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The Da Vinci Code Review

The Da Vinci Code
Samrat Sharma / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
3.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Let's establish this first – this is a loud, summer action film, and it has to be ridiculously over the top at times. But when in the first scene of the film, an old man, just having been gutted by Paul Bettany, and obviously dying, is leaving coded messages all over the Louvre, hanging a painting while bleeding from his stomach, you know it can't top itself. Then the old man proceeds to strip naked, draw a pentagram, and lie down to die in the classic Da Vinci pose. Hrrrm.

I have long heard the argument that some films are meant be enjoyed by leaving your brain out and not thinking about them. I just don't get it. Why? Why should I not be allowed to think when I am watching a film? What happened to the intelligent and coherent action films of the ‘80s, where, over the top as they may be, nothing got ludicrous?

The Da Vinci Code is not a stupid film. It's an insulting film that presumes that we are stupid. It's a movie that takes itself seriously when it is trying to sell a half-baked hokey theory to us, and manages to be funny in a way that will only hurt its chances at the box office. It is littered with scarily blunt dialog and exposition, assuming that the viewer can't think for himself.

Dan Brown's novel is a pulpy, forgettable, if occasionally entertaining book, in which main protagonist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) must team up with Agent Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) to solve the mystery of her grandfather's death, and solve cryptic clues to follow the trail of a secret kept for 2,000 years. Involved are two secret societies intent on fighting over the secret. While the plot of the book is unevenly paced, the film follows the book almost exactly to the T, and still ends up crushingly boring.

After a madcap race from uninteresting clue to uninteresting clue, you realize that the film is also too long. Too bad you have two and a half hours to sit through. In the film, it seems that the clues and the codes are not important to director Ron Howard. He is saving all his chutzpah for the end scene where the mystery is revealed.

If not as an intelligent mystery, maybe it works as a thriller? Well, the hero of our story is so stolid, all the action in the film is relegated to someone or the other pulling a gun to someone else's face, and Hanks watching the standoffs with a detachment that is scary to watch. This is a multiple Oscar winner we are talking about. Audrey Tautou is neither charming nor intelligent. Her character comes across as a stumbling, clueless girl.

Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) as a character serves as a convoluted plot point, and the guy to whom the biggest exposition pieces are relegated. But McKellan takes all his wit, charm, and the ability to bloody enunciate (which, to digress, none of the actors in the film seems to possess), and makes his narrative parts some of the best bits in the film. Alfred Molina... well, Spiderman 2, you know? I forgive him. But only just.

What, if any, are the saving points of the film then? The cinematography, for one, is brilliant in places. The setting up shots are nicely crafted and deftly colored. The chase sequences are shot using shaky cam techniques mastered by the Bourne movies, but do not come across as a cheap me-too attempt. And Ian McKellan - I can't recommend his teasing, witty performance enough.

Halfway through the film, I realized that the brouhaha created by the central theme is so lost in the sea of mediocrity that the protesters should just watch the film once. It is doing their job for them. This is a story that deserved a fun, pulp treatment mirroring of the mood of the book. The screenplay and direction made the same mistake the protesters did – they took it seriously.
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THE DA VINCI CODE SNAPSHOT
The Da Vinci Code (english) reviews
USER RATING
7.1
49 USERS
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  • Cast
    Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina
  • Director
    Ron Howard
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
THE DA VINCI CODE USER REVIEWS
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USER RATING
7.1
49 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Zinnia on 10th Aug 2006, 6:48am | Permalink
I think the main thing propelling your review is the fact you did not like the book. If you haven't been able to appreciate the finer points in the book, you'll be unable to notice the departures from the same in the movie and also places where the value additions have been made.

True, Hanks was stoney and Tatou was miscast. But the there was something engrossing about the entire thing.

All I can say is, there have been disasters at the block office and this aint one of 'em.
RATING
4
Aamir Khan on 9th Aug 2006, 12:28am | Permalink
Oh boy, the movie sux.
RATING
2
Apsara Sharma on 1st Aug 2006, 6:59pm | Permalink
oh my god , who the heck is this samrat sharma? this seriously is one of the most horrible reviews i have read since years. looks like this guy dint read the novel, but simply browsed through the story from a school textbook. it seems from this review that that is the level of his understanding. and btw, as someone said, i wont be surprised if he is a school boy, working to earn some quick bucks.bad usage of language too.
RATING
10
Doesit Matter on 1st Aug 2006, 1:46am | Permalink
Here is the thing Samrat -the novel worked NOT because it was racy or action packed but because of a supposed mystery it revealed about the identity of christ and mary magdalene. it would not have mattered if it was non-fiction, a philosophical treatise instead of a fictional thriller. your parameters for judging the film and book are WRONG. you really need to go back and re-read the book. you've got it your perspective totally wrong
RATING
6
Chandu on 30th Jul 2006, 11:39pm | Permalink
surely not up to the expectations.But the remarks on the novel shows samrat has very narrow knowledge about the novel.I give half star out of five for his review, just becuse he can read and write english.



i give 3 stars for the movie.
RATING
6
S S on 30th Jul 2006, 2:15am | Permalink
Why should I not be allowed to think when I am watching a film?

Coz if you could think you would write better reviews and get a better job.





fullhyderabad doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel .... it shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence as barrels.



Critics are not supposed to just criticise. Also I feel Ron Howard knows a lot more about how movies should be made than the people reviwing here. Its a good film not great. But if this got 1 1/2 stars how the hell did Ashok get 2 !!!

I wouldnt be surprised if the reviewer has certain motives for not wanting people to see this film.



NO CONSISTENCY IN REVIEWS.
RATING
6
Jeenedoyaar on 27th Jul 2006, 8:30pm | Permalink
seems like the reviews are more on the reviewer of this movie here.



Its a gud movie. just go and watch
RATING
8
Rupesh Uppala on 27th Jul 2006, 6:47am | Permalink
really bad review...i wish fullhyd hires better reviewers than this.

da vinci code , if not great is a good movie to watch.
RATING
10
Steve Martin on 26th Jul 2006, 11:08pm | Permalink
though not an indian, i follow this site as, i am stayin in hyd for some time. and well, all wat i can say is that this is clearly one of the worst written reviews ive read. DVC is a much better movie than wat the reviewer projects it to be.
RATING
8
Kris on 26th Jul 2006, 9:54pm | Permalink
Come on dude... the movie is not that bad... i agree that it is not even close to its hyped value, but the review is as if the reviewer is completely against Da Vinci... It has become fashion nowadays to oppose any revolutionary success... such thing happened to Harry Potter too... We have a lot respect to fullhyd reviews.. i follow'em blindly... but dont lose ur repu with such lame reviews...
RATING
6
Madhu on 26th Jul 2006, 3:06pm | Permalink
I wonder whether the reviewer had really watched the movie.....it looks to me thats not so.



The movie is worth every penny you spend on it. The director had stick to the novel 100% which is its big asset.
RATING
10
Priyanka Rao on 25th Jul 2006, 10:32pm | Permalink
well..here its very clear tht the main intention of the reviewer is to get some attention by goin against the stream. i guess its time reviewers like this need a break.

davinci code is a very good movie which stuck 100% to the novel. the director made the movie how it shud have been made, by solely depending on the strong script and nothin else. and i can say its well taken cos even though i dint read the novel, i cud the understand the whole movie when i watched it for the first time. i then read the novel just to find out if he missed anything in the movie. davinci code cannot have been made better than this.
RATING
10
Dan Brown on 25th Jul 2006, 8:28pm | Permalink
i'd give the film 3 stars. the film works as an average thriller. Those who had read the novel wont be fully satisfied with the film and those who havent wont be able to connect all the dots and understand the film 100%. can be seen once after reading the book.
RATING
6
Priyanka Reddy on 25th Jul 2006, 1:14pm | Permalink
Sorry I am unable to give a smaller rating. The movie is not atleast 1% as interesting as the book.
RATING
2
Gaurav Doshi on 25th Jul 2006, 9:05am | Permalink
mr. samrat, I think whatever job you do, it's important to do justice to it.


the davinci code is a treat to watch. it's not a film u get get to see often. so ignore this critique and go and watch this film without expecting anything.
RATING
8
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