The Rammifications of Thought

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Monday, May 29, 2006

The Da Vinci Code movie review

I'm doing this entirely for the sake of my sister. Only she knows why...

The Da Vinci Code revolves around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks who goes on a quest for the famous Holy Grail, long thought to be a chalice. In this adventure-thriller, he is aided by agent Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) whose grandfather was allegedly the grandmaster of a secret society that protects the secret of the Grail.

In the movie, Neveu's grandfather is murdered by the albino, Silas (Paul Bettany), who is bent on recovering the Grail for a character called the "Teacher". Ian McKellen stars as historian Sir Leigh Teabing / the Teacher, who turns outs to have a lot more to do with the murder. As Langdon and Neveu race on to the uncover the puzzles and clues left by Neveu's late grandfather, a thrilling adventure unfolds with the albino right at their heels.

Tom Hanks is subdued as usual. He seems cool and calm while playing his role of Langdon. His portrayal of the academic leaves much to be desired though. At times, the scripting is rather shallow and does not enable Hanks to put on his best. However, it is not entirely his fault as character development in the movie is flawed as well. Tautou fits perfectly as the attractive and intelligent cryptographer Neveu. She exudes grace and beauty on screen, a commendable effort for her debut on a mainstream English movie. Ian McKellen is excellent as the eccentric Teabing, while Bettany puts up a good performance as the spooky albino.

The cinematography was well done. The breath taking shots of the historical buildings showed that the crew did put in effort to make it a blockbuster movie. The movie is not Ron Howard's best though, perhaps it being an adaptation of a popular book. We are led from one clue to the next without much time to take a breath and the journey is interspersed with characters sharing various points of religious history.

Overall, the film was well made with the usual atmospheric score by Hans Zimmer. Those who have read the novel might find it a tad boring since there is not much deviation from the original plot. For those who haven't, they will probably enjoy the thrilling sequences as well as the revealing of some interesting (and widely controversial) facts about the Christian religion.

There you have it. I tried to sound as professional as possible so don't go nagging on me later on. And by the way, most of it is original material, not some copy-paste review. As a personal note, I think the movie didn't live up to expectations. And Tom Hanks' hairdo was even spookier than Silas. You'd be better off just reading the book.

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