Sunday, June 11, 2006
My DaVinci Code
Can you handle one more review of the film, The DaVinci Code?
I liked it.
I suppose there is are few people on the planet who have not heard at least some of the hype about this book and new movie. Probably most of the information out there is distorted to some degree. Having personally not read the book, only reading countless reviews and op pieces, seeing the movie, and viewing umpteen "unlocking" videos and specials on The History Channel, I guess I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie, and story, more compelling and interesting than I had expected.
Yes, from all of these other sources, all of the "mystery" and suspense of the story line was already well known and I did find myself predicting correctly the outcomes and even some of the dialogue (not a very difficult task). But, I clearly enjoyed the action and pace of the film and found some degree of suspense after all.
I actually received a copy of the book when it first came out and was quickly rising to the top of the NYT's best sellers list. Around the same time I discovered the first "debunking" website which even included a game element of having to search through "clues" to find additional "facts." So, I was a skeptic from the beginning and figured I would save myself from the chore of reading the book. I lent it to some friends who read it, loved it, returned it and then sent it off to other friends who have read it, loved it and not returned it. I'm not sure I have any interest in reading it now except that the movie is confusing in the story.
Now for the review of the film. As noted, I liked it. I thought the acting was better than I expected. Tom Hanks did not deliver his most striking performance and understandably did not appear to be very enthusiastic with the character. I agree with the mainline critics that the little girl Audrey Tautou who plays the female lead character Sophie Neveu, was pretty poor.
My favorite character - played by an actor whom I believe is quite masterful in his own right - was the hero/villain Sir Leigh Teabing played by Ian McKellen. Delightful. Most will recognize him from the X-Men and The Lord of the Rings movies, but clearly one of his best performance in recent time was as James Whale in Gods and Monsters. Go rent that movie.
Decent performances were provided by notedFrench actor Jean Reno superb in The Professional (a.k.a. Leon) and Paul Bettany playing the evil monk Silas.
So, if you are looking some something decent in the theaters these days, check out The DaVinci Code. I think you'll like it better than the critics.