On the one hand, the Da Vinci Code portrays priests behaving badly. Got to love that. Self-flagellation is gross, but it's the jesus freaks doing unto themselves - and I love a good conspiracy. On the other, we have a bit of sexism. Ok, a lot. Really, the women are pretty much just wombs(!) (or less... why does "whore" seem to roll off the french tongue so easily?). But to discuss the irony here is to spoil, so stop reading if you don't want to know what happens. (Yes, someone out there doesn't know - as the gasp at the "revelation" that Mary Magdalene may not have been a whore demonstrated).
So what's the irony in the unsurprising sexism in a pulp summer blockbuster? Well, the crux of the dramatic revelation is that Christianity's patriarchy is held in power by keeping secret the fact that Jesus married Magdalene and wanted her to run the church. She would have played the role that St. Peter did, so glass ceilings might not have been erected in the first place. Supposedly. If this fictional conspiracy had taken place.
So the Da Vinci Code purports to some kind of feminist idealism... yet
Tautou up there is pretty much an idiot. Oh, she's cute (and I love her
as actor) and starts out the flick with moxy and some superhuman
driving, but the character disintigrates to a point where she can't
figure out anything - even to save her own life. She's paralyzed by
emotional memories - visions she can't even muster the energy to
verbalize. She's supposed to be a cryptologist, but when puzzles
present themselves, she's a wet noodle to Tom Hanks' trite hero. He
saves her from harm and figures out all of her mysteries for her like a
Imagine the letdown when you realize this inept, yet lovable, noble idiot is revealed to be the heir of Jesus. And she supposedly has the power to activate all the womb power on earth to overthrow the badly behaving priests and end the persecution of free-thinking women everywhere (at least in the Christian everywhere). Lest you think I'm trashing the movie, I'm not - just the ever-present patriarchy, which is pretty naked in the Da Vinci code. It was a really fun ride for what it's worth - I liked the glamour shots of europe and loved my boyfriend Ian McKellen. If you go with low expectations, you'll be fine, you'll have fun even (priests gone wild!). It's only with reflection that the depth of patriarchy-sucking sunk in... Like most things in our culture, it's fun if you can keep from actually thinking about it...