Another film about a treasure hunt, though this time rooted in Christianity, Catholicism and the Church – and the lies therein.
This is based on the best-selling book by Dan Brown, bringing the Knights Templar into the mainstream. It’s the story of a professor and a cryptologist on the trail of an ancient conspiracy seeking the ‘holy grail’ and running from those who would kill to keep it hidden.
The film, made in 2006, directed by Ron Howard, is very true to the book – it’s a race against time, a treasure hunt, a challenge to religion – all elements I really love.
Alongside the star, Tom Hanks the other wonderful element to this film is once again the music composed by Hans Zimmer, which is bang on. The music takes you there into that world, that space and away from the every day.
My favourite scene where the music is crucial for me, is when the main character, Dr Robert Langdon, is up against time to save Sophie and is recalling the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton. It builds in his mind as he’s tries to unlock the cryptex and its clue to the whereabouts of the holy grail and the tomb of Mary Magdelene. It’s a wonderful moment which gives me chills even now. The music for this scene is: “Chevaliers de Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer. Zimmer won the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for his sound track.
The film has quite an illustrious cast. Alongside Tom Hanks Audrey Tautou plays Sophie Neveu, who is the granddaughter of the man killed in the opening scene – she is well known for “Amélie”. Sir Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina also star.
5 pieces of trivia about the film:
- Dan Brown has written seven books about Dr Robert Langdon: “Angels and Demons”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “The Lost Symbol”, “Inferno”, “Origin”, “Digital Fortress” and “Deception Point”. Because the film studios weren’t certain that The Da Vinci Code would be a hit, the film was made as a stand-alone film and all references to the fact that Robert Langdon had already solved another murder riddle (in the novel Angels and Demons), were purposefully left out of the script.
- Filming in the Louvre Museum in Paris took place at night, as no film equipment was allowed inside the Louvre during opening hours. Also, the Mona Lisa was actually a replica, as the film crew weren’t allowed to shine light on the painting. Also, the writing on the floors was filmed at Pinewood Studios in the UK.
- Instead of Westminster Abbey, filming took place in Lincoln Cathedral because the officials at Westminster Abbey claimed the book is ‘theologically unsound’. What a load of old crap, it’s entertainment.
- The bell at Lincoln Cathedral, ‘Great Tom’ strikes every hour, but was silent for the first time since WW2, while filming took place in August 2005.
- The Da Vinci Code was the opening film for the Cannes Film Festival in 2006.
Tom Hank repeats his role in the second and third films about Robert Langdon, “Angels and Demons’ released in 2009, and ‘Inferno’ 2016 – both films again directed by Ron Howard. The former was very true to the book and the latter was not, which made it rather disappointing as the story in the book was far, far cleverer.