Friday, May 19, 2006

Da Vinci...

So there we are - I'm just back from the First Screening of the Da Vinci Code in Northern Ireland... Yeah, you might think I'm a bit sad, but it was interesting to be there, and to see what it was all about. Seemingly it was of enough importance for UTV to send along Pamela Ballentine and a cameraman... although we didn't stop for an interview.

One of the most interesting things, as it turned out, was that the posh car that takes the lead characters from the airport to the Temple Church in London is a Fermanagh Reg car: CIL are the letters... so maybe that says something about the film itself, if I notice things like that.

The story is slightly different from the book - much more condensed, and yet, doesn't really grab the attention. For it to be a suspense, it just doesn't cut it some of the time. But let's not be overly critical. It was still quite a good film, and made good use of locations etc - although their use of Lincoln Cathedral interior for Westminster just wasn't adequate!

We must remember, though, that the story is fiction... and agood job too, because if it were pretending to be factual, it gets a lot of its important details wrong. So, for example, Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire in 325 at the Council of Nicaea... well, not quite. Also, they argue that before that, Christians had attacked the Roman Empire - I've never heard of that before... but certainly the Empire attacked and persecuted Christians.

To be fair, though, Robert Langdon does seem to play devil's advocate, in arguing for the orthodox position several times, which isn't found in the book - but even then, things are always left that the conspiracy wins out, as they search for the resting place of Mary Magdalene, and the descendants of Jesus and Mary...

One thing grates a bit, though. A couple of times through the film (and also the book), the characters always make strong arguments for seeking truth - it is the truth they are seeking. Langdon is the voice for modern pluralism, as he says 'it's all about what you believe yourself' - meaning, of course, that belief is all subjective, down to the individual, and that there is no objective truth. And sadly, that is where the whole thing falls down. They try to make out that Jesus was just a man, who three hundred years later, at the Council of Nicaea, was declared to be God - transferred from being a man, to being God. Yet they never quite manage it, because they totally miss the central character, not just in the film, but also in world history. There was One who said 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life' - yet the characters in the story never come to the truth. When Jesus rose from the dead (a sure proof that he was divine), Thomas greeted him with the words 'My Lord and my God' - and Jesus didn't rebuke him. In Philippians 2, we find an early Christian hymn, which clearly ascribes to Jesus the worship and position that only belonged to God - that 'at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.'

So do the characters find the truth? Well, they think they have, when they realise that Sophie is the descendant of Mary Magdalene, but their idea couldn't be further from the truth.


  1. Can't Believe you went to see that Gary!! I wouldn't go near it.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous... I wanted to see what it was all about, and also to see the various architectural features talked about in the book which seemingly hold clues to the code.

  3. Hi Gary,

    Not seen the film yet, but read the book a few times. Many glaring errors in it historically! etc but it is fiction after all!

    Anyway, Jesus can't have been married, everyone knows she was gay! ;-p