She said: Read the book to understand |

She said: Read the book to understand

SHAUNA FARNELLeagle county correspondent

“The Da Vinci Code” will be most enjoyed by those who have read the book. Of the three in the group with whom I saw the movie, I was the only one who really knew what was going on. The other incessantly asked questions and the third fell asleep. For those who have read the book, the usual rule applies. The big-screen translation simply doesn’t resonate like Dan Brown’s page-turner.”The Da Vinci Code” tells the story of a society dating back thousands of years that has been protecting a secret that could revamp and/or overturn Christianity as we know it. The story begins with a murder in Paris’ Louvre and cryptic clues the victim frantically leaves behind in Leonardo Da Vinci paintings. From there, the magnitude of the society’s secret and the motives of its supporters and enemies unfold. I remember thinking when I gobbled up the print version years ago that it read like an Indiana Jones movie, but even then I registered some inconsistencies. These had nothing to do with the history of Christianity or paganism or any of the controversial elements that have since led to global book burnings, confusion and rage directed at the subject manner of “The Da Vinci Code,” which is classified by Brown himself as fiction. Instead, my issues with the book (which, as I said before, I nonetheless found to be something just short of brilliant), have to do with the rules of storytelling and solid, convincing characters. In the book, I remember wondering if Brown threw in some sudden character twists simply to wrap up the plot. Certain characters’ loyalties to one another and deceptions struck me as contrived. Naturally, without several chapters worth of background and information on each character, when such twists occur in the film, it leaves one with even more a sense of suspended belief.When the screen is momentarily filled with unexplained blurps of masked societies performing ritualistic sexual acts and extensive dialogue discussing the roots of Christianity, we who have read the book recall and comprehend the significance to the story, but the unread viewer might swallow these as a bit random, if not utterly confusing.Thanks to those viewers, I’m sure book sales have had a heyday since the film was released. We as humans want to try to understand things.As much criticism as he’s received, I thought Tom Hanks purported the role of (sexless but sensitive, highly intelligent but clearly engrossed in his research) symbolist Robert Langdon really well. I also thought Audrey Tautou was cast perfectly for Sophie Neveu, although in some ways, her character comes off as pretty passive. It’s hard to say if the film can stand alone. As much as my immediate thought upon reading the book was, “this would make a fantastic movie,” I have to say the long-awaited blockbuster left me with a sense of Mona Lisa-like lackluster.

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