Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Da Vinci Code

By Ellie Trebilcock

Is the book or the movie better?

It’s the most controversial topic between bookworms and movie-buffs. To resolve the long battle between these two passionate types of media consumers, I will compare and evaluate the quality of the book and movie versions of the story.

{***SPOILER ALERT***}

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This Month: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I may be a bit late (give or take 10 years), but I have finally understand the hype the Da Vinci Code created. Many of you have already experienced the Da Vinci Code craze and are waiting for the next movie installment to come out later this month. But before heading to the theater to watch Inferno, reminisce over the Da Vinci Code as I rave over the book for the first time.

The Da Vinci Code follows Robert Langdon, who is thrown into action after  becoming a police suspect to the murder of a curator at the Louvre museum. With the help of a cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, Langdon must follow a trail of clues and riddles to solve a mystery involving a secret society.

The most impressive aspect of the novel is the extent of historical research the author, Dan Brown, must have put into weaving together the intricate storyline. I highly suggest keeping a computer nearby to look up the art and churches mentioned in the story. With the actual visual in front of you, the book becomes more of an interactive experience in which the reader can follow along and try to figure out the riddles at the same time as the characters.

I was pleasantly surprised by the change in Robert Langdon’s temperament from the previous book. After reading Angels and Demons, the first book in the series, I ranted profusely to anyone who would listen about Robert Langdon’s pretentiousness. However, in this book he only came across as an overly eager nerd. Can running for your life change your personality?

The Da Vinci Code is a fast paced mystery novel which will throw you for a loop at every turn. If you are anything like me, you will not want to put this book down and stay up until 2 a.m. to finish.

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After reading the Da Vinci Code, I turned on Netflix to watch the movie version. While watching, I wrote down some of my thoughts:

 

  • Can a professor save the world?

 

As a college student, it’s difficult to imagine any one of my college professors going on a life threatening quest and saving the world, like Robert Langdon does in the Da Vinci Code. Although, I could be persuaded to change my mind for extra credit. (I’m only half kidding, Professor).  

 

  • Sit still, look pretty?

 

I’m very disappointed that the book, which is feminist in nature, has a bit of a sexist movie adaptation. In the novel, Sophie is an invaluable member of the team. She puts her credentials as a cryptologist to use helps Robert solve numerous puzzles. However, in the film, all of Sophie’s contributions are taken from her and are attributed to Robert. I’m frustrated because the filmmakers had such a strong and interesting role and failed to develop her character.

 

  • No romance!!!!

 

In the book, Robert and Sophie get together at the very last second of the novel for no apparent reason. While in the movie, there is no unnecessary romance between the two characters!

Final Rating:

Book: 5 stars

Movie: 2 stars

If you previously read or watched the Da Vinci Code, consider reading Inferno before heading to the theater!

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Related:

Meet the Interns: Ellie Trebilcock

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Me Before You

Bookmarks and Big Screens: Dances with Wolves

Bookmarks and Big Screens: The Giver