A Note From Our Editor: The Film Of The Da Vinci Code -- By: John Warwick Montgomery
A Note From Our Editor: The Film Of The Da Vinci Code
While in Paris recently on business, I found myself at the cinema complex at Les Halles at the very time of a showing of the widely touted film of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. The news magazines here have been all gaga about the movie since its recent premier at the Cannes film festival. “So why not take it in?” I asked myself. As I struggled out of the theatre afterwards, I was mumbling, Que je suis bien déçu—or, in English, “What a crock!” The only saving grace was that the French spoken by such actors at Jean Reno was actually in French, thereby eliminating the agony of subtitles.
Cinematographically, Ron Howard—who as a director certainly should know better—has managed to put moviemaking back at least a generation. The first half takes place in almost total darkness (budget too thin for lighting?). Many of the “historical” flashbacks and not a few of the location sites are obviously computer-generated or filmed by drunken camera people. Tom Hanks manages (1) a single, wooden expression throughout the entire movie (apparently to convey academic seriousness), (2) a speech style no respectable American university professor would ever use, and (3) a remarkable penchant for pompous vacuity. And, if all that were not bad enough, the film is excruciatingly long: no amount of popcorn can get one through it unscathed.
And then we have the content. At Cannes, Howard declared that the film is simply fiction--neither history nor theology. Well, it happens to be presented as both—which moves the whole operation into immorality and perversity. A survey of filmgoers in England found that a significant proportion who saw the movie believed that its central theme (that Jesus married Mary Magdelene and had offspring, and that the church repressed such information) could well be true.
Here are just a few (seven—the perfect symbolic number) of the misleading ideas in the film: (1) The Knights Templar were really not participating in the Crusades to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land; they were hiding the secret of the Grail. (2) The Grail was not the cup at the Last Supper, but Mary Magdalene and the female offspring of the Jesus line. (3) A secret society, the “Priory of Zion,” has existed across the centuries to protect Jesus’ descendants and eventually to reveal the truth about him. (4) Leonardo Da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton were members of that secret organisation; indeed, the church opposed Newton on the law of gravitation (!) in part owing to this. (5) The conservative Roman Catholic order of Opus Dei consists of murderous folk who do anything and everything to eliminate the descendants of Jesus and crush the rumour that he was married. (6) The Inquisition was primarily directed against women—in ...
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