The Da Vinci Code: The Mind Sees What It Chooses To See

When acclaimed symbology expert Dr Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is “invited” to the Louvre by Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ), figure-headed by Captain Fache (Jean Reno), he soon sees that he is the prime suspect for the murder of a historian he;d been scheduled to meet. Aided by government agent Sophie (Audrey Tatou), Robert is tasked to decrypt a chain of codes and puzzles while on the run from Fache and French law enforcement. Can Langdon and Sophie solve the mystery of the Last Supper and Leonardo Da Vinci before the assassins responsible for the murder add their bodies to the beloved historian?

Based on the critically acclaimed and controversial novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code is a fictional story that revolves around a historical and theological context. Many spewed hatred and discontent towards the book and the film at their release and I’m struggling to see why. Nobody is saying religion is wrong or the story is legitimate. It’s merely asked some questions that made many raise a few eyebrows, myself included. The book pushed me to delve deeper into the subtexts surrounding the story. It’s based on one of the most talked about conspiracy theories ever, and on audiences, it had a similar effect to the Matrix. What if the the history as we know it isn’t the true at all? We all know history is written by the victors? It’s the equivalent of the classic “the red pill or blue pill question.” from The Matrix.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) with Sophie (Audrey Tautou) (The Da Vinci Code, Sony Pictures)

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) with Sophie (Audrey Tautou) in The Da Vinci Code
(The Da Vinci Code, Sony Pictures)

Even ten years later, The Da Vinci Code is still highly controversial. In my opinion, The Da Vinci Code movie is almost as controversial as the 2003 novel. At its release, many were talking about banning the movie and having it boycotted. It was a big deal. This was the film, but the book on the other hand is a bigger fish as I believe it created a bigger “shitstorm”, so to speak. The makeup of the movie is essentially the same as the novel. Being a film, some things had be cut out and some things had be summarised so not as much detail could be given for certain theories. The film stands at two and half hours. That’s the one most people watch. But if you’re me, you’d go for the extended cut which stands at just over three hours.

The movie doesn’t bring anything original to the table other than the aura of feeling good about seeing the characters we love from the book onscreen. And after watching the film (especially the extended cut), I’d say it’s good enough for bookies to want to pick up the book and give it a try. That being said, it’s dense and it’s not for the fainthearted. In the book, you will play witness to controversies left, right and centre. It’ll make you question everything you think you know and then make you want to start from scratch and read more into the mythology, history and “weird shit” you see in the film and the craziness from the book. And some of it might not seem so weird afterwards. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Sophie (Audrey Tatou) with  Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) (The Da Vinci Code, Sony Pictures)

Sophie (Audrey Tatou) with Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen)
(The Da Vinci Code, Sony Pictures)

The depiction of controversial dialogue integrated with special effects are what will make you lose your mind. The effects are nothing great but when combined with the narrative, it makes the dialogue that much more digestible. Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) as Langdon is ace with Ian McKellen (Lord Of The Rings) as Teabing and Audrey Tatou (Amélie) as Sophie also being very good. Paul Bettany (Anonymous) is spooky and icy as the albino murderer Silas. He gave me the heebiejeebies, more so with that haunting musical score in scenes where he commits horrific acts of violence that when watched, feel like you’ve been smashed in the gut by Mohammed Ali. This makes for a great movie with a brain-melting narrative that you may have to rewind once or twice just to gather your bearings. But when it comes down to it, it’s one of those “the book is always better” flicks.

The best lies are masqueraded as truths

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