Sunday, October 22, 2006
Da Vinci Code?
Many films are adaptations of novels. The usual bleat, from people who have read the novel, is that the film is bad, not true to the novel, etc. Over the years, I have seen many such films (usually having read the books too), and I am very tolerant of the need to make adaptations. After all, we are talking about two different media. Some adaptations have created works of art in their own right, independently of the original novel. Some Dickens novels and some Bronte novels, for example.
Which is why it is no pleasure for me, having read with pleasure Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, to say that the film version is atrocious. Apart from some splendid visual effects, it falls down on almost every count. The plotline is very difficult to follow, even if you have read the book. There are some grotesque non sequiturs. The female lead, Audrey Tautou, has a French accent so thick it is almost impossible to penetrate. She specialises in lines like "zhon squirr zillu dadidoo".
As for Tom Hanks, he plays the whole thing in a state of squeamish embarrassment, his slovenly unshaven appearance making it all the more obvious that he had to drink a quart before he could screw up enough courage to go on the set. Poor bugger.
Whole chunks of the novel necessary to the understanding of the plot have been omitted. Some of the casting is totally misplaced, the albino monk, Silas, being the prime example. And, worst of all, the incidental music is so intrusive, so unnecesary most of the time and so sickeningly religioso that I would recommend that the musical director be locked in a room for a year and - pace Woody Allen - forced to listen nonstop to operettas. That should cure him. If you think I'm alone in my judgment, click here.
In view of all this, and assuming I am right, I think the Vatican can relax: Christ is alive and well and suitably celibate.
Well, I guess that's my grumpy-old-man piece over and done with for the week. Have a nice one.