Movie: The Da Vinci Code
Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou, Ian McKellan, Paul Bettany
Directed by: Ron Howard
available at Amazon.com
Synopsis: The curator of the Louvre Museum is murdered and a baffling cipher is left at the scene of the crime. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works with the gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, to solve the cipher that leads to a trail of clues cunningly disguised in the works of the great painter, Leonardo da Vinci. Learning that the late curator was a member of a centuries-old, secret society whose members included Da Vinci himself, Langdon is drawn into the quest to discover a shocking historical truth. Langdon finds he is soon competing with a fanatical member of a clandestine Catholic organization who is also in search of the truth. Langdonís wild and dangerous adventure takes him from the city of Paris across the channel to England and leads to a very surprising personal discovery.
Editorís Review: For a reader enamored with the book, the movie The Da Vinci Code fell a bit short of my expectations. Itís not that it wasnít acted well or directed properly or that the set was inadequate. I think the problem is that the story does not lend itself as well to film as it does to a book. There is so much history to recount, so many connections to explain -- so much that the dialog is dominated by the recitation of facts. There is little opportunity for the audience to participate in solving the riddles as in the book Ė there is just no time for this! However, the movieís shortcomings were redeemed by some very good special effects and excellent music that canít be experienced in a book. I liked the way special effects were used to convey the puzzles that presented themselves and the black-and-white flashbacks of medieval events were intriguing (although I wish they had been a bit lengthier). Tom Hanks plays a very competent and not-at-all-tacky (thank you!) American symbologist and Audrey Tatou is his equally competent French counterpart. Neither of the two have much time during their adventure to connect in a meaningful way and the movie is devoid of any character development but thatís not what itís about. Ian McKellan as the very British Sir Leigh Teabing adds sparkle to the plot as only he can. Paul Bettanyís suffering was nothing short of totally convincing as the child-like self-flagellating monk who seeks forgiveness. In short, I found the movie The Da Vinci Code to be quite enjoyable as a physical interpretation of the book but found the book to be far more fascinating!
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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at www.dianablake.net.