The anticipation was practically tangible. Almost every seat was taken as moviegoers flocked to the opening night of “The Da Vinci Code.” Directed by Ron Howard and based on the bestselling novel, it promised to be an action-packed, mystery-filled blockbuster.
The action begins with the murder of Jacques Sauniere, a curator at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Before he dies, Saurniere leaves a mysterious clue for his granddaughter, cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) and Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a professor of symbology at Harvard. According to the French police, Langdon is also the prime suspect in the murder.
Sophie and Robert are thrown into a world of secret societies and ancient conspiracies. Following Sauniere’s clues, the two embark on a quest for the treasure that the Priory of Sion, a secret sect of which Sauniere was a member, has protected for thousands of years - the Holy Grail.
One of the most controversial aspects of the movie is the idea that the Holy Grail is not a cup but the bones of Mary Magdalene, who was married to Jesus and bore his child. However, Silas, a monk in the conservative Catholic order Opus Dei, seeks to locate and destroy the Grail before the truth can be revealed. This race leads to Paris and London in search of clues hidden in paintings, churches and banks.
Although I do feel that the novel could have been made into a better movie, the film is very enjoyable and I recommend it.
While it is unlikely to win an Oscar for best picture, the film is exciting and the riddles, clues, and theories are very interesting. The entertaining, fast-paced “Da Vinci Code” is definitely worth seeing.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.