Thursday, May 25, 2006

As promised...and late

I promised that I'd share my thoughts on the movie "The Da Vinci Code" after seeing it last weekend and one thing after another has gotten in the way. So here are my quick thoughts on the movie, as both a movie lover and youth minister.

As a Movie - I really enjoyed the movie. My feeling was that the tempo was a little slow but given the amount of explaining that had to be done that may be impossible to avoid. There's a lot of folks who claim that if you didn't read the book you won't understand the film and I think that's nonsense. I read the book and got confused in a couple of places. If you have to understand everything about a movie you watch take a friend who's read the book or read it yourself (it's a quick read). Or just shrug off the stuff you don't understand and follow the action. It's a fun movie and I'd certainly recommend it.

As Theology/History - It is an enormous load of you know what. The history is suspect, the whole conspiracy is based on an exposed fraud (the dossiers secrete which is the "proof" of the Priory). Could Jesus have been in love and even married Mary Magdalene? Sure. Is there ANY substantial proof of it? None that either the book or the movie can show you. It's all based on coulda/woulda/shouldas. Ten minutes on Google will clear up most of the "revelations". Nothing to get excited about. Are there legitimate questions about the treatment of women by the church and in the church? Of course there are. My real question is IF the "Holy Grail" is in fact Jesus' bloodline, what the heck are they waiting for?

A threat to the Faith - Well given that I think this is an enormous bucket of drivel I'm astounded that anyone's faith might be affected by this. If this tips you over then your faith was mighty thin. And if the church can't easily answer the questions raised by the book/movie then we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. A little less panic, a little more thoughtful teaching please.

A threat to the Roman Catholic church and Opus Dei - More much ado about nothing in my opinion. In both cases we're shown that it's a small band of renegades within the structure of the church (and without) that are responsible. They even acknowledge that they'd be in big trouble if they got caught. As for the historical failures of the church in Rome those are well documented. Given that every other denomination has it own share of black eyes and shortcomings I think it best if we attend to our own planks. While I have disagreements with both the RCC and OD I think they could unruffle their feathers over this rather lightweight jab in their direction as well.

So bottom line? Good movie for entertainment, good movie for DISCUSSING the faith issues raised, bad movie if you're an uptight person of faith who's positive everyone is out to get you. My advice? Unclench your cheeks, buy an extra large popcorn and have some fun.


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