road and turn the other cheek because protesting will just encourage others to see the movie. Not that I'm against people seeing Da Vinci but wouldn't that just sabatoge the purpose of their protests? Because from what I'm seeing on the news and reading in the papers, there are going to be protests. Heck, I don't even blame them for being upset considering the movie claims the man upon which their entire religious belief is based was nothing more than a mere mortal who also happened to be married. Mr. Brown should be happy that most Christians and Catholics will turn the other cheek and not react like a handful of people did when a certain book written by a fellow named Salman Rushdie was published.
The Da Vinci Code is a movie that has been the object of critics' scorn since Cannes. Therefore when I went in my expectations were quite low. I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed this intellectual treasure hunt. Action sequences boldly intertwine with quieter scenes where codes and symbols are being deciphered to lead to the next clue. At times we get the back story of what has happened to a persecuted religious sect through out the ages. The flashbacks to ancient Rome are brief but beautiful. In addition there are some gorgeous locations for filming, among them the Louvre and Rosslyn.
Hanks and Tautou perform like the pros that they are--it is interesting that two actors known for their whimsical charms were cast in such serious roles. Generally actors starring in thrillers will be those known for their laconic delivery and quietly passionate intensity. However, Tom Hanks was playing a professor of symbology and as such he did a fine job.
The supporting cast reads like a list of international superstars: Alfred Molina, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno and Jurgen Prochnow--all were superb.
One of things I liked about this film is how it gave the audience the opportunity to view the world from the perspective of someone who is used to looking at symbols and their meanings, in particular of things that most of us don't even notice most of the time. It was an unusual and fascinating angle on perception.
This a movie that tries to pack some very deep concepts into the thriller/treasure hunt genre. Overall I think it succeeds rather well.
As a big fan of the best-selling book, I was disappointed in the movie. It is beautifully made with some of the most picturesque scenery ever shown in a movie: the Louvre, the Temple Church, Westminster Abbey, and finally Roslyn Church. The settings in the book truly come to life as Ron Howard captured the essences of the locales. Tom Hanks is great as Robert Langdon, an antiquities expert who gets pulled into the mystery of the Louvre curator's murder. Special and granddaughter of the Louvre victim, Agent Sofie Neveu (Audrey Tautou)is believable as his accomplice but is not electrifying in the part. It's too bad that a young Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren could not have played Sofie. Ian McKellan as Professor Leigh Teabing is also great as a mysterious helper in the story.
The story revolves around the 20 Century Old feud between the two Roman Catholic sects known as the Priory de Sion and Opus Dei. Supposedly, the Priory is protecting the remaining heirs of Jesus's marriage to Mary Magdalene. Opus Dei wants to find them and perhaps murder them. The chase in the movie is to find both the Opus Dei murderers and the remaining heirs as well.
But what is so disappointing was the ending, which was entirely different from the book and really not as forceful. Too bad. It ruined what could have been an extraordinary adaptation of a book to the screen!
Overall, this movie is still worth watching over and over because it is so visually beautiful. Try it, you'll like it--especially if you like the book.
As a Christian. seeking the mysteries of unknown within our Faith, this movie presents a challenge: a challenge for us to think, reflect and come to terms with what is important to each of us. The book was definitely a page-turner..once on film, it does lose some its 'punch'. None-the-less..Ron Howard and cast get in our face about what Christianity may or may not be to us respectively : IT IS ABOUT HOW DEAR WE HOLD OUR FAITH. DO WE DARE CHALLENGE OTHER BELIEFS AND THEORIES? No matter how devout we may be..this movie (and the book more so) moves us to look within and embraCE OR DEFLECT WHAT WE READ AND SEE..In the case of the movie..it does get in your face and we need to be strong in our faith, rather than throw stones..:Da Vinci Code is a perspective, theories,opinions..we all have them. There is always a sense of 'maybe' or'what if'..this movie is NOT doctrine..getting bent out of shape may indicate that we are threatened rather than being truly 'thinking, reflective"' human beings. That is how we were created./I believe the movie (and book) present a wonderful challenge for us to re-examine where we stand in our faith. It (movie)is a well presented piece of history, theory and wonder...not dogma 'We often seek to 'touch the face of GOD'. When one is challenged to look 'beyond' for enlightenment or perspective..I have noted many to rebel..the old "How dare you!" attitude.This was a marvelous work, encouraging us on the sub-level to look at who we are and our relationship with a being we believe to be OUR Father. The 'secret' society (OPUS DEI..and many, many more) is alive and well, into the 21st century..why is that? This work has stirred up many feelings..these need to be examined'not brushed of as 'Hollywood' or a just a good read. The Da Vinci Code raises questions..and doubts and a measure of intrigue to liver out and pursue our Christianity even further..after all...as long as we continue to be human..doubt and questions about any subject or belief, will continue to be challenge us.This work was just one of many. It was very well presented on screen (and in the book). It has served a purpose. Maybe some can get out of the laid back approach about our beliefs, religion, and being devout..like going to church on Sundays (for those who may still indulge in church-going) This work may have a purpose to renew and become strong in one's beliefs..be they (beliefs) what they are. No one can take that right away from you; nor do we have the right to throw stones at another's others views, beliefs or opinions (Mary Magdalene would a good laugh at our behavior). Watch the movie; read the book; don't take offense..rather, oen your mind and allow yourself to come away with a renewed purpose to look at what each one of us believes and cherishes. Cling to that and live it.
My view is this: BRAVO to Dan Brown and Ron Howard to test our strengthen in what we hold dear and precious in our spiritual life.