God is French. This is likely to come as a major disappointment to many Argentinians.
Such is the terrible secret guarded for centuries by a hidden society that once counted luminaries such as Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci amongst its members, but now seems to be made up of a weird-looking bunch of rural in-breds.
How did Brian Sewell not land the role of Sir Leigh Teabing? That would have made it so much more bearable. I guess this is one of those movies you simply have to endure in order to get the joke when they bring out the spoof.
I had been hoping for something daft but entertaining, but instead found it mostly stupid and dull.
The New York Times verdict was that Ron Howard's film "is one of the few versions of a book that may take longer to watch than to read." Three hours is an awfully long time for a story that simply doesn't grip in a cinematic way - this is really TV mini-series material. Surfer said that it actually felt rather low budget, its small cast being chased from location to location by two small squadrons of French and British police cars that also seem to be darting around frantically in the hope that all this movement will compensate in some way for the pervasive slowness of the plot. Much of the budget seems to have gone on absurd set-piece historical flash-backs to the likes of ancient Rome and the siege of Jerusalem.
It's surely ironic that Dan Brown's caper, which so demonstratively pokes a finger in the eye of those demented right-wing loons at Opus Dei, should have adopted the fantasy of a royal blood line running from Christ through the Merovingian kings, dreamed up by French fascists in the first half of the last century.
That the prophet could be mortal and married was one of Islam's key innovations and the descendants of Mohammed tried to preserve the sacred and secular authority of his bloodline for several centuries after his death. Dynasties generally don't last for millennia. It can hardly be said that this Islamic experiment has done an awful lot for women's rights and tolerance in general. (And if anyone in the early Christian church had a thing against women it was St Paul, not Emperor Constantine.)
"It's not the Vatican that is killing people" one of the cassock-wearing freaks pronounces mid-way through, more for the audience's benefit than his companion's − one of several pointed caveats in a movie that otherwise does its level best to undermine traditional religious authority. (The Economist: "The most flagrant example of American anti-Catholicism, some say, since the Know-Nothings of the nineteenth century.")
The former head of security at Foyles bookshop in London was also a rather driven character called Silas. Company lore had it that Silas was ex-Mossad and the extremely tall and saturnine Israeli certainly cast a scary-looking figure. He once boasted to us that he'd nicked a bunch of nuns that were trying to make off with some books they'd hidden under their habits.
A few years ago the Consul at the Guatemalan embassy asked V to keep an eye on a young compatriot called Ana. Her rich boyfriend had come up with an original ruse for ending their relationship − buying her a one-way ticket to the UK and promising to meet her here (which of course he didn't).
After her pocket money ran out the only accommodation the embassy could find for Ana was in an Opus Dei house in Hamstead. Whenever V went to visit her they practically refused to let her leave before she had confessed all her sins! Nutters. In the end Ana came to stay with us and saved up enough to return to Guatemala, still convinced that it had all been a horrible misunderstanding. We never heard from her again.