Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #219 The Da Vinci Code

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Movie #219 The Da Vinci Code

(2006, US, d. Ron Howard)

I like the choice of Ron Howard as director for this film. Here is a filmmaker who has proven himself over and over again to able to tell emotionally compelling stories and yet never quite gained the public attention of his counterparts (ie. Spielberg, Lucas, even Zemeckis). But I think he was able to handle this material better than most filmmakers could have done, and trust me: handling this adaptation of the worldwide bestseller of the same name isn’t an easy task. In fact, if there was one novel filmmakers should stay away from, it would be this. It bases its tension off historical facts that readers accumulate through long chapters of exposition or lengthy monologues of past kings and queens and battles, etc.. The Da Vinci Code, though, does a better-than-expected job of making things seem like they’re not exposition. It is not the filmmakers’ fault – simply the obstacle they must overcome in handling such a book. That said, to create tension on top of all this education Howard plans on providing is quite a feat, and there are some legitimately exciting sequences in this film. Tom Hanks plays the famed Harvard professor Robert Langdon with class and poise, just adding to his reputation of one of the best existing actors in Hollywood. Bolstered by wonderful performances by Ian McKellan and Jean Reno, the film is also a testament to making two dimensional supporting characters full of life and depth. Though nothing (and I mean nothing) as exciting as the novel, The Da Vinci Code is a serviceable supplement – rescued from the ashes of impossibility by writer Akiva Goldsman and director Ron Howard.

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