Friday, May 26, 2006

Da Vinci Code - The Movie

Okay, I went to the movie lastnight.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy it near as much as I did the book. I was pleasantly surprised.

Firstly it was beautiful visually. The Louvre looked amazing on the big screen and likewise all the other wonderful buildings. The flashbacks were very well produced, looked brilliant and got the intended messages across very well. Other good visual effects also helped get across the various ideas being explored which otherwise could have involved much longer dialogue. I thought the moving camera work (no doubt with elements of computer graphics) over the inverted pyramid at the Louvre at the end was well done. I also liked the way they kept the aurally beautiful French language in many of the Parisian scenes.

To me the finer details of the acting skills, the mechanics of the plot - murder, police work, chases etc. were all of minor interest compared to the stimulation of both thought and senses with all the core ideas explored. The mysteries of early Christianity and development of the various Churches have always interested me and I like history of art and great historical buildings. I didn't feel the 150 minutes of the movie sailing past. I founded it absorbing to watch.

Of the actors I thought Ian McKellen was the best. I was expecting Audrey Tautou as Sophie to be poor from reading Sinead's review. Audrey was certainly a bit staid for a lot of the movie (and unhealthily skinny!) but towards the end she had a number of scenes where her acting skills came out. Regarding Tom Hanks - of course he is a good actor - but he just doesn't quite impress me as the professor Langdon of the book. He somehow visually fails to get best impact from the important lines he delivers. It's more a role for a Harrison Ford or Kevin Costner type - who seem more expressive as thinkers.

Having read the book with all it's absorbing detail - the movie was never going to get through everything. The pace and energy of the one or two day sequence of events also somehow came across better in the book.

Overall it's a movie I enjoyed on many levels and would watch again.

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