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May 23, 2006 > The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

A Movie Review

by Heidi Leung

If there is one phrase I could use to describe the movie The Da Vinci Code, it is that the movie, at most, would only generate a mild interest in picking up the book for those who have not read it. Those who have read it should be prepared for moderate changes in book details and events. For those who have absolutely no knowledge of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code follows the tracks of Robert Langdon, Harvard Symbologist, and Sophie Nouveau, a cryptologist for the French police, as they follow clues left behind by her murdered grandfather to uncover a secret that if exposed, could destroy the faith behind Christianity.

Of course, a topic such as this is sure to generate controversy. However, it is obvious the people behind the movie did not want to offend anyone. Therefore, those who have read the book may notice Robert Langdon argue against Lee Teabing about the Holy Grail, where normally he would have agreed. For those who have not read the book, you'll be able to hear a two-sided point of view rather than the single-view presented in the book. Honestly, I'll admit that I'm much more intrigued by the single-view since it is a fiction novel and not to be taken so seriously.

Regardless of all the comparisons to the book, the film was still entertaining. It was a fast-moving film, but lacked the flow of the novel. All characters were perfectly cast, especially Sir Ian Mckellan as the Holy Grail expert, Lee Teabing. The film locations were gorgeous and exactly as I imagined when reading the book. One of my gripes was the added details that seemed totally irrelevant until the end of the movie, where I still felt they didn't belong. Also, because the book was so detailed, much of it was cut to fit into a two hour movie so many explanations of clues end up being confusing. Even those who read the book didn't really understand some of the explanations presented in the movie.

A word of warning for those who intend to bring children or have weak stomachs, the brief scenes of violence are rather intense and realistic. Aside from that, I'd give the movie a seven out of ten. The film is worth watching just to gain a general understanding of Dan Brown's amazing story.

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