Archived: Review: The Da Vinci Code (2006) - archived

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After a hidden message is left at a murder scene that looks like it implicates Dr. Robert Langon (Tom Hanks) in the murder, both he and a detective, Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) engage in a hunt to find the real killer of the victim, Sophie’s grandfather. The story takes the pair on a journey across Europe in search of the Holy Grail and exposes some hidden truths the church doesn’t want you to know about.

There is a huge conspiracy surrounding what the Holy Grail is and Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. Roger and Sophie try to find the connection between this and the murder of Sophie’s grandfather and find out a lot about themselves in the process.

This was a heavily religious film and thus I feared I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I was wrong. It was sort of a religious “Indiana Jones” or “National Treasure” and I found myself drawn into the conspiracy, believing that perhaps it could all be true. The film is based on the book by Dan Brown and it has received criticism from both the church and among other writers. Two years prior to its release there was a strikingly similar story published in Sweden that was never translated. However the Swedish author has put it down to co-incidence and said both he and Brown must have found the same sources.

There is a lot going on in the movie, lots of sides with different viewpoints each confusing you as to who is in control and who is misleading. Whether or not the events in the movie are based on reality or not are irrelevant. The movie is entertaining, it drags you into a world that you don’t see in the public eye and provides you with enough stimulus to believe in what is going on and relate to the narrative.

Strong acting from all involved, Tom Hanks provides another performance that furthers the proof that he has never made a bad film (with the exception of Bachelor Party). Paul Bettany also provides us with some brilliant character acting, considering I last saw him in Wimbledon it was impressive to see him in such a different role.

For a long time I had put off watching the Da Vinci Code because I didn’t want to be entangled in its religious message. I’m not an atheist but I’m also no believer but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself engrossed and indeed interested in the plot and narrative. I have heard the sequel to the book “Angels & Demons” reads in very much a similar vein to the Da Vinci Code so it’ll be interesting to see how it translates to the big screen.

If you’re after an adventure and want to engage in a film rather than just some light relief then this is entertaining. But if you want to just switch off for two hours, you’re going to struggle here.

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