I met up with a group of local media folks to see The DaVinci Code last night, and the experience was pretty much exactly what I expected. One critic was panning the film before we even walked into the theater, and seeing it did not change his opinion one bit. He was offended by the mere Idea of this film, and was not about to let himself be entertained.
The story is a murder mystery that takes Tom Hanks on a treasure hunt for clues. His quest for The Holy Grail, leads us through some of the most famous landmarks in Europe. It was well made, fast paced, and full of interesting twists and turns.
This film should be on par with Indiana Jones and the last crusade. Both movies are action adventure tales based on Grail lore. But Indiana Jones never raised the ire of the faithful the way The DaVinci Code has. The contoversy lies in the premise that the clues in this mystery question some of the modern interpretations of Christianity. Indiana Jones never did that. The Indy movie reinforced the tenets of The Church.
The crime behind Dan Brown's book is that it dares to ask the heretical question "What If?"
"What if?" is a dangerous question.
"What If?" caused the death of Galileo when he challenged the teachings of The Church by claiming that the earth moved around the sun.
"What If?" set off the great debate of Darwin's Evolution.
"What If?" landed John Scopes in jail.
"What If?" was the question posed by our forefathers when they wondered if it was possible to create a nation without a King; When the demanded Freedom of Religion; When they explored the idea that The People might be able to govern themselves; When they surmised that freedom of speech might be an idea worth protecting.
There are a lot of Americans who shook their heads in dismay at the violent reactions of Muslims when a Danish newspaper printed a cartoon of The Prophet Mohammad.
When I read all the hype over The DaVinci Code, it just makes me realize how alike we all really are.
If you like murder mysteries, code breaking and clues, you will like The DaVinci Code, unless of course you are afraid to ask "What If?"