Sunday, June 18, 2006

Da Vinci Code

I will follow-up my review of the book with a few thoughts on what I think about the movie. To start with I think my India trip hang over has not left me yet or I am still yetto learn some pronunciational nuances in the U.S. I went to the ticket counter and asked for
Me: "Da Vinci Code 9:45 show".
She: "what show?"
Me: " 9;45 show"
She: I got that but which movie?
Me: Da Vinci code?
She: (looks at the computer and says) What show?
Me: D a V i n c i C o d e
She: oh! The Duh-Vinci code.
So I was saying Da Vinci like I say Vaa-da, Poo-da .Apparantly it is the said the way Big Moose says Duh.
Anyway it is hard to see a movie after reading its novel. The movie almost never lives up to it.As usual the main reason being the novel has the dimension where it can privy us to the character's thought process, tension etc. Movies completely lack the dimension, which understandably is far more powerful than visuals, background music or special effects.
But this movie is so disconnected and illogical that sometimes you are wondering "how they hell did they get out? Why are they here? Who is this?" A simple calculation by the producers would show that if 80% of the people who read the book saw the movie, they would get their money back - so they didn't make the movie for people who haven't read the book. Tom Hanks looks unconvincing. The Nevue girl isnt even dollish, shows no sign of being able to crack codes. She wimps and cries every 5 minutes. The chase sequences are poorly, cheaply made and nowhere close to interesting. The book had a few twists about the Priory of Sion which wasnt even presented half-decently.
Semi-Spoiler Alert: It tells a very strange/controversial story, which in a nutshell would be that Jesus was not a God but actually a mortal man, who was made a God 300 years after he dies by a council of people. This was done to avoid huge religious wars in Rome. To accomadate this, all the hymns were reworded to call Jesus - God and verses by Mary Magdalene were deleted. It seems Jesus had his last supper not with 12 other men but 11 other men and 1 woman - Mary Magdalene, who is not a prostitute as common men are led to believe but Jesus's wife. Whats more? she was pregnant at the time of crucifiction. The story alleges that there is a group which protects the progeny of christ while a hardcore group within the church tries to eliminate the descendants.
I understand why this could cause a furore in the religious world. A couple of years ago I wondered about such things. But it has been released all over Europe, America and even Latin America. The Pope, as far as I know, didn't even give a press statement about this. Its a movie and its left at that. I wonder what the hell is wrong with Tamil Nadu (and a few other states) ? Why did it have to ban Da Vinci code when it can run in many other places in India? I am wondering why Father David Senthamilraju, Alex Alahandra Arvamudan, Immanuvel Suresh and Sheila John's got their truss in a knot for this movie. I don't understand the whole "I am more halwa than thirunelveli itself" feeling. This movie isn't doing anybody damage. Given that the educated people regardless of religion are irelevant to politicians anyway and the fact that more than half of the church's target audience in India can't read/write English - whats the big deal about? The only other thing that is as powerful as protecting-religion is vote-bank politics. This movie is too small a matter for such a big-time politics to come into play.
Waste of $16 and much ado about nothing.


sowmya said...

Like Deepa said in Casement's blog, Richard Gere would've made a better Robert Langdon.

I said...

It's banned in 7 or 8 Indian states, I think. and in the phillipines, pakistan, lanka.

Ramanujam said...

have not yet watched the movie and as people say it very bad and is notlike the book i don feel like cing it in the dvd eventhough i had one!!!
evryone here says "Da" one news channel,one lady said it as "duh",i wondered y she was swirling her tongue like that..but now everyone says "duh" vinci code...

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

The reason why people like to jump at these things is simple: any publicity is good publicity. And if you appear to be protecting the beliefs of a thousand people (never mind if, as you say, they themselves regard this as a movie and no more)... well, the more the merrier!

But is the movie that bad? Hmm... I have decided not to spend any money out of my pocket to see this one after reading you review now, Hawkeye!

Krishna said...

And 'Vinci' is pronounced 'Vinchi' rite? I heard that on HBO but not sure if thats the way his name shud b pronounced or if thats how americans do it..