What did I do in my last night in Jakarta? I went to watch the most famous of all current movie 'The Da Vinci Code'. Yup, the movie that you all can't watch in Brunei. I wasn't going to bother watching it but L* who accompanied me to Jakarta said we should try to watch it as watching it on a pirated VCD will not beat watching it on the big screen. Besides we needed to unwind after a whole day of talking about accounting standards with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and fellow ASEAN Standard Setters. I read the book last May and thought it was a fairly okay book. When the movie came out this year, the critics were not really impressed so I thought I won't even bother. But after being persuaded, I thought why not? Better to find out for myself whether it is as bad as they say it is.
We watched it at a cineplex in Plaza Indonesia. First about the cinema. It was fantastic. I couldn't believe a cinema with such huge spaces which was so much bigger than the one even at the Empire. You can stretch out your legs and your legs will come nowhere near the seats in front of you. And the seats were so comfortable, I just couldn't believe these seats were available. I am of a certain size, man, the seat swallowed me. It was the best cinema I have been in. I just can't believe I was in Indonesia. The tickets hurt a bit though, it was 60,000 Rp each which works out to be around $11. A bit steep. But pretty well worth the luxury.
What was the movie all about? If you want to read the book or watch the movie, skip this and the next paragraphs (I am too lazy to describe it, so I borrowed Yahoo's description and amended it). It started with famed Harvard Symbologist Professor Robert Langdon who happened to be in Paris being called to the Louvre museum one night where Saunier, a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon who the French Police thought was responsible for the murder, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years.
The pair set off on this quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of christianity. What was the secret – that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and had left a bloodline and the bones of Mary Magdalene was kept hidden so that Jesus' divinity can be maintained. At the end of the movie, we found that Sophie Neveu was the living bloodline and the bones of Mary Maydalene was buried under the pyramid shaped thing (I am not really sure what that is) at the Louvre museum.
What did I think of it? I can't find really find the words but I remembered recently reading my favourite newspaper when I studied in America, the Boston Globe which described The Da Vinci Code as follows - “As a film derived from a book, The Da Vinci Code isn't a fiasco on the order of The Bonfire of the Vanities nor is it a triumph a la The Lord of the Rings. Instead, it's an acceptable but uninspired simulacrum.” Yes, it is not a fantastic movie by any stretch of the imagination nor is it as bad as people say it is.
What do I think of the religious theme? Sometimes there is a saying – discretion and silence are the better part of valour. Nuff said.