May 22, 2006

What's the fuss? Tell me whats-a-happening?

The title comes from a song in the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber 70s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar which, during its time, earned (undeservedly) its share of brikcbats as it showed an all-too human side of Jesus. The song is sung by Magdalene, Peter and the apostles and is one of the catchiest songs in the entire musical. I thought of that line while watching another film about Jesus's humanity which has earned (deservedly) its share of criticism.

I watched The Da Vinci Code yesterday and truly regretted it—it was a waste of hard-earned money and precious time.

Without a doubt,--and please quote me on this--, it is ONE OF THE WORST MOVIES TO COME OUT THIS YEAR! Considering that it is Oscar winner Ron Howard who directed it and it has in its smorgasbord of stars, Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen and established veterans like Jean Reno and an intriguing Paul Bettany, it is a movie that truly disappoints.

The plot is confused and confusing (Akiva Goldsman, another noted screenplay writer, disappoints with this outing); the characters are very shallow and the pace is uneven and at crucial stretches dragging; I nodded off at the pivotal scene among Leigh Teabing [McKellen], Langdon [Hanks] and Sophie Neveu [aka anak ni Jesus, Audrey Toutou] where Teabing discourses about Mary Magdalene and Jesus and the Knights Templar and even the part (inserted by Goldman and Howard) where Langdon debates with Teabing (not in the book). It is that boring and that dry.

Midway through the film, you start to ask yourself, what’s the fuss all about? The movie does not even explain valuable premises and leaves the audience to wonder what the characters who, owing to the heavy French accents and overtones apparently keep mumbling to themselves about many things (if you want to see two excellent movies about mumbling, see The Godfather and The Godfather Part Two and even the particularly refreshing and delightful licensed parody The Freshman with the always delightful Matthew Broderick and a very hammy—in many ways than one-- Marlon Brando. But I digress.)

You never get to the thriller part—as in the book, which, at least is a good suspense-filled read—because every scene is so predictable. You also never get to the faith part because by then you’ve probably nodded off. Even the treasure hunt that is the basic premise of Dan Brown’s novel is shallow—I’ve seen better treasure hunt premises in The Amazing Race and Alias.

Ron Howard tries to stave off controversy involving the Opus Dei and the Vatican as well as from Christians worldwide by making Langdon a more sympathetic figure—at one point, he even challenges Teabing on the latter’s belief—and makes the Langdon character’s views less dogmatic (which, in the book, is clearly held by the Langdon character with all the lectures the character gives there). In doing so, Howard misses the entire point of the book. In trying to make it less controversial, Howard misses Dan Brown’s point—he (Brown) truly believes in what he wrote (don’t believe the balderdash that he is merely echoing the words of others; if Brown were a man of integrity—which he obviously is not—he would stand by what he wrote, especially in the first page where he says everything contained in the book is true). By trying to make the movie less controversial, Howard manages to confuse everyone and, in the process, comes up with one of the lamest excuses for a movie in recent years. What makes it truly confusing is this: in the end, Langdon “kneels” before the sarcophagus of Mary Madgalene and, in the process, reveals himself to be a believer and, thus, reveals the intrinsic and patent flaw of the characterization.

All in all, The Da Vinci Code (The Movie) sucks. Please quote me on this: it sucks. You would be better served to watch another movie or read the best selling book of all time (hint: its not by Dan Brown).

So tell me, what's the fuss? tell me whats-a-happening?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think it would be OK to say that alright, just wait for the pirated DVD. i won't spend as much as over a hundred bucks on something which is blatantly attacking my beliefs as a Christian. a lot of people have been saying that it's ok to watch the DVC because it is just fiction and it won't shake their beliefs in any manner whatsoever. i won't watch the film just because i wanted to be "in" but for now, i don't have an inkling to pitching in to the coffers of dan brown. heck, i've just been reading the DVC online. on another note, why is it when beliefs of muslims are attacked they would all definitely go for war and shed blood to defend and protect it but when Christianity is lambasted a lot from our fold just go mum....

from chard/lingkod gapo