"I've got to get to a library... Fast!"
Dan Brown's book, 'The Da Vinci Code' was a huge success and blasted its way to top all bestseller charts. I was part of the hype, as I read the illustrated edition. I like pictures (said with a Ralph Wiggum voice). I have to admit that I enjoyed it a lot, as the atheist that I am. It was just a matter of time before an adaptation would be made, But since it is one of the most controversial and successful books ever made, the filmmakers have not taken any risks with the adaptation. The film follows the book almost word by word. But which one is better?
I'm sure that most of you know, even though you haven't read the book, what the fuzz is about. But in short, here it is: Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a world famous symbologist, is called to assist the French police on a murder that happened in the Louvre. Suddenly he finds himself as the key suspect. Together with Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), an investigator of the police and relative to the murdered curator Jacques Saunière, they start to solve the mystery that Saunière left behind him on his dead body. The Catholic church is also after them, as the biggest secret of theirs is on risk to be solved.
From the beginning of the film to its end, 'The Da Vinci Code' is a continuing search for climaxes and a snarl of historical/religious references. The main problem is that the clues and mysteries that come in front of the two leads are either so obvious that they have to embark in dull conversations which last forever or so difficult that megamind Langdon solves them in a second.
The script and storyline is in my opinion too uneven. The film lasts nearly 3 hours but the book took me almost a week. Everything in the film develops too fast. But I guess it would be hard to film a thinking Langdon with his own inner monologues so the choice to make the film a more adventorous one, has probably been the easier choice to make.
Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou have like zero spark between them two. I like 'em both but it just feels as if Hanks is not in his game and Tautou is too cute for her role. She's just not fit for thriller/action scenes. But Sir Ian McKellen lightens the otherwise dull performances. His character is full of enthusiasm and exuberance (hard word, had to use the dictionary to find out the word in english!) so he brings some needed energy to the cast. Paul Bettany, as the albino monk Silas, is one freaky character. Enjoyed his adaptation of the books character.
'The Da Vinci Code' is a long movie but it never feels dull. The pacing is good, a bit too fast actually. There's no time to catch a breath as the gang goes from Paris to London on their search for the Holy Grail. Everything just feels a bit too easy for Langdon.
The book is pompous for starters but so is Ron Howard's movie too. Howard is in my opinion one of the most overrated directors of his time and he tends to make big scenes/movies to hide the hollowness of the script ('Apollo 13', 'Ransom').
But what I like about this all is that the Catholic church made this book (and movie) even bigger than it deserved. In the end, its just a fictious story and who says that filmmakers and writers can't use the most famous fictious book, The Bible, as the source for their own works. The Catholic church tried to make people boycott the film but they should know better. Of course people will see it if the Vatican cries about it. They've tried to forbid so many things and how's that worked. Premarital sex? Anyone?
So to answer the question, which one's better? The book or the movie? I enjoyed them both, but this time I would choose the paper version. The film is entertaining and all but in no ways a future classic. This one will be forgotten in the future, just as the book has been forgotten already. But the quote is awesome and every librarians dream words!