The Da Vinci Code

04Jun06

The biggest challenge in making a movie that is heavily dependant on a lot of unknown history is introducing the context and the history behind all that context, so that one can get an idea of what is actually happening and why it is happening. But this is precisely the point where the movie falls short.

The Da Vinci codeWith so much of complicated history – The Priory of Sion, The Knights Templar, The Holy Grail, Pagan rituals, Opus Dei et. al., the movie could have started with a short historical visual that introduces the Priori and their significance to the Holy Grail and then move on to the present day events, rather than showing such disconnected flashes of history all through the course of the movie. In the absence of an introduction, anyone watching the movie without reading the book is sure to take a while to understand what it was all about and end up missing the intricate points being shown. Making a dynamic screenplay out of a book is a big task. Especially, with the story jumping from Paris to Zurich to London and back to Paris and in the process sifting through a number of monuments that have a major historical significance, there never was an instance when a subtitle was placed to indicate where actually the present scene was happening. Showing the location and the time of the day as a subtitle would have helped the viewer keep up with the flow. Unless you have read the book, keeping up with the screenplay is a hard task.

The phenomenal bestseller that the book was, Ron Howard probably assumed his audience to have already read the book. Well, but that’s not what great movies are about. You would expect a movie to be self-contained, and not something to be followed with a reference material in hand.

A movie as this, which spans across different ages, does provide a wide scope for some really inspiring music. History and Christianity do provide an opportunity for a unique blend of music. But Hans Zimmer’s music hardly makes an impact. Except for the closing scene, when he plays an orchestra version of Clint Mansell’s original score in the movie Requiem for a Dream. That is one point where the music merges in an amazingly synchronous harmony with the cameras zooming in from the starry skies circulating through the inside of the inverted pyramid and breaking into the ground revealing the Holy Grail.

Tom Hanks (Robert Langdon) is nowhere close to his charismatic best, Paul Bettany (Silas) is chilling, Ian McKellen (Sir Leigh Teabing) is nothing dramatic, while Audrey Tautou (Sophie Neveu) is the only one who did complete justice to her role.

If you have read the book, the movie provides a fair gratification of watching events and characters play out on the big screen. If you haven't read the book, the movie is decent enough to make you want to pick up the novel and read more into the controversial theories and all those doses of history. Nevertheless, even considering all the practical constraints of making a movie based on a bestselling book, The Da Vinci Code – The Movie, could have been made quite a few notches better.

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4 Responses to “The Da Vinci Code”

  1. i still have no intentions of watching this!

  2. 2 mahen

    I see no pictures in your blog in the past. Hope this post is your first one to have a picture…
    Good

    Pictures convey more on what you talk abt… isnt it? Thats why I often use pictures in my posts.

  3. 3 Vidya

    I agree with Mahen !!


  1. 1 Odyssey

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