Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code is utterly preposterous and Ron Howard’s movie based on this novel is preposterously entertaining. Both of them contain accusations against the Catholic Church and its Opus Dei order which would be scandalous if any sound mind person could possibly entertain them. There are people believing in Brown’s fantasies about the true story of Mary Magdalene, the descendants of Jesus, the Holy Grail, Opus Dei, and the Knights Templar. This can distract them from the theory that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane.
Surely, The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction and the movie of Ron Howard religiously follows the book. Although the book is a potboiler which was written with little style and grace, it supplies an intriguing plot. Fortunately, Ron Howard is a much better filmmaker than Dan Brown is a novel writer. He follows Brown’s formula but elevates it to be a superior entertainment, starred Tom Hanks as a theo-intellectual Indiana Jones.
Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon who is a symbologist from Harvard to Paris for a lecture when Inspector Fache (played by Jean Reno) informs him of the murder of Jacques Sauniere, a poor museum curator (played by Jean-Pierre Marielle). This man has been murdered and may die inside the Louvre; his wounds, though mortal, luckily leave him enough time to conceal a safe deposit key, arrange his body within a design by Da Vinci, and write out in his own blood an encrypted message, a scrambled numerical sequence, and a footnote to Sophie Neveu (played by Audrey Tautou), the pretty French policewoman who was raised by him after the death of her parents.
Tom Hanks, Jean Reno, and Audrey Tautou do a good job of playing their roles in this movie. The movie works, involves, intrigues and seems on the edge of startling revelations. The trail which Robert and Sophie follow is so difficult that it seems impossible for anyone, including them, to ever follow. And here’s some more question: where the trail begins? and isn’t it sort of curious where it leads? However, as T.S. Eliot wrote, “In my beginning is my end.”