Friday, May 12, 2006

No "Da Vinci Code"

I've never been in the business of telling people not to see movies. Heck, even the folks at Focus on the Family and other groups have figured out that seeing movies that offend them and explaining why is more effective than trying to organize any kind of boycott.

And that's not at all what I'm trying to do here. I just wanted to say why, after thinking a lot about it, I have reversed course and finally made up my mind to not see "The Da Vinci Code."

Being one of maybe 10 literate people who haven't read the book, here's the premise as I understand it. A Harvard professor of something or other, while investigating a murder at the Louvre, discovers clues in Da Vinci's work that lead to the covered-up "truth" that Mary Magdalene was actually Jesus' wife who, after his crucifixion, gave birth to a daughter, Sarah, who went on to somehow become French royalty.

Juicy stuff, eh? And I love a good conspiracy. But I won't be biting at this one.

Why? Would I ask a Jewish person to sit through a well-made movie that posits the Holocaust was a hoax fabricated to give the United States a valid reason for taking out Hitler in World War II? Or a black person to enjoy a glossy Hollywood blockbuster about how top-secret documents show slavery was also a fabrication to give Lincoln cover in standing up to the Southern states?

Of course not. And as a fairly lapsed but still clinging Catholic, that's exactly how I view "Da Vinci Code": as a very elaborate assault on everything I believe.

I pay for a lot of swill from Hollywood, and I enjoy well more than half of the blockbusters I see. But I don't need to pay to be lied to by Tom Hanks and Ron Howard.

I'll give Audrey Tautou a pass on this one, because she's just simply so adorable and because I love "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement" so much.

And I won't be like that guy who drags his poor 8-year-old-or-so son to picket outside the Barnes and Noble in Macon every time a "Harry Potter" book comes out (besides, I love "Harry Potter"!). I encourage anyone who wants to see this to do so and, indeed, let me know what you thought. You just won't be seeing me there.

What I will be seeing this weekend is "Art School Confidential" on Saturday and "Poseidon" on Sunday. Feel free to check back for reviews of each late afternoon on each day.


Apologia said...

I'm with you 100%. Why give money to people who produce this kind of movies? So that they go ahead and trample upon us some more with the next one? You won't see me there either, but I guess not every Christian will do the same. It takes courage to be set apart and not go with the flow.

Tosy And Cosh said...

I think the parallels you draw are much broader and sillier than the story told in The DaVinci Code (or as I understand it--I'm another of the ten). Maybe it's that I haven't read it, but the book doesn't discount or otherwise try to negate Christian faith, does it?

Reel Fanatic said...

You may be right, Tosy .. I realize that the parallels I made are much broader, but if you posit that Jesus was indeed not the son of Mary, as Brown does, than you have, in my opinion, largely "negated the Christian faith" .. and again, I'm happy he has ever right to do so, just as I have every right to not support it

Birdy07 said...

While I understand your point of view, I'm not quite sure I agree.
When I first read the book, I came away with the same feelings as yourself. I was worried that my faith was not strong enough to disregard the fictional account. However, I neglected to realize that my FAITH was being tested, and I believe I passed the test.
Since the movie is obviously fiction and my beliefs and convictions, I believe, are strong enough to withstand a fictional account, I will be seeing the movie. I read the book as well, and would like to see how Ron Howard and his team bring the story to life. Just because you watch the "Superman" films doesn't mean you believe someone is capable of taking flight, correct? While I know this is a humorous comparison, I do believe that the same can be applied to this situation. If anything, by watching this movie and reading the novel, I am better prepared to share my beliefs with others who might use the film to disprove Christianity.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think you are right, Birdy .... Many, many Christians will go see this movie and still keep their strong faith .. my point was more that my distaste for the idea has kept me away from the book, and now the movie, altogether

themarina said...

Great post. I respect your decision and this is the best ddefense I've seen (though you don't need's your choice in the end!).

I had no interest in the book when it came out and eventually just read it to see what all the hype was about (it's too bad I can't take back the 6 hours it took to read it). The movie looks like it may be promising but I'll wait a little while before venturing out.

I'm planning to see Poseidon tomorrow in IMAX of all things. I enjoyed "Art School Confidential" but not as much as I thought I would. It sort of missed the mark for me.

Have an entertaining weekend!

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Marina ... We unfortunately have no Imax here, but it should be intense anyway!

TwinThomas said...

SNIP** Would I ask a Jewish person to sit through a well-made movie that the Holocaust was a hoax **SNIP

I really am taken aback by your position ..but this is the Bible Belt right??
Your views should in no way prevent you from seeing and reviewing any movie. If so, your blog should be removed from the Macon Tel.

The "D Code" movie is less subversive than any of the rot on COX cable.

Reel Fanatic said...

I am sorry if that analogy offended you, Thomas, and Macon is indeed at the center of the bible belt ... I very rarely find myself on the fundamentalist side of arguments, but this movie is one exception where I just find the whole endeavor so offensive that I can not support it in anyway

Yamill Figueroa said...

Mr./ Ms. Reel Fanatic:

I believe that your position is not only narrow minded (although I do respect your right to think whatever you want!), but may reflect how weak your faith truly is.

I personally welcome anything that challenges what I believe in: it allows me to think and search within myself for the one truth that will make me a more complete individual. How can you argue with something you know little about? To be able to defend what you believe in you must know well that you disagree with.

The ostrich puts its head into a hole when it ia AFRAID of something... I wonder if that is not what you are doing.

Reel Fanatic said...

You may well be right, Yamill ... but it is the American way that we vote with our wallets, and I simply can not with a clean conscience give any money to this

Lawrence said...

I've read the book, and I don't recall its ever having said that Jesus was not the son of Mary. It does present Jesus as more of a teacher than a divine figure, and could therefore be said to promote Aryanism.

Not being Christian, my views on the book's ultimate message are ambivalent at best. In the end I found it to be an entertaining but silly diversion with factual holes large enough to constitute driving hazards.

EmmaJ said...

I agree with you that the Da Vinci Code is probably a waste of time, but for different reasons. You say the story is a lie. Well of course it's a lie- it's a novel! A fictional story. The beauty of historical fiction is that it can take what it wants from history and leave the rest. Whatever Dan Brown and the film producers believe or don't believe about the Catholics and Jesus is niether here nor there- they're marketing the movie as it should be: a wild (and fictional) international mystery. Dan Brown is there to make money and show off, not bring down the Christian faith.

My main problem with the Da Vinci Code is that it is badly written and has a preposterous plotline. My main problem with the movie is that it has no material value- it's simply piggy-backing off the success of the book (plus Tom Hanks' hair looks stupid in it.) But this made-up controversy about a story that says up-front it is a work of fiction is really just silly.

Reel Fanatic said...

I agree with you mostly, Emma, and as I said I don't want to keep anyone from seeing this .. I just meant that, even as a work of fiction, it's not anything I would ever want to see

whitechoclatespacegg said...

I agree with what you say, don't see a movie that you know will offend you. This whole Da Vinci Code thing has been blown out of proportion. I myself have not read the book. But I know what it is about, and I know there are certain biblical archeologists that want it to be true. I have seen countless documentaries where they seem to be grasping at straws to prove it to be so.

The people saying that it shouldn't be offensive because it is a fictional piece of work are forgetting something. Though we may be intelligent enough to know it's just a book, the general public may not be. It's never just fiction when it's about religion. People believe this stuff too deeply for it to be. Not to mention the fact that, I don't know what's going on where other people live, but where I live, I heard a blurb on the radio about this movie being about Christianity being the oldest closest kept secret. Now if a news program is viewing it as such, what does that tell you....

Reel Fanatic said...

With the reviews coming in, it looks like I can add one final reason for not seeing this .. apparently it stinks! .. thanks to all who have commented on this thread, which has generated some welcome discussion

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