In 2003 Dan Browns Thriller “The Da Vinci Code” was published. The novel aroused attention because of its conspiracy theories revolving around the Catholic Church. Three years later, in 2006, the movie was running at cinemas.
Jaques Saunière the manager of the Louvre was murdered. The American University professor Robert Langdon who is in town for a presentation is consulted by the police because Saunière left a few strange symbols right before his death. Soon afterwards Sophie Neveu from the decryption department arrives at the crime scene. She helps Langdon to escape as according to Captain Bezu Fache he was the murderer.
It turns out that Jaques Saunière was Sophie’s Grandfather and she thinks that the symbols he left are a message for her. After decrypting the symbols they really find a golden key bearing the initials “P. S.” This stands for “Prieuerè de Sion” an old secret society that is to protect the Holy Grail.
In a bank Sophie and Robert come across the use for the key. It opens a lockbox in which they find a small wooden box.
Followed by the police they flew to an acquaintance – the almost fanatic Grail-historian Sir Leigh Teabing. In his mansion they are attacked by a monk who was also responsible for the murders that had happened before. He is a member of the religious group “Opus Dei” who practice Christianity in an extraordinary strict way.
Together with Sir Leigh Teabing they flee to England to find the place indicated by the wooden box. There they want to find the Holy Grail. Arriving there it turns out that Teabing is the initiator of a conspiracy against the “Prieurè de Sion”.
But Sophie and Robert manage to him in to the police. After decrypting the other clues they came across they go to the Rosslyn Chapel. There they don’t find the Holy Grail but Sophie’s grandmother and her brother who were said to be dead.
Book vs. Movie:
I really liked Dan Brown book although the conspiracy theories seemed a little absurd from time to time. He wraps his extensive knowledge of history and art in a thrilling story.
The movie on the other hand disappointed me. Because of the necessary reductions of the plot some scenes came across exaggerated. So get the feeling that the protagonist Robert Langdon is dealing with a riddle that has preoccupied mankind for hundreds of years and he solves it after one quick look. The book shows much more credible solution processes.
Although the actors did a good job the movie isn’t really recommendable. Reading the book is by far the better decision.