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The Da Vinci Code


Was The Da Vinci Code movie a successful adaptation of the book ?  

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  1. 1. Was The Da Vinci Code movie a successful adaptation of the book ?

    • Yes
    • No

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[SIZE=1]I had expected there to be a thread on the film by now, or at least one discussing it before it's release, still I suppose it is my fortune to be able to not only launch this thread but also decry the film in a single breath. Unfortunately it is rather late in the night at the moment, so I fear I may have to be rather brief and potentially add to my thoughts at a later stage.

On to the film, like many I awaited the films release in the hope that the suspense thriller had been well translated to the big screen. Unfortunately it had been several months if not years since I had read the book version so I was trying to refresh my mind to the plot and characters going in. The opening of the film heightened the tension already building before the trailers had even finished, [spoiler]Paul Bettany as the Albino Silas proved superb over the entire film, and I found myself with a great well of pity for him, mostly for how he was being twisted not to do the will of God but the will of one who had no love for God or His Church.[/spoiler] The graphic nature of the beginning really did set the tone of the film for those who may not have read the books, although personally I think there were relatively few in the cinema who fit in that category.

Some of the many complaints levelled against the cast were Tom Hanks rather wooden performance, something I must actually agree with for the most part. His and Audrey Tautou's complete lack of chemistry and her miscasting for the role, or possible Hanks' due to the almost comic difference in their appearances. Ian McKellen's performance was something quite similar in my mind to Brendan Gleeson's Reynald de Chatillon from Kingdom of Heaven, overzealous to the point of pantomime. [Spoiler]Even before watching the film I questioned his motives for taking the part of Leigh.[/spoiler]

The actual movie itself to me felt at times rather jumpy, almost trying to move too quickly in step with the plot of the book. Granted of course the book had far more time to develop the characters and the actual plotline, thus allowing the reader to truly immerse one's self into the plot. Here director Ron Howard seems to be more concerned with fitting the film in it's allowed 145 minute running than streamlining the plot to allow it to be properly translated onto the screen. That complaint of course could be levelled at the party responsible for converting the novel to a screenplay but really Howard at the end of the day was responsible for working with the finished product.

Now that the film critic is done, I'm afraid it's time for the Catholic to come out. I recall being rather offended several times while reading the book, and sadly not only is this continued in the movie, it is actually increased upon in severity. [spoiler]Silas who while being guilty of several murders at least partially redeemed himself in the book by carrying the injured Bishop to receive medical aid before dying himself from his injuries, in the movie to add insult to injury Silas is killed before being able to do so and whispering his final realisation "I am a ghost".Bishop Aringarosa while surviving being shot by Silas is later shown no mercy by Bezu who merely states bluntly that the Bishop's "Silas is dead", leaving him to merely lament the loss of his "son".

Many of the actual actors appear rather sinister in the film, from Jean Reno to Alfred Molina and the other Bishops to Paul Bettany all seem to have been made to look even more sinister for the purpose of the film, to almost differentiate the "good guys" from the "bad guys".[/spoiler] Whether or not this truly is the case I suppose is really up for debate but personally I left the film with a rather foul taste in my mouth.[/SIZE]
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[color=black][size=3][FONT=traybuchet ms]I didn't think that [u]The DaVinci Code[/u] was all that spectacular a book to begin with, and unfortunately the cheap plot the novel did contain was poorly translated to film.

Tom Hanks didn't seem to be the right person to play Langdon, and while Tautou looked fine in as Neveu, her dialogue left a lot to be desired. This was especially evident in opening scenes at the Louvre, where any intended suspense was mutilated by abysmal screenwriting.

Ian McKellen did a great job as The Teacher; his acting was convincing and engaging throughout the movie. [spoiler]When he was dragged away by the police outside the cathedral,[/spoiler] it was clear that he'd eclipsed both Langdon and Neveu as the movie?s dominant personality. As Silas, Paul Bettany performed well, although since his character wasn?t at all dynamic, I feel that McKellen was the best of the lot.

The movie?s conclusion was so awful many people in the theater, including me, were laughing.

I?m already looking forward to watching the Pope?s son jump out of the helicopter just before the anti-matter detonates in the film version of [u]Angels and Demons[/u][/FONT][/size][/color]
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I saw the film yesterday, and I basically agree with you both. There are some good parts (Sir Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany are both great, and when the plot is moving, it's pretty fun), but the bad outweighs the good (bad pacing, WAY too much talking/lecturing, boring characters, etc.). The biggest disappointment for me is that Audrey Tautou's talent is basically wasted; I'm a big fan of hers, and I was really looking forward to her role in the film, but she isn't given much to work with, sadly. :(

[i]The Da Vinci Code[/i] is basically another disposable Hollywood blockbuster, which is unfortunate because it could have been a pretty entertaining thriller.
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Good movie overall, it kept me entertained for most of it's duration.

I suppose when you have read the book and pictured for yourself the characters described in it, you're going to have issue with who plays what part because of the pre-exising ideas you have of that character and his appearance, having not read the book, I don't have any casting issues and though that most characters were played well. [spoiler] Ian McKellen was pretty melodramatic as Teabing, but I assumed he was that way because the character was. I've had great fun mimicking the drama in his voice when he explaiuned the priory theory and adding it to such mundane tasks as peeling spuds!

Direction of some characters was a little off, because I could tell Bezu was up to no good before the revelation of his communicating with "The Teacher" simply because of his lurking in the shadows mannerism. Teabing was spoiled for me by a local papaer, however, when they rudely placed him in a "bad guys" section of their article.

I felt it was a great edge-of-seat thriller, until the end, where I felt the movie let itself down quite a bit. The ending felt drawn out and over-extended, perhaps because the ensuing villains of the story had either been killed or were in custody, and the suspense of the movie was founded on the arc of the villainn giving chase, so the 'thrilling' aspect of the movie was totally gone in the Hanks-Tatou-centric ending to an otherwise great flim.

The only part that disturbed me was Silas' self-torture scene, that was ubearable to watch sicne I don't like nude/torture scenes at all, and put them together....yeah. [/spoiler]

Not the greatest movie ever but a passable effort indeed.
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I went to see Da Vinci Code on Friday on it's premiere, and I quite liked it. Mind you, I haven't read the book, so the plot was unknown for me.

The story and the plot was the best part in my opinion (I'm a sucker for riddles and conspiracies), but it really doesn't have anything to do with the makers of the movie. Some of the adaption was sucky, for example the fact that you pretty much knew who were "bad guys" (that's almost everybody except Hanks and Tatou, really) from the very first time they appeared.

Ian MacKellen was a refreshing exception to this, I really loved his character. Excentric and witty, and he even had a motive for his actions in the end.

What comes to other actors, I believe Hanks was stiff because he meant to be that. It was part of his role work. Tatou was sweet and fitting for the role, the story just didn't give much space to her.

I have to say I really liked the historical flashbacks and the visualized thoughts, they added an eerie aura of their own to the movie.

All in all, the movie made me view certain things from a whole different angle, but I guess reading the book would've had a similar effect.
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[font=franklin gothic medium]The Da Vinci Code is one of my favourite novels (as well as Angels and Demons), so I was definitely looking forward to seeing this movie.

I feel that the movie was a mixed bag, honestly. The big problem here was trying to translate all of the novel's content to the screen - and given the general complexity of the novel, that's no easy task.

In general I feel it was done well, with the key points covered...but there were certainly a few significant scenes left out. Although I suppose that's only natural when you do a novel to film conversion.

Originally I was very happy with the casting choices - particularly because Tom Hanks doesn't do sex scenes (and given that the novel's romantic undertones are incredibly subtle). Unfortunately Tom Hanks was really wooden in this movie...far moreso than he usually is. That was a little disappointing.

I really liked Audrey Tautou, although at times her accent was a little too thick for English-speaking audiences I'd say. But I don't really fault her for that - I'm glad they chose a genuine French actress, rather than someone [i]pretending[/i] to be French. Not to mention the fact that I generally like Audrey Tautou as an actress anyway...she didn't do too badly, given that English is not her native language.

Ian McKellen was fantastic as per usual - it's clear that he really loved the role.

And as Sandy mentioned, the "flashbacks" were great. Given the historical points in the novel (particularly the critical component about Constantine), I think that it was important to physically visualize everything and that aspect was handled effectively. In fact, that was the main reason I wanted to see the film; I was curious as to how they'd handle the historical components on screen.

Unfortunately the big issue is that the film simply didn't have time to cover all of the detail in the novel, as I mentioned above. In the novel there are many times where we are getting lectures and descriptions from either Langdon or Teabing about specific things - for example, when Langdon goes into great historical detail about where the Catholic church borrowed symbols and dates from Paganism and so on. This was covered very lightly in the movie, but I felt it was an incredibly important part of the novel.

So overall, I was happy enough with it. It wasn't what it could have been...but that's largely because the novel itself was so good and so rich with imagery and detail.[/font]
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