Sunday, May 21, 2006

Da Vinci Code Movie Review

I looked forward to the Da Vinci Code movie. Even though I disagreed with the theology and reworking of church history, I enjoyed the book. But I left the theatre on opening night feeling flat. I'm not sure what the problem was. I think the acting was fine. It held fairly true to the book. (I was actually a bit shocked because the movie was almost exactly how I had imagined it would be when I read the book). My guess is that there were some problems inherent to the fact that it was based on a book.

I'm not a fiction reader so I have rarely seen a movie based on a book I've read. I love a good movie, especially suspense movies. But having read the book, there was no suspense. I was never on the edge of my seat. And I kept noticing all the things omitted in the movie that were in the book. You can't help that. The book is over 450 pages. To do justice to the book you'd have to have a "24" version of the movie. So, all the interesting details from the book, especially about art and history, were gone.

Now, because of that, the movie wasn't nearly as controversial as the book was. The book went on for pages "documenting" the Holy Grail theory with interesting "facts". But, in the movie, the Grail theory was reduced to the idea of Leigh Teabing and came across far fetched and inconceivable where as in the book the theory is promoted by not only Teabing but Langdon and came across with much more authority. In fact, in the movie, Langdon actually challenges the theory, an obvious concession to the fury over the book. If you hadn't read the book, you'd probably wonder what all the fuss has been about because it appears obvious that the theory isn't true. Both Opus Dei and Teabing were skating on the edge of insanity.

I don't know how to rate The Da Vinci Code. If you've read the book, my guess is that you'll be entertained but not impressed. If you haven't read the book, you'll probably find it interesting but leave confused because there wasn't much explanation about the Opus Dei clandestine meetings. You'll want to go back and read the book to answer all your questions.

If your friends are looking for someone to join them, I'd go. Otherwise, wait for the video.