Sunday, June 04, 2006

Da Vinci Schmavinci

At my mother's insistence, we watched the Da Vinci Code last Saturday, and I found a tongue-in-cheek review from the New Yorker here.

As for me, I took the movie at face value. And it wasn't bad-bad for a movie adaptation. But it was...flat. As much as I laud Sir Ian McKellen yet again for a stellar chameleon-like performance (you wouldn't suspect he was Gandalf or Magneto!), I was somewhat disappointed by Tom Hanks' performace (and what the HELL was with the hair?!). I agree with previous criticisms that this particular performance was quite washed out and bland for him. Shame, shame. Audrey Tautou's performance seemed wooden, as well. No offense to the Francophiles and polituically-correct folks, but it was as stilted as her English. The cinematography was quite picturesque, and I acknowledge that the "holograms" were to show the audience what Robert Langdon was thinking. Ditto for the flashbacks, or at times, visualizations of bygone eras. And it was nice...but after a while, it just went via the route of MI:2's mask overdose. The ending conveniently left out that Sophie's grandmaman was Sauniere's wife, so either Sauniere married into the Merovingian line, or she isn't Sophie Neveu (nee St. Clare)'s blood-grandmother. Jean Reno, in his portrayal of Capt. Fache, did not make use of his acting prowess, as well. I felt Fache looked like a crazed man, when the book did not make him turn out that way in the end. True, Fache was supposedly brusque...but Reno was a bit abrupt in the potrayal. I admire Paul Bettany's portrayal of Silas, however, if even he was a scrawny Silas. Still, he played the fanatic to a T. Molina more or less did his part justice, as well. He truly makes you hate Aringarosa's character, yet still show the man behind the title.
As much as the movie tied the book nicely together, and made the Magdalene Theory highly plausible, it still left quite a few ambiguities, and shoddy acting more often than not to the point of predictability and (gasp) cheesiness. I thus give the movie a 2.5 out of 4.

Faith-wise, what is the big DEAL about having the Magdalene Theory in the silver screen? It shows that Jesus could have been mere mortal, and that he has descendants who became a royal line. But at the basic level, what makes a prophet, a king different from a commoner? Just a title, just his works. But at the end of the day, we are all of the same specie, so what's the big deal? I think that if we think that way, as much as God was divine, because of Jesus, he was made common man, true, and thus more familiar to the human psyche. Going back to philosophu, because we cannot contain the Other, perhaps the story of Jesus Christ, as much as some parts were real, such as his life, were later magnified to better articulate to us limited beings the idea of the Holy, the idea of the Wholly, Infinite Other, to our finitude. Jesus's "elaborated tale" that is the basis of our belief is thus simply a symbol pointing to an Other. For the idea brought forward in the Da Vinci Code should thus NOT be a big deal to those with a strong and grounded faith.Therefore, to take that as Gospel Truth--to see it as the Holy Himself--as the Church seems to see it as--is already blaspheming the Holy; commiting idolatry. So take that, low-tech dumbasses. It is YE who are of little faith. We never thought THAT in the first place.


Ray said...

I found the flashbacks very distracting. They had a tendency to disrupt the already stop-and-go pace of the movie.

세라 said...

I love reading movies review from the New York times, they have a kind of pretenious humour about them that I love.