“All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals of this novel are accurate”
…one of the most questionable “facts” Dan Brown lists in the opening page of The DaVinci Code.
Hi, I’m museum curator Jacques Sauniere. I’ve just been gut shot by a mad albino monk, and getting gut shot is one of the most painful ways a man can die. For a shooting, it’s also one of the slowest ways to die. I’m in a popular museum, the Louvre. There’s phones everywhere, just in case the cell phone in my pocket is dead. If I die right now, I take with me one of the great secrets of the Templars, which supposedly, could undermine the entire Christian faith. That means my life is precious. So do I use my cell or pick up a phone and call for an ambulance, if even just for pain killers? No, that would imply sanity, and this is a Dan Brown novel.
I know. I’ll do what any rational, intelligent person would do. I will tear off my clothes, pose myself naked like a DaVinci piece, and then draw a pentagram on my chest. Then I will lay on the ground until I die, confident that symbologist Robert Langdon, whom I have never met, will try to decrypt the symbolism of my death, so my death would not have been in vain. My genius, however, has only begun. Being a man of erudition, I know there is no such thing as a symbology department at Harvard University, but maybe he might be there at the library or something. No matter, this important wisdom I carry is too precious to leave to a real university department and a real professor. I shall instead, trust them to a man who makes up his own departments at Harvard university…you know like the Harvard Department of Symbology, or for that matter, its sister units: the Department of Smegmalogy, the Department of Jedi Knightology or the Department of Pubicology.
Wait. I really didn’t have to die, right? Maybe it would have been easier, and far more certain, that I could convey my important secret if I called for an ambulance, and as I lay in the hospital, called for Langdon and told him myself or simply passed him a note. Surely, if I could go to the trouble of painting a pentagram on my chest, posing myself awkwardly on the ground as I was gut shot and dying, I’d have enough strength and lucidity to write a simple note to Langdon, or if you want to be even more thorough, an encrypted note to pass on “an unbroken chain of knowledge.”[pullquote]Surely, if I could go to the trouble of painting a pentagram on my chest, posing myself awkwardly on the ground as I was gut shot and dying, I’d have enough strength and lucidity to write a simple note to Langdon, or if you want to be even more thorough, an encrypted note to pass on “an unbroken chain of knowledge.”[/pullquote]What you have just read is the actual prologue of The DaVinci Code and is in the movie as well. This is an example of Dan Brown’s “careful attention to detail” and knack for writing “gripping, convincing prose.”
So much for a suspension of disbelief, which is the heart of any good story. In an action movie, like the latest X-man movie, this element is not only there it allows for the most fantastic plot twists. However, in The DaVinci Code, this suspension of disbelief is not welcome anywhere near Brown’s general vicinity, and even if it was, would be avoided like a leper at a kissing booth. To say your intellect is danced upon and pissed on like a urinal cake is tempting, but unfair. Clearly, it is assumed the reader or movie viewer has none.
Again, Robert Langdon is a the head of the Symbology Department at Harvard University, and Harvard University has no symbology department. Aware of this discrepancy, the book publishers went to the trouble of creating a web page for Robert Langdon to create the illusion both are real. Isn’t that neat?
This wouldn’t bother me so much if the opening page didn’t imply- nay, insist that the novel was a scholarly exposition of a real secret based on actual events and personages.
Nor does it make much sense to me if the professor of a fake department can attack any religion, when his own credentials imply insanity or fraud. In a downloadable church booklet which I happened to read challenging the assertions of “Cracking the DaVinci Code” , the contested assertions are itemized:
- Jesus is not God; he was only a man.
- Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
- She is to be worshiped as a goddess. [If Jesus is not God, then why should Mary Magdalene be worshiped if a servant is not above the master?]
- Jesus got her pregnant, and the two had a daughter.
- That daughter gave rise to a prominent family line that is still present in Europe today.
- The Bible was put together by a pagan Roman emperor.
- Jesus was viewed as a man and not as God until the fourth century, when he was deified by the emperor Constantine.
- The Gospels have been edited to support the claims of later Christians.
- In the original Gospels, Mary Magdalene rather than Peter was directed to establish the Church.
- There is a secret society known as the Priory of Sion that still worships Mary Magdalene as a goddess and is trying to keep the truth alive.
- The Catholic Church is aware of all this and has been fighting for centuries to keep it suppressed. It often has committed murder to do so.
- The Catholic Church is willing to and often has assassinated the descendents of Christ to keep his bloodline from growing.
“Catholics should be concerned about the book because it not only misrepresents their Church as a murderous institution but also implies that the Christian faith itself is utterly false… Only some of the offensive claims of The Da Vinci Code pertain directly to the Catholic Church.
The article goes on to say:
“The remainder strike at the Christian faith itself. If the book’s claims were true, then all forms of Christianity would be false (except perhaps for Gnostic/feminist versions focusing on Mary Magdalene instead of Jesus).”
That the Catholics would be peeved over the film is understandable, but nobody gives a shit because their priests have been diddling kids with abandon, and the world isn’t about to be diverted from this abomination with a papal movie review. Real world accusations, and realities, are much more damaging than anything fictional here. Besides, the Inquisition pretty much settles any argument as to whether or not the Church was a murderous institution. Speaking of abominations, back to this over-hyped
donkey dick study in mediocrity, Dan Brown.
Brown’s precious conjecture that Jesus wasn’t crucified, that he had children with Mary, then moved to France and thus became a royal blood lineage that exists to this day… It all serves eugenic Euro-centric monarchies well. What better way to perpetuate the unworthy kingdoms of inbreds than to fool the world into believing the royal families of Europe are direct descendants of Jesus of Nazareth?
That said, we get back to the suspension of disbelief. In an action movie, this is important, in a drama/thriller, it is critical. It is especially critical when a fictional movie attempts to challenge the foundation of over 2,000 years of Christianity: archaeology, religious and secular history, etc.
The viewer has to believe that the claims of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) could possibly have basis in reality. In the opening scenes, we see a droning Landon delivering a lecture on symbology. Projected on a large screen before a university audience is a slide show, showing photos of symbols in different settings and angles. For example the swastika in Buddhism and the Nazi Party, and the similarity between the Klan robe and hood to those worn by certain priests in Europe. The message here is that the same or similar symbols means different things to different cultures. Well, duh. White is the color of mourning in China, and in the west, black is the color of mourning. So what?
This is the basis of Langdon’s “genius”, and his “science” which will propel the movie’s alleged plot. Since this is a film about religion, one would expect an expert in archeology, theology, ancient languages, history, in short, a man who embodies all of these real sciences. But no, we get a man- Langdon- that can tell us the symbolism of the extended middle finger I’m showing him may mean different things in different places and times. Symbols are relative to time and place, we get it. That’s why I don’t flip off a blind person, it’s rude and beside, it’s pointless relative to the circumstances.
Now, I love movies. And I can forgive a few monologues by gunmen which inevitably, allow the hero to escape, if not turn the tables and capture the gunman. These attention-whore-soliloquizing-gunmen are the most common props in the stage kit of the lazy or unoriginal writer. In The DaVinci Code, just about everyone has a gun but Langdon, and everyone with a gun has a prepared speech. You almost expect the gunman to reach into his coat pocket, grab his speech and read aloud like it was Oscar night.
One of the most absurd attention-whore-soliloquizing-gunman scenes includes
Teabag Teabig, an elderly cripple (Ian McKellan). He needs two canes to stand, and can barely walk. Yet, he can easily subdue Langdon and Sophie, since it occurs to neither of these cardboard cut-outs that maybe, just maybe, they could out run the yammering old gimp as he drones on and on about The Dark Side. It is obvious to anyone but these two imbeciles that Teabag cannot walk and aim a gun at once, and that the only time he can aim a gun is when he is precariously braced up by one of his two canes.
I could go on and on about Dan Brown’s literary masturbation to Leonardo DaVinci , but I won’t. Those who read the book and liked it will probably like the movie too. But if you haven’t read the book, you will probably hate the film, like the people I saw shaking their heads in disgust and booing as I left the theater. (Seriously)
Cracking the DaVinci Code