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May 25, 2006
 The Da Vinci Code—A Long-awaited Film that Delivers
 by The Blonde and The Maven

Its difficult to give a synopsis of The Da Vinci Code without revealing too much (if you are one of those 25 people who havent read the book). The basic plot is as follows:

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is signing books after a lecture on the origin of symbols when he is interrupted by a policeman. Robert, who is played by Tom Hanks (The Terminal and Castaway), is a modest man who is uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, so he immediately leaves with the detective. He has been summoned to the Louvre, where the museums curator has been murdered. Captain Bazel Fache, portrayed by Jean Reno (The Professional and French Kiss) wants Robert to explain the symbols surrounding the dead man. During their talk, they are interrupted by a police cryptologist who informs Fache that she has solved some of the codes that are at the scene. She is Sophie Neveu, played by Audrey Tautou (Amelie and Dirty Pretty Things), a determined and dedicated code breaker who has a secret to share with Robert. The murder and Sophies message send Robert on a dangerous journey into the "greatest cover-up in human history." It is a journey that involves Opes Dei, cults, the Knights Templar, artwork and history of 2,000 years ago. Captain Fache has an unwavering severity in all matters, is hiding a secret as well and is very determined to bring Robert in for the murder at the Louvre, as well as three others. Sophie and Robert realize they have uncovered the tip of a conspiracy involving warring factions of the Catholic Church and the Holy Grail. At Roberts suggestion, they seek out the foremost expert on the Grail, Sir Leigh Teabing, who is played by Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings and Cold Comfort Farm). While they are on the run, there is a mysterious monk, Silas, portrayed by Paul Bettany (Wimbledon and A Beautiful Mind), who is after the same thing they are looking for, but for different reasons.

Dan Brown wrote the book this film is based on. He blended facts, speculation and pure fiction into an intriguing mix. Ron Howard (Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind) took on the monumental task of bringing this story to the big screen. He hired screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (Poseidon and A Beautiful Mind) to translate a book full of long dialogues into a movie that did more than lecture the moviegoer. A few changes were made to make the film flow better, otherwise it is identical to the novel.

The Blonde: Do you want to know how tight Tom, Ron, and I are?
The Maven: I will just say no, so we can get it over with faster!
The Blonde: Tom, Ron, and I are ‘sooo’ tight that they decided to open this film on MY birthday to honor ME! How cool is that?
The Maven: Is it hard being you? Does it HURT inside your head? How many fingers am I holding up? Leave it to you to find a way to mention YOUR birthday in this film review.
The Blonde: Oh my, you are so totally jealous! Whatever! Back to the film made by MY buddies. I waited so long for this film to come out that I was almost scared I might be disappointed. However, as Ron has been discussing it with me for months now, I knew he would deliver the best and he does. I have lost much respect for some of my colleagues, who gave this film a bad review. Were they on drugs or something? I TOTALLY LOVED this film. The Da Vinci Code was like Indiana Jones meets The Bond films meets National Treasure meets The Name of the Rose meets the king of all cover-up conspiracies and films ever made from the beginning of time. Where do I begin? Needless to say, if we are not entering the factors of religion or politics into our decisions, this story was breathtakingly fantastic. ACTUALLY, GENIUS! 163 weeks on the best-seller list proves me right! Some people are worried that the public will believe this story and possibly turn on the church. I say, if the church was SO truly confident in their beliefs, they would have nothing to worry about from a HOLLYWOOD film. That said, who knows for SURE where the truth really lies? Ponder on THAT for a while after seeing this film!
The Maven: I didn’t find this film blasphemous or sacrilegious. It was a work of FICTION. It had a few negative views on Catholic doctrine and church policies (who doesn’t). But unlike The Passion of the Christ film, it doesn’t go out of its way to be insulting or condescending. The film kept the gist of the novel’s plot and changed very little. Of course, that meant a heavy plot line with little character development. However, this film was very well done. Most critics love to go against the grain so they love to tear down good films. Lucky for us, we didn’t go to film school and get brainwashed with BAD taste.
The Blonde: Furthermore, to the film critics who put down my buddy Tom for walking through this film, I say, WHAT THE HE-- ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT? He was, as always, “DEAD-ON”! He was a professor, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. How bubbly would you expect a professor to be? Obviously those critics haven’t hung out at many colleges! Tom, you were GREAT, and you always are. The EVER VERSATILE Hanks delivers yet again! Heck, I even liked your hair! I simply think those critics are either (A) confused subtle, honest, and real as just going through the motions or (B) didn’t like the story line because of their own PERSONAL VIEWS! Moving along, Ian McKellen was amazing as well. You hung on his every word. British actors, like I have always said, are one with their characters.
The Maven: Ian WAS amazing. He was so good in this film. His enthusiasm for the Grail and its history was contagious. I wanna go find it too! Tom brought Robert Langdon to life for me. He was perfect. I wanted to hear ALL of that lecture at the beginning of the movie. It sounded fascinating.
The Blonde: TOM brings every character he has ever played to life for me! I was so taken back by the beautiful artistry in this piece of work. The way Ron Howard dissolved the past flashbacks into the present and vice versa was beyond creative. Stunning! I know Ron, and he probably lived in the editing room from the beginning until the film was in the can. This was miraculous editing, truly amazing. Mav, since I didn’t want to compare this film to the book, I waited to read it. So how does it compare? Most books are better than the movie. Does that apply to The Da Vinci Code as well?
The Maven: You do not know Ron. Watching him on “The Andy Griffith Show” does not qualify as growing up with him. AND YEAH, that’s why you didn’t read the book! The book was more complete but not necessarily better. Akiva kept to Dan’s storyline beautifully.
The Blonde: HEY, speak for yourself! I was too young when that show was on! This film, whether holding any truths or not, does remind us of the evil, hatred, war, murder and all the horrible things done in the name of religion? It also makes us question how wrongs justified in the name of religion are so common. Have we as a society learned anything at all from our past? By the way, Mav, have you seen the new Prada purse collection?
The Maven: Forget Prada! Louis Vuitton has some gorgeous stuff out. So do Coach and Dooney and Bourke. I can’t wait for the cheaper copies of Louis to come into the market place! As a society, we will NEVER learn from history.
The Blonde: Oh man, Louis has come out with their new collection! I am SO at the mall tomorrow! I would be remiss if I didn’t write how much I enjoyed Audrey Tautou’s performance. She was perfectly cast, quite lovely and seemed to play quite well off the other actors, especially Tom. I thought she looked very Catherine Zeta-Jones-esque. She is a very pretty lady. She is wholesome looking and that is quite possibly why she was cast for the part. I hated Paul Bettany in this film. Silas was odd and over the top evil as well as evil looking that it really freaked me out. That is the sign of a great performance.
The Maven: Yes, Paul was great. I felt so sorry for this abused soul who psychopathically served the Lord so well.
The Blonde: IT IS SCARY to realize that there are REALLY people out there who feel this way. So Mav, how do you feel about the news on Sir Paul McCartney? I never liked that girl anyway; she is NO Linda! Well, the way I see it now that he is back on the market, you and I need to fly on over to London and introduce ourselves. After all, WE have adored him forever and a day! We certainly have earned ourselves a vacation.
The Maven: You can go to London alone. I am a Ringo fan, always have been.
The Blonde: Maybe so, but Ringo is still happily married. Paul is a free man, a lot poorer, but nevertheless he is soon to be free.
The Maven: I highly recommend this film. You do not need to read the book at all. Ron did a great job! The museum scenes and all the church scenes were beautifully shot. The story flowed well and all the strings were tied up. The conspiracies it brings up will elicit some wonderful debates amongst you and your friends, even if you did read the book. I rate it an A for it absolutely astounding accomplishment of being able to follow the book so well.
The Blonde: What I found the most amazing of all was that Ron was given permission to film at the Louvre. That is almost unheard of. This film was fascinating, spellbinding, intense, suspenseful, original, creative, and will really have you thinking long after you walk out of the theater. I loved The Da Vinci Code and rate it an A. For your film snacks, pick YOUR favorite! You will be so involved in the movie you will forget to eat anyway!


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