Thursday, May 21, 2009

Movie Review of Angels and Demons

The movie version of Dan Brown (2000)'s Angels and Demons is being shown in cinemas with hardly a stir from the Christian communities. This is in marked contrast to the previous movie The Da Vinci Code. The Da Vinci Code caused so much controversies that I remember speaking to a capacity standing-room only audience about it.

In this movie, Tom Hanks reprises his role as Professor Robert Langdon, a Harvard University Symbologist. If you want to learn more about a secret organisation named the Illuminati, this is not the movie to see. If you are interested in the inner working of the Vatican, to discover if there is any conflict between science and religion, and if antimatter may be used as a source of energy, this is not the movie to see.

If you want to see how the excellent plot and story telling by Dan Brown is converted into a movie, this is a movie to watch. If you can suspend your sense of belief in reality and in problem solving, this is a movie to watch. If a middle age slightly overweight Tom Hanks running around Rome do not offend you, this is a movie to watch.

The movie is fast moving and involves Robert Langdon solving problems by using his knowledge of symbols. Though there is violence, there is no sex. Either Tom Hanks is incapable or there is no time is unknown. The movie takes place within 24 hours period.

I enjoyed the mention of numerous churches and locations in Rome during the movie. I have visited most of the places mentioned except the papal office and the Vatican archives. The movies never used any of the actual churches as locations. Still it is memorable to see the replicas on the big screen. I only wish I have visited the Vatican archives (not open to visitors) and see the archives for myself. Still it is good to see the artworks:

For a movie involving secret societies and conspiracy theories, it is worth watching. The company you watch the movie with is also important because it is more enjoyable with the right people.

Habakkuk and the Angel in Chigi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo

West Ponente at Saint Peter's Square

The Ecstasy of St Teresa sculpture at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria

Castel Sant'Angelo from the bridge. The angel statue on the top depicts the angel from whom the building derives its name.




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