Monday, May 22, 2006

The Da Vinci Code- Movie versus Book

It was a rainy weekend for the Bay Area folks. Managed to convince and drag special K to watch The Da Vinci Code movie on Sunday, inspite of the critics giving it a C+ on yahoo movies. Like most folks, i was hooked onto Dan Brown's book a while ago and then went on to read other Dan Brown novels. Anyways, wanted to blog about my experience both in reading and in watching the movie.

Let me start with the movie.....Inspite of the not so good reviews that it received, it is at the top of the box office weekend releases making a $77 million just within the US. The most fascinating aspect of the movie even before its release, that has been tagged with the high-profile book is its overwhelming public interest and controversy. In fact, i believe that the extra security, press coverage, protests world over etc. all added the boost and expectancy to the movie. A huge chunk of the movie's success has to be attributed to the success of Dan Brown's work of fiction that has generated both the curiosity as well as the displeasure of Christianity followers world over.

What I liked about the book:
When i first started reading the book, my first one by Dan Brown, i was amazed by the fastness with which i turned pages to keep reading. The contents covering a wide range of topics such as the history of Christianity, the Holy Grail, Priory of Sion, the works and paintings of Da Vinci, sightseeings of the Louvre in Paris etc. woven perfectly into an interesting tale of fiction.

What i liked about the movie:
This is one of those movies that every individual who watches it is going to have their own opinion of. Basically, there would be two categories of audiences- those who have read the book and watch the movie, like myself and those who haven't read the book but watch the movie. Tom Hanks fits the role of Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon only to a point and could have performed better. Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu has been picked for her French accent, but could still have emoted better in several scenes. The albino killer monk really matched Dan Brown's description and Teabing'c character were well transformed on the screen.

It has been a while since i read the book and when i watched the movie, the book kept coming to me. With the numerours twists, plots, codes to decipher, flashbacks etc. in the book along with the other Christian concepts, i always had to keep up with what i was reading and the movie made it complete and clearly more understandable for me.

Finally, from a neutral perspective as a non-Christian, i keep thinking about the controversial elements that this movie has kindled and upsetted people and drew my own conclusions. On a personal level, except for the core fact that Jesus, the son of God had an offspring with Mary Magdalene, i thought that the dialogues spoken by Tom Hanks portrayed Jesus as a mortal with diving powers or a divine soul born in a mortal universe. Of course, its extremely hard to believe and accept that Christ has left behind his bloodline, it does shatter/ question the belief system of the church that Christ was single, lived and died as a savior to protect his followers on earth. The portions of witchcraft and the periods where women were burnt alive, existance of the Priory of Sion and certain other factions of the book/movie have distressed and angered the Roman Catholic Church and its followers. But, amidst all the protests and negativity expressed by the religious groups world wide, it looks like the movie hasn't suffered a loss at the box office.

Would be interested in reading some of your thoughts on the movie, especially from those who watched it without reading the book.


Anand Prabhu said...

Nice writeup mitr... have not seen tha movie... book is too good.. will see soon and comment here :)

Nyneishia said...

I wont say i was disappointed by the movie entirely. But after the movie, i am even more impressed with the book. The way he managed to capture every detail and almost give us a visual without anything left out. And once you see the movie, its almost like revisiting the place. And you are replaying things.. I have little to say about the christ and the bloodline stuff.. Lets leave that to fiction.

A good fiction book..a not so well done movie.

Nyneishia said...

Oh forgot to mention.. it was also my first experience standing in a line to go inside the theatre. It was running in 3 theatres under the same roof at the same time, n yet we had to stand in a long queue to get in.. Was a full show.

mitr_bayarea said...

anand prabhu-
Thanks. Yes, the movie is watchable once, but don't go with too high expectations.

thatz cool- that you you got to stand in line to get tix and go, we've done that at AMC many times. So, where do you live?

Yes, agree with you that after the movie the book seems more impressive.

Balaji said...

felt the puzzles didnt work as well onscreen. but the movie's made me wanna reread the book :)

mitr_bayarea said...


Guess you are right, the puzzles didn't quite come out well or were given as much importance, but yes, the movie does make you go back to the book.

Nyneishia said...

i live all the way on the other side gal.. east coast :)