Monday, May 22, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - Review

We saw the Da Vinci Code Saturday night, and I thought I'd comment. I read the book recently, and was very happy they had taken it up for a movie as it's a great book. Unfortunately that means that I'm going to have to compare the two, and will have that bias, but I'll try my best to be objective.
The acting was very good in my opinion (although some critics would disagree). I actually thought Tom Hanks and Audrey Toutou were great in their parts, Ian McKellen (otherwise known as Gandalf) was terrific and so was Paul Bettany (who played Silus, and advertised on Jay Leno that he scared Tom Hanks so badly during the first scene take that he farted, and he may have scared me that badly too). They kept the movie fairly fast-paced and went ahead with most of the controversial themes (that the Christian church had suppressed women and that Jesus had a wife and kid) although they gave little emphasis to one of the main themes in the book which was that the Christian leaders had rewritten the Bible (essentially rewrote history) to their advantage (resulting in empowerment of certain people in charge and subordination of women). This was ok with me, but what really got me seething were a few of the minor changes they made so that the main female lead, Sophie, was weak (vs. her character in the book), vulnerable and needed to be assisted or 'saved' by the male lead, Robert Langdon. For example, in the book it was Sophie who in fact cracked most of the codes whereas in the movie Robert Langdon did the cracking (although Sophie was clearly more qualified, being a professional code-cracker and close to the code-maker). I believe they did this to make the movie more in line with Hollywood's movie-selling agenda: make the man the hero and have him save the girl. Too bad, not only did it not really make sense but it contradicted the point of the movie. This seriously decreased my enjoyment, although I can understand their logic. If they had made the point that women can be heros AND made the woman a hero it may have been too much.

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