Saturday, May 20, 2006

Popcorn & Holy Grail !

Scene 1: Feverish frenziness in office, everybody booking tickets online expecting a huge turn over.

Scene 2: Outside movie theater, several groups sitting with boards ‘Blasphemy’.

Scene 3: Pretty long queues for ticket, many of them not getting tickets.

Scene 4: Movie is going on. The black guy next to me slips into sleep, only to be wakened up by his girl friend often.

Scene 5: Guy sitting in next row, shouts ‘Oh Jesus! What are they saying?’

Scene 6: Coming out of theatre, many young men-women discussing about Bible, about Jesus & about Christianity

This summarizes the movie experience of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, the most anticipated & most controversial movie.

Having read the book ‘Da Vinci Code’ twice, the first thing I wanted to do was to see the novel on the screen. Keeping aside the arguments-counter arguments about the authenticity of the contents of the book, the book was simply flabbergasting. Nobody other than Dan Brown could have mixed fiction and fact in such deadly combination.

With story being well-known & almost everything in the story familiar, all I was interested was to see how it is brought to celluloid. Print media and Celluloid media have their own advantages and disadvantages. Often things bridged from print to celluloid will loose some charm in the transition. Da Vinci Code is no exception.

Director Ron Howard looks like did a decent job of being loyal to the novel barring few minor changes here and there. The movie is fast paced and many threads in the story run parallely as in the novel. It makes a perfect broth for an entertainer with murders, secret codes, car chases, cryptography and Christianity. Don’t forget the locations it is picturised.

Casting is usually good. Tom Hanks effortlessly slips into the symbolgist Robert Langdon’s character. Audrey as Sophia sparkles once in a while with her nice smile.Unlike in novel, somehow Collet looks like challenging Fache. Silas is as chilling as described in the novel. But the scenes involving Ian McKellan as Tiebing take the top spot.

Few scenes in the movie where theatre was involved..
Silas whipping himself..Tiebing dramatically saying Mary Magadelane was married to Jesus..Langdon breaking the Draculian Devil clue...

But my fav one is when Langdon asks Sophie at the end "Does it matter if Jesus was married? Does somebody stop inspiring others just because they are human or God "

I was interested to know how few of my friends who had not read the novel felt about the movie. Though they got an outlook, they obviously missed some references.

I need to add that here is not much scope for Tom for his skills..

Over all, if you are a great fan of Da Vinci Code and want to see the movie, only suggestion is don’t expect a holy grail. All you can expect is faithful story & fast narration with occasional tweaking in the plot. A picture speaks more than 100 words doesn’t hold good. Somehow in this case, ‘those 1000 words’ are more thrilling.

Consider it a pop-corn entertainer, but at the end of day it does pops up some questions.

PS: This I heard in the parking lot from a friend about crucification. According to that person, Jesus was never crucified instead Peter was crucified. Jesus passed away peacefully somewhere in Kashmir!!

Dan, are you listening?!!


Anonymous said...

hi shiva,
kiran here. nice blog. looks like reading the book and then seeing the movie will be more exciting...

Sindhu said...

I have been waiting for a new write-up ever since.
This is a very interesting one! It has evoked my interest in the subject...

Manjunath K Gouda said...

Hey Shivu,

Good writeup. I saw the movie today. I had to wait in a Q for almost half an hour even though I had the ticket. It reminded me of our Friday morning show movie goings in BIET.

I think it was well made movie. There were no problems here in SD, no protests no faintings. A girl screamed when Silas runs down Longdon but thats all... I think the casting was good...

Ashley said...

There is a book I found to be particularly interesting (re: Jesus living in Kashmir with Buddhist monks).

"The True History and the Religion of India" by Swami Prakashanand Saraswati.

Deepa said...

I agree with you that the book is simply unputdownable. very well written book, the raciest one in recent times, i would say. yet to watch the movie.

there is a popular belief that jesus lived in India. there is even a book by someone to that effect.

if not anything else, the book brought to light some issues that have been secretly doing the rounds for centuries.

Nithya said...

oooo nice :)

once again will post a comment tomr ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Shivu..

I guess as the novels are made into movies..the movies fail to convey the rich texts into pictures. So its always good to enjoy the pot broiler thriller by reading..


Shiv said...

Hope u saw the movie by this time.Lemme know how u felt about it

Friday morning shows..hmnnnn..
Then I was a good boy :)

Thanks for visiting..
I heard that they had a program on Jesus in Kashmir in Discovery

DVC wasn't the only book which brought this out.There were books earlier which had same ideas but they didnt meet such a huge success.

@ Nitya,
Im still waiting for your next comment :)

Exactly ! they loose the charm as they are made into movies