My curiosity got the better of me and I went to see the Da Vinci Code last night. I hadn’t planned to go because the critics have been near universal in saying how horrible they thought it was. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. It was a fantastic movie. Sure it was standard Hollywood fare — go see Brick if you’re looking for an outstanding indie — but the screenplay improved on the book’s tortured prose, the acting was excellent, very good editing and use of flashbacks, good pacing, overall just a fun movie.
I think I can say that objectively and not because of some hidden atheist agenda. And as an amateur biblical student I was intrigued by the story’s gnostic and conspiratorial themes. I know that there is more truth to some of the so-called wild claims in the film than the Catholic Church would have you believe. If you believe that Jesus’ offspring became kings of France then I’ve got a bridge to sell you. However, the pagan feminine element that the Church co-opted and subsequently supressed is a direct challenge to the men who rule. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s good old-fashioned politics.
If there’s any conspiracy going on it’s a cabal among those urging everyone else not to see the film. The impressions I had of the film before seeing it were so different from the film itself than in hindsight they look overblown and hysterical. I’m sure quite a few of those folks don’t really think it was a bad movie, they just don’t want people to see it because it challenged their faith and they want to protect others from the same fate. Even if you’re like me and you know the subject pretty well it still has a way of luring you in and putting you under its spell. I heard more than a few comments on the way out to the lobby that told me the average movie-goer is starting to ask some tough questions about ancient Christianity, uncomfortable questions that religious leaders would just as soon lay people not ask.
Don’t listen to the religious warriors who find it necessary to defend their precious metanarratives. It’s just a movie. Go see it and have a great time.