The other night Cori and I watched The Da Vinci Code at the local cinema. I will write in a moment what I thought about the movie and how it compared to the book, but first I want to focus on something peculiar that I noticed as we entered the cinema itself.
Behind the ticket booth, as in any cinema, the various posters of all currently showing films were displayed. It was quite strange to see the following, large warning sign pasted across the poster for The Da Vinci Code: “Special warning: content not taken in the fictional context might disturb religiously sensitive viewers”. The word ‘fictional’ was underlined. I looked at what other movies were on show: Mission Impossible 3, The Hills Have Eyes, and The X Men. Strangely, these posters had no large warning signs, despite their content of violence and sex. I found it quite bizarre that media content glorifying violence, degrading sex and entrenching stereotypes is easily tolerated, but media content that slightly upsets our religious beliefs is suddenly adorned with ‘special’ warning signs.
Anyway, we bought our tickets and went in to watch. The reaction of the audience was also quite interesting. As the movie progressed there was some uncomfortable laughter, some low whistles of disapproval, and even some sporadic clapping as the major claims of the story regarding Jesus were revealed.
What did I think of the movie? Well, I read the book in 2004 and really thought it was a well worked story, with quick pace and clever twists in the plot. I found that the movie was just as enjoyable. If you are looking for a movie with Oscar potential, historical truth and extensive character development, this movie is NOT for you. This is a fun thriller, and despite all the negative reviews, I enjoyed it.
There was one thing that I noticed that might have differed from the book. In the movie, the main character, Robert Langdon, suffers from claustrophobia – the result of a childhood experience of falling into a well. I honestly can’t remember if this appeared in the book (please correct me if it did). I also can’t remember if Langdon’s monologue at the end of the movie – where he recounts the story of the well, how he had prayed to Jesus to save him, and how Jesus was real to him personally – actually appeared in the book. If it was not in the book, I wonder if it was intentionally worked into the movie to placate conservative Christians who had just gone through two and a half hours of what they would regard as blasphemy.
What are your thoughts?