Da Vinci Code (M)
In a word:
DA VINCI CODE: Tom Hanks plays Harvard professor Robert
Langdon and Audrey Tautou plays police cryptologist
Sophie Neveu in the film. PICTURE: Simon Mein
© 2006 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All
"The movie also reveals - in a way that only
film can - how sudden and ludicrous some of the plot
jumps made in the book are and how easily its two
chief protagonists - Harvard professor of symbology
Robert Langdon and police cryptologist Sophie Neveu
- seem to simply accept the arguments presented to
seen it. And no, I haven’t abandoned my faith as a result.
The Da Vinci Code is a fast-paced thriller which
- in line with Dan Brown’s book of the same name - strings
together a wide range of bizarre and largely discredited esoterica
in a bid to create what is ultimately an unbelievable conspiracy
theory surrounding the beliefs of the Christian church.
While Ron Howard-directed movie is a fair reflection of the
book’s plot, it suffers from having to squash a reasonably
complicated plot into a tight time-frame (although at well
over two hours, its a long film).
The movie also reveals - in a way that only film can - how
sudden and ludicrous some of the plot jumps made in the book
are and how easily its two chief protagonists - Harvard professor
of religious symbology, Robert Langdon, and police cryptologist
Sophie Neveu - seem to simply accept the arguments presented
The film does water down some of the book’s more intense
scenes and portrays Langdon as more open-minded toward Christianity
than he appears in the book. It also employs flashbacks to
illustrate some of the supposed “historical” events
outlined in the book - although in this case the use of such
a device seems to only underline their dubiousness.
Tom Hanks, who plays Langdon, puts in a workmanlike performance
- this is not going to be remembered as one of his greatest
roles - as does Audrey Tautou (who plays Neveu) and Jean Reno
(who plays the detective Bezu Fache). Paul Bettany is probably
the standout as the psychotic monk Silas, followed by Ian
McKellan, who plays Sir Leigh Teabing.
Much as was the case with the book, Christians will be offended
by some of the more bizarre and erroneous claims presented
here - particularly that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene,
had a child, and was nothing more than a gifted man - but
at the end of the day, these heresies - and the many inaccuracies,
both historical and otherwise - referred to in both the book
and the film are nothing new.
Yet the God I know is One who threw the stars into space,
who forged and then populated the world, who created man from
dust. Rest assured, Christianity will survive The Da Vinci
Code. It’s merely the latest sally in a long war
against the truths of Christianity and represents, for Christians,
an opportunity to once again point the way to the light of
Putting aside the controversial and sometimes irritating content
for one moment - much as that is hard to do - as a purely
cinematic experience, The Da Vinci Code probably
doesn’t deserve the critical drubbing it’s received.
Yet nor does it deserve the stratospheric publicity hype it’s