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The Da Vinci Code August 21, 2006

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

This highly anticipated movie based on the bestselling novel of the same name was recently released to packed shows and long queues at the ticket counter. Critics who got an early viewing of the movie were not really happy with what they saw. Nevertheless the movie took the Box Office by storm as expected and was especially stellar at the Foreign Box Office. It has been a long time since I’ve read a novel (I love to read but I don’t find the time anymore), so despite the hype I did not read this one. I did stand in the long queue alongwith many fans of the book to watch this on the first day.

The novel was not on the bestsellers list for nothing. So it was definitely captivating. The plot had very engaging twists that kept you hooked and thinking. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this movie and the supposed lies. These made the plot very absorbing. When most people watch a movie, they don’t believe everything that they see on screen, so it doesn’t matter what was said and whether it was true or not. What does matter is whether it was interesting and it was.

Ian McKellen, who seems to be making a habit of starring in blockbusters (X-Men, Lord of the Rings), is highly likeable in this movie. Tom Hanks, whom I really admire, is not at his best here. Audrey Tautou, whose claim to fame in the USA is the Oscar Nominated Amelie, seems to be miscast in her role (though she performs decently). Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina and Jean Reno do well in supporting roles. Ron Howard, who has made films like Gung Ho, Apollo 13, Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man does a decent job here but this is definitely not among his best.

I feel that sometimes the critics take an enjoyable movie and tear it down when it wasn’t meant to be analyzed and I felt that this might have been the case here. However, after watching this movie, I felt that the critics were probably not totally off target. Though the movie held my interest, the dark feel of the movie and its length made me uneasy at times. I actually guessed the surprise way too early in the movie to actually believe my own guess. The movie is not only about its ultimate surprise, so it still doesn’t take away much. After watching the movie, I felt that reading the novel would be far more exciting. Anyone who likes mysteries or thrillers and hasn’t read the novel would want to watch this movie. Fans of the novel might want to give this a skip unless they want to compare what they imagined while reading and the way it is visualised in the movie.


1. Shujath - November 19, 2006

I am not the kind of guy who’d read a novel, so watching this flick was the only option for me. And I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. Though the pacing is slow, there are enough things happening on screen to keep one interested.

To avoid controversy, the filmmakers deliberately seemed to have moved away from giving the movie an authentic feel….it looks and moves like a typical fictional big-budget potboiler.

Tom Hanks seemed to be the only character who looked very out of place. Ian McKellen was the pick of the lot. Hans Zimmer’s score is another thing which gives the required feel for a movie like this. Anyone looking for an old school Hollywood blockbuster should like this one (provided they haven’t read the book to compare and rip the movie apart)

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