Film Review: The Da Vinci Code

19 May

First off, I read the book way before the hype started, so I am not one of those who just decided to read it because they want to be “in-the-know”. I felt then that the author wrote it with the intention of it being adapted into film and if youve read the book, you know what I mean. I almost didnt want to finish it because of its ridiculous premise but decided to finish it anyway telling myself that there is no way a work of fiction can sway my faith. And now as everybody in this planet already knows, we come upon The Da Vinci Code, the movie.

So how did it fare as a film? Well let me tell you first how it fared as a novel. It’s not that great a book, but saying that it’s a good read, especially if youre into mystery and code cracking which is why I think the novel worked so well. I couldnt put it down several times but then again it had that ridiculous plot. So how did all that translate to film? The code cracking in the Louvre was done well, it reminded me so much of “A Beautiful Mind” which Ron Howard also helmed. I just found it really slow, when reading it gave me the opposite experience, because I just cant wait to turn to the next page. So really, what seemed to have worked for me in the book didnt quite work that well in the film. I do like the way they presented some of the historical side of it by showing us the Crusades, the Knights Templar in a dream like sequence and the parallels in the past then the present, see that scene of the Westminster Abbey during what was said to be as Sir Isaac Newton’s time. (For another definitive review of The Da Vinci Code, please see Filmstalker).

Actors performances? I still contend that Tom Hanks is the perfect choice as Langdon, but why he looked so uninvolved I couldnt quite well grasp. The Langdon character is no Indiana Jones so dont expect a swashbuckling academic. Sir Ian McKellen as Leigh Teabing is a revelation, he was animated and very passionate and its always a joy to watch him on the screen. As he was a believable Gandalf, and a mutant in Magneto, he is believable of this character that I could say was one of the highlights after the first hour into it. Audrey Tautou should not have been cast as Sophie, I have been batting for another French actress in Julie Delpy but hey, there’s no point there now is it? I thought her performance was quite stiff, there was just no chemistry between her and Hanks at all which the book playfully toyed with. Paul Bettany did a good Silas, I was flinching in the flagellation scenes and that scene when he cries out “I am a ghost!”, I had goosebumps.

The final scene was very poignant, just as I have imagined it when I was reading it, funny how back then I was thinking of Russell Crowe bringing it to the big screen and how perfectly it would translate with him but seeing Hanks in that scene, I thought, yeah, this is just right.

The Da Vinci Code: ***

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7 Responses to “Film Review: The Da Vinci Code”

  1. Shrlyn May 28, 2006 at 1:11 pm #

    i’ll see this one on wednesday. i’ve read all dan brown’s books and they all suck now that i’ve read them all. cus i was quite amazed with angels and demons. angels and demons is dabomb. but then when ya read the other three… same ol same ol. dan brown just changed the names of his characters. the thrill will always be there, i couldn’t put down the book either. dan could make you twitch and he knows his words and mindplay… BUT it just doesn’t last forever. it’s fleeting art.

    i will watch da vinci code because tom hanks is in it. it’s a ron howard – akiva goldsman movie, so there’s no way it would be dumb. we’ve all had our share with books turning to movies, so i won’t argue with crumbs. crumbs are petty. dan brown is crumbs. i love you dan!!!

  2. Monette May 28, 2006 at 1:22 pm #

    You do know that you were the one who came out with that Da Vinci Code thingy during our Quasia days?

    A&D is indeed the bomb, the rest of the books especially Deception Point should be burned! It’s so useless!

  3. Shrlyn May 28, 2006 at 1:33 pm #

    HAHAHA! burn the books and the witches at the stake! deception point is pointless. argh. digital fortress is forgivable but the ending is again really dumb. it’s the with tankado and the number 3 right?

    yeah i started reading dan brown when dan brown wasn’t causing much of a commotion yet. now he’s a concussion.

  4. Shrlyn May 28, 2006 at 1:34 pm #

    hey edit my post! the ending wasn’t dumb. it was crumbs.

    *and it’s the ONE with tankado and the number 3. yeah, that was dumb.

  5. Monette May 28, 2006 at 8:00 pm #

    Come back and post here again after youve seen DVC on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see what you thought of it.

  6. Pedro Vecino May 29, 2006 at 1:16 am #

    Ian McKellan and Tom Hanks could do more movies together. They make a nice couple.

    Audrey Tautou sucks. A lot.

  7. Monette May 29, 2006 at 1:18 am #

    Pedro: They do complement each other, I am surprised it’s only now that they did a film together.

    Have you ever seen Audrey in another film?

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