Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Clash Of Symbols

Sunday's weather wasn't up to par, was it? Still, it gave us an excuse to go and see "The Da Vinci Code", which was rather jolly.

Here's a summary for those who haven't read the book. (And really, why would you?)

Mysterious goings on in La Musée De Louvre, and a grisly murder. Queue one and a half hours of extended chase scenes as the heroes play cat and mouse with the police, dodgy Swiss bankers, and a large number of busty women dressed up in sexualised nurses uniforms. At one point, Tom Hanks actually catches up with the little baldy man, and starts slapping his head in an amusing manner before he escapes on a wheelchair.

They get a bit of breather by holing up (sic) with Serena MacKellan and his slightly rough, rather sexy French butler. There's more than a hint that the butler's not just employed for his driving skills.

So, after the palaver of an hour and a half of high speed road movie with very little exposition, the next five minutes more than makes up for by cramming a stolen academic book's worth of ideas into five minutes of montage, voiceover and not especially special effects. To wit:

Mary Magdalen and Jesus Carpenter had some babies, some of which went on to become Merovingian kings, like that deliciously disdainful bastard in the second Matrix movie. The Holy Grail turns out to be Mary Magdalen's ladywell, and nothing to do with Monty Python. The bloodline from M & J was protected by the Knights Templar and the Priory of Sion. The Holy Roman Catholic Church™ has been trying to kill the blood line off because it challenges a whole load of Christian orthodoxy, in particular the question of whether or not Mr Carpenter was really Divine.

A surprising number of people have been in the known about this throughout the ages, and dropped major hints that they were in the know by leaving phalli and vaginae everywhere in works of art and architecture. Amongst the luminaries involved were Leonardo Di Caprio and Sir Isaac Newton, men so far ahead of their time that they left cryptic clues in modern English to point out where the last scion of Jesus's loins may be found. Opus Dei have taken up the job of eradicating the last descendents whilst limping due to an excess of vigour in tightening the celice, and looking a tad too much like the emperor out of Star Wars.

Sadly, the Illumunati don't rate a mention, although they may have come into the book.
All of this was rapidly followed by some more chasing, but done with lots of money so it involved a private a jet and a Rolls Royce. Or perhaps a Bentley. They also threw in a little bit of masked magician, including the "let's look at that again but see what really happened". Then came a sequence of double-crossings so complex the plot - such as it is - starts to look like macrame. It also highlighted the fact that Serena hasn't quite given up all of Gandalf's powers, since he seemed to be able to be in all sorts of different places almost simultaneously. No sign of Shadowfax, though. Nor of any reason why he offed his butler, other than to semaphore a big "no, the butler didn't do it" for the hard of thinking.

Oh, and in the end, it's the gorgeous French chick. So that's alright then.

Lovely Husband™ and I probably enjoyed it more just because we had been to the Louvre less than two weeks before, and recognised some of the galleries. Also, he is a bit bemused by all the scorn that gets laid on the basic idea of the book/film, which he considers to be highly plausible. As do I.

For all that, I think the film was a better film than the book was a book. And people who watched the film now know that having eidetic memory means you can summon mysterious holographic images to swirl around you at a moment's notice. Either that, or that was just a really crass device intended to remind fuckwits in the audience that yer protagonist is a bit of a clever bonce, actually; and to give them a sense of what it might be like to be like that themselves. Obviously, if they were capable of imagining that for themselves, that would make them clever, so they wouldn't need such hand-holding, but since they're not ... swirl, swoosh. Oh, look, it's the one orb that isn't there. And Tom Hanks is doing some more Masked Magician. Except it's not a very good trick. "Give me the cryptex, and I'll turn my back, then ... tada!"

On an almost related note, my friend A mentioned at the weekend that controversy rages about claims by some churches to have the Foreskin of Jesus, and others his umbilical cord. Since those were things that wouldn't have ended up beaming up to Erich Von Däniken's space ship at the Ascension, they could still be around, although one scholar suggested that the Holy Prepuce ascended and became Saturn's Rings. No, really! Just as well it wasn't Uranus. I'm not sure if there's a name for an operation that transfers skin from your prepuce to your ring, nor if there would be a medical need for such a procedure, but you can never tell with these whacky theologians.


Da Nator said...

Oh, wow. While I doubt I'll be seeing DVC unless my mother begs this weekend, that Wikipedia article on the Holy Prepuce has to be one of the best things I've ever read. Why wasn't that included in the book, I wonder?


Qenny said...

I imagine after all this time, the Holy Prepuce bears more resemblance to a large toenail clipping, especially bearing in mind the different style of circumcision that was used in those days,

jungle jane said...

yes all that bible stuff is a very nice and interesting fairy story but lets face it - we all want to do that French bird.

Jay said...

The book was REALLY badly written. I'm not a book snob but Dan Brown's style offends me on so many, many levels.

I have zero expectations from the movie, especially since:

a) I'm one of the few people in the world who's not enamoured by Tom Hanks
b) I don't want to do that French bird, Jungle Jane

Anonymous said...

I think I'll go as far as to say I like that bird hair. The rest looks shite.

Fuckkit said...

Can I have Jay's share of the French bird?

Qenny said...

jane: No competition from me, you go ahead and do the French bird. I won't even watch. Which comes as something of a relief, since obviously the pressures of lesbian journalism haven't yet turned me.

jay: I completely agree about the book, but honestly - Digital Fortress was much, much worse, if you can imagine such a thing. Incidentally, I really dislike Tom Hanks, and my Lovely Husband™ loathes him with a passion so intense it's quite exciting. He bitterly resents the fact that someone so fucking ugly can have been so successful. That doesn't make him shallow, btw, just a bit envious.

muck: I thought she had a very sexy mouth, in as far as I have any knowledge in the area of womens' mouths.

fuckkit: You can have mine too, and I suspect that Jay will be quite happy to let you have his. Share.

Reluctant Nomad said...

No mention of his, Tom's, hairstyle? This review sucks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tom Hanks blows monkeys. I have it on good authority.

Qenny said...

nomad: I was trying to focus on the less nondescript aspects of the movie.

muck: I think you might have misheard. Tom Monk blows hankies.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Now, I came hear whilst at work to make a witty and insightful comment, but was tragically diverted from doing so by some actual work. Can you believe it?!

Anyway, now I'm home I can't remember what it was.

Bye, then.

Pixie Sprinkle said...

Whaaaaa...foreskin....run awayyyyyyyy

Reluctant Nomad said...

qenny, do you know that I think of you as very much looking like your avatar thingy? I wonder if that means you think that I look like that odd waving little boy?

frobisher said...

The Tom Hanks backlash starts here! Can't think of any films I have enjoyed him in, perhaps "World according to Garp"

Qenny said...

device: Can't you whip up a quick memory boosting potion? Or are you still dazed and confused from your crash landing? Poor thing.

ms. sprinkle: It's okay. Unlike the spider, this time there aren't any pictures.

nomad: I do indeed. I often find myself thinking, as I read your blog, gosh that little boy's very literate. And naturally, I walk around all the time dressed as a court card, and have blue and white hair.

frobisher: Erm ... wasn't that Robbin Williams? Great movie, though. And, wayhay, if it is Robin Williams, it means you've not liked Tom Hanks in anything!

frobisher said...

Yes, your right. I don't like Tom Hanks in anything!

Qenny said...

I can think of a few things I'd like to see him in. A coffin, for example.