Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Finally after all the hype, it's book being on the best seller list for months and an obscene amount of tie-in products, The Da Vinci Code movie is here!

My friend and I are going to try to go and see it tonight. I read the book a year ago, it was ok. But as is wont to happen, the hype was more than the actual thing. My friend, Molly Malone, read it before me and she warned me, it wasn't the best of written English. The book does have an interesting premise, about what the Holy Grail is or could be and the role of the Catholic Church in this quest.

I have to say, as a target, the Catholic Church is an easy mark. It has thousands of years of history, full of bouts of turmoil, very interesting! The whole act of exorcism alone hooks me in. There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the Church and I certainly don't doubt that they have in the past whitewashed things. We do know that at the time of the development of the church, some pagan Roman rituals were incorporated as Christian, all done in an effort to eliminate the pagan worship and establish the Church. But I don't see the Church as menacing as is proscribed in the book.

Also interesting about The Da Vinci Code is what it says the role of Mary Magdalene was in the time of Crist (pbuh). I've always loved Mary Magdalene, I think she got a bum rap. She was there for Crist (pbuh) when everyone else skipped out. I recently saw a documentary on PBS about how probably Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute but how the story got warped into that, confusing Mary Magdalene with, perhaps, Mary of Bethany or just putting the sinner story (which might have been without a name) to her.

Probably part of the appeal to The Da Vinci Code is the whole riddle/mystery. As humans we love solving puzzles (hence the prevalence of puzzles in newspapers around the world). What is a more fascinating mystery to uncover than one cloaked in years and years of history with all these far-reaching implications?

Also, the level of products that have spun off because of The Da Vinci Code amazes me; books, television shows, trinkets, even vacation tours!

Despite all of this hysteria, The Da Vinci Code isn't Nobel Prize literature but for a quick and interesting read, this is a good book to pick up!


Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Hope you have a good time - I kind of like Tom Hanks.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I loved the book. I love the way it challenges Christian thought about the role of women in the church, and also the development of the canon and the role of scripture. I recognize that the book is fiction, and that many of its premises can't be supported, but I love the way it makes people think about what they believe. Our book club had a great discussion about it.

6:06 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the film.

As for The Magdalene, if I am not mistaken, she is not once referred to in the bible as a "fallen woman"...if I am not mistaken she was possessed by an 'unclean' spirit and Jesus did some hocus pocus to rid her of her devils.

One of the popes in the middle ages decided that it would be a good idea if The Magdalene should now be identified as a tramp (because that's how the holy rollers of every stripe deal with a woman they can not control or understand). And that is that.

OH BTW, the Jefferson Airplane did a song called The Son of Jesus and the first line goes:
"Jesus had a son, by Mary Magdalene". That song was written in 1970.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

I have a DaVinci decoder ring. Here's what the code really says if you read between the lines: 4 8 15 16 23 42.

And by the way: anyone who doesn't accept everything in Dan Brown's novel as gospel truth is either a drooling moron or a murderous goon for Opus Dei!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Joe - I was sick the whole weekend, didn't get to see the movie, but I like Tom Hanks also.

Merci - hee hee, I'm not sure I thought the book was that good, I would have been more provoked into thinking about the challenges it presented if the book was non-fiction. But yes, it is certainly an interesting topic and I do like how it has brought discussion to mainstream society about women's roles in the Church.

Pax - oh you are so right, I think in any religion or culture, when men cannot control or understand a woman, they make her evil, unpure, a tramp. Wait till you see my Friday post this week, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Molly - Ha ha ha - decoder ring!!!
oh yes Da Vinci Code is like Gospel to me now, hee hee.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Melas said...

You realize that you've all been victimized by the Hollywood machine. I read Brown's book and found it a passable guide to Paris and a rehash of anti-Papist literature of the Reformation. Brown's coup came from religious conservatives outraged that a book purporting that Jesus knew a woman was heresy. Too bad they didn't understand the distinction between fact and fiction because then we might have been spared the over-hyped treacle that is this film. I love Tom Hanks and think he did a credible job with a tepid script. Too bad that the film industry is as gutless as the right is hystrionic.
Here's hoping U feels better.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

P - oh thanks, I'm already doing better. I agree Brown's book got a big boost from those who didn't like it. I think the line between fact and fiction has been cleverly disguised in this novel, Brown starts out with all the stuff that is true in his book, which I think is his way of getting into our subconsious and making us think everything going forward of what we are reading is real as well. I was hoping for a bigger bang with this book, considering the hype.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I've put off buying the book for a long time now and due to all of the publicity almost bought it from my book club this week. Guess I'll wait to see the movie and decide then if I want to read it.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Brenda - Yes go see the movie and decide if you want to read it...I find if a book or movie has been overhyped, I'm disappointed by it. My friend recommends Holy Blood Holy Grail instead of this, maybe give that a try, same topic, just different authors.

9:21 AM  
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