18 May 2006

Da Vinci Code in Bangkok

Mat and I just went to see the Da Vinci Code at the Scala in Siam Square. Today is the first day of its screening here in Thailand. There has been a series of debate whether its screening here wouldn't affect Christian people. What I heard from the news was that some of the Christians actually launched a petition for the censorship of some parts of the film, especially the last ten minutes when it reveals what the Holy Grail actually is. Columbia Pictures did appeal and won so we had a chance to see the 'whole' film.

My first reaction after watching it was that the film and the novel didn't quite correspond in many points and that several sensitive issues are still left untouched or slightly implied, i.e. the relationship between Neveu and Sauniere and how the Priory of Sion 'keepers' actually keep the 'rose line' or the 'blood line' alive. We saw the scene whereby Sauniere had sex with a woman in some sort of ritual but they never explained why this old man was still at it! I guess this will probably incense more people so the filmmakers have decided to downplay these. Apart from this, I also couldn't quite understand some parts of the film. Two questions, for example. When they were at the Temple Church, why did Teabing's assistant need to kill both Langdon and Neveu, even though Teabing still needed Neveu to tell him the code to open the cryptex? Also why did Captain Fache arrest only Teabing, and not Langdon and Neveu even though they're believed to be suspects?

I've read the novel and I must confess that reading it is more enjoyable than watching it. But watching it helps my reading as some of the details of the novel are based on 'real' settings. My personal pleasure is to learn that Dan Brown uses 'apple' as a clue to the cryptex. 'Apple' can mean many things (not just i-pod, mind you!) and what it reminds me straight away is the apple of knowledge. Both Langdon and Neveu have tasted it but refused to let others know it, apart of me and the rest of the people who have seen the film of course (in addition to just several millions who have read it). Now we need to keep quiet and don't tell anyone else ok? Shhhhhhhh...

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