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A Review of The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code
Editorial Credit: Sony Pictures

The Da Vinci Code: A Mystery Thriller Based On Dan Brown’s Book

The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 novel written by Dan Brown. This is the second novel to feature Robert Langdon. A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Symbologist Langdon and Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist, meet in the aftermath of a murder at the Louvre Museum. They are then embroiled in a fight between the Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion.

The novel charts an alternative history where the kings of France were descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. This idea was initially raised in The Templar Revelation (Clive Prince, 1997), and also in Margaret Starbird’s books.

Many Christian denominations denounced The Da Vinci Code as an attack against the Catholic Church. The book has also come under fire for inaccuracy. Despite this, The Da Vinci Code has sold over 80 million copies and has been translated into over 40 languages.

There was a 2006 film adaptation.

A Review of The Da Vinci Code 1
Editorial Credit: Sony Pictures

The Da Vinci Code Cast

Tom Hanks is cast in the lead role of the famed symbologist Robert Langdon in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s best-selling thriller The Da Vinci Code.

The Da Vinci Code was directed by Ron Howard from a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, both of whom, along with Grazer, took home Oscars for the drama A Beautiful Mind. Production began in 2005 in the United States and Europe.

Tom Hanks – Robert Langdon
Jean Reno – Bezu Fache
Audrey Tautou – Sophie Neveu
Paul Bettany – Silas
Ian McKellen – Sir Teabing
Alfred Molina – Bishop Aragarosa

A Review of The Da Vinci Code 2
Editorial Credit: Sony Pictures

The Da Vinci Code Plot

Jacques Saunière is the curator at the Louvre museum, and also the grandmaster of the Priory of Sion. One night, he’s fatally shot at the museum by Silas, an albino monk working on behalf of someone he knows as the Teacher. The Teacher wants to learn where the keystone is located. This is an item vital to the search for the Holy Grail.

Saunière’s dead body is discovered laid out like Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

Robert Langdon is summoned by the police. Bezu Fache, police captain, asks Langdon, a Harvard professor, to help the police decipher the message Saunière left behind. Included in the message is a Fibonacci sequence that’s not in the proper order.

Langdon explains to the police captain that Saunière was an authority on goddess artwork. He describes how the pentacle Saunière painted with his own blood alludes to the goddess rather than to devil worship, as Fache thinks.

Sophie Neveu is a police cryptographer. She explains to Langdon that she is Saunière’s granddaughter, but that they were estranged. She adds that Fache believes Langdon killed Saunière because the last line in her grandfather’s message read “P.S. Find Robert Langdon, which was meant for Neveu”. This message was meant for Sophie. Her grandfather always called her Princess Sophie (P.S.)

A Review of The Da Vinci Code 3
Editorial Credit: Sony Pictures

Neveu is troubled by her grandfather’s involvement with this secret group, but she understands that her grandfather wanted Langdon to decipher this code. This leads them to a safe deposit box in Paris at the Depository Bank of Zurich.

Langdon and Neveu secretly visit the bank. They find a box with the keystone. This is a hand-held vault with rotating dials. It’s a cryptex with five labeled dials. When these are correctly aligned, it will unlock the device. If forced open, a vial of vinegar will break and destroy the message inside.

The pair take this object to Sir Leigh Teabing, a friend of Langdon’s. Teabing is the leading authority on the Holy Grail. Teabing explains that the Grail is a tomb that houses the bones of Mary Magdalene rather than a cup.

The three flee on Teabing’s private plane. While onboard, they work out the combination of letters and open the cryptex. Inside, there’s an even smaller cryptex containing another riddle. This clue leads them to Isaac Newton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.

As they fly to Britain, Neveu reveals that it was witnessing a spring fertility rite on her grandfather’s country estate that caused the rift between them.

When they arrive at the Abbey, Teabing is revealed as the Teacher, the man Silas is working for. He wants to use the Holy Grail to bring down the Vatican. Teabing forces Langdon to solve the password to the second cryptex at gunpoint. He opens the cryptex, removes the contents, and throws the empty device up in the air.

Fache arrests Teabing after realizing that Langdon is innocent. The police find Silas in an Opus Dei Center. He kills Bishop Aringarosa accidentally and then dies later himself, also from a gunshot wound.

The message inside the second keystone takes Langdon and Neveu to Rosslyn Chapel. Here, they find Neveu’s long-lost brother working as a docent. The guardian of the Chapel is Neveu’s estranged grandmother.

It is then revealed that Sophie and her brother descend from Jesus and Mary Magdalene.  Her identity was hidden by The Priory of Scion.

Conclusion

“People seem to love or hate this movie,” according to Scott Cooper Miami, “When it was released in 2006, it was controversial and received plenty of negative reviews. Personally, I think it was a film worth watching and very entertaining.

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