Archive for June 2009
If signs could kill, this could have as well been classified as manslaughter. Right from the seating, (5 rows from the screen, it could have been a 3D movie for all practical purposes) to the terrible reviews, nothing seemed right about the film adaption of one of my favourite works of fiction. To add to the misery, The Hindu’s, “You are better off reading the book” and Mr.Rajeev Wannabee-Sarcastic Masand’s two on five still lingered in our minds as we entered one of the city’s coveted theatres feeling like Harry Potter after a meeting with a dementor.
And guess what, the state of expectations tending to zero actually helped our cause. The age old trick of an open mind did make the movie quite an enjoyable experience. Ofcourse, this won’t go down in my all-time-list but atleast it has the honour of not gracing the “Rotten Tomatoes” either. The movie is no way even half as gripping as the book but then again comparisons are unfair because as a wise man once said, “A book is a book is a book”! Moreover, compacting Dan Brown’s gargantuan blend of fact and fiction into a two hour movie is no mean feat and Ron Howard has to be appreciated for his half-decent effort. The subtle yet observable differences between the book and movie while might irritate some die hard Dan Brownians, does lend some credibility and originality to an otherwise predictable movie.
Most conspicuous in the movie is lack of strong individual performances. Weird hairstyles and in-emotiveness notwithstanding, Tom Hanks has clearly done a better job than Da Vinci Code. But yet, coming from the same actor who stole the show in Forrest Gump, his performance leaves a lot to be desired. Vittoria Vetra would probably be better off as Langdon’s pet dog. The strong independent young lady portrayed in the book is replaced by an anxious scientist who prefers flirting with Langdon all the time apart from displaying a newfound interest in Christian history. Sadly, she isn’t eye-candy either. The assassin, one of my favourite characters in the book is non-existant. His brutal flamboyance is sadly missing, instead in his place we have a bespectacled joker who only follows his unknown master’s instructions.
The show however, belonged to Ewan McGregor. Obi-Wan Kenobi returns in a new avatar to stun the audience with a performance par excellence making full use of the Camerlengo carefully sketched by Brown. Comparisons to Ledger may seem inevitable. While he may not win an Oscar for his role, he is without a doubt the Man of the match.
Overall, I wouldn’t go as far as to call the movie a “must-watch”. If haven’t read the book, then don’t ruin your life by watching the movie first. If you have and are suffering from the “Extreme Velaness Disorder” (read as jobless), then give it a shot. If you aren’t vela, but are a Dan Brown fan, you shouldn’t miss it either. Either ways, you’d probably be better off watching this Hanks rather than his son in that awful excuse for a movie.
My rating – 3/5