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The da vinci code: Summary, review, movie

Hey readers welcome to the page. Today we’re gonna tell you all about the record breaking novel of Dan Brown: The Da vinci code. Da vinci code is a mystery thriller novel which was written in 2003 by American author Dan Brown. The novel is still a bestseller and has sold over 80 million copies worldwide.

The novel is critically acclaimed all over the world. New York Times quoted that the novel is an exhilaratingly brainy thriller; Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase.

I guess this much information is enough to provoke you to give the novel a shot. Now without wasting much of your time let’s get straight to the movie.

PS: If you’re a conservative catholic, the da vinci code would prove to be a life-changer for you!

No matter if you’re an atheist or conservative catholic, you’d surely give it a shot! Click here for buying options.

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The da vinci code: Movie

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The da vinci code was released in 2006. The movie is directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman. The film starred Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou and Sir Ian McKellen. Like the novel, The movie proved to be a blockbuster.

The movie is still considered one of the best mystery thriller of all time.The film grossed $760 million worldwide. The movie is Ron Howard’s highest grossing movie of his career and became second highest earning movie of 2006.

The da vinci code: Criticism of the movie

But it also received wide criticisms all over the world. As it was considered ‘misleading’ by various christian communities. As a consequence of the criticism, the movie was banned in various states all over the world.

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There was massive criticism of the movie in India, China, Philippines, Sri Lanks and various other countries as the communittes considered it Anti-christian. Various petitions were filed in Supreme Court urging it to ban the movie in India but SC rejected the petitions and allowed the release of the film. The film was completely banned in Pakistan.

The movie was allowed to release but with A(Adult only) certificate from Central Board for Film Certification including a disclaimer suggesting that the film is a work of fiction. Still the movie was completely banned in certain states like  Lakshwadeep, Punjab, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

In spite of the bans and allegations the movie was a blockbuster in India and was widely acclaimed by the population.

The da vinci code: Novel

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As mentioned earlier in the post, the novel became an instant success just after it’s release and sold 80 million copies worldwide. Only JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the order of phoenix managed to outsell this amazing novel.

The novel was second one in the series which includes protagonist Robert Langdon, first one was Angels and Demons. Angels and Demons proved to be equally successful and popular. The novel is a mind blowing mystery thriller filled with hundreds of labyrinths.

Summary

Robert Langdon, a symbologist in Harvard was in Paris for some business. He gets a late night call from DCPJ’s Jerome Collet  who informs him that Jacques Saunière was brutally murdered.

Jacques Saunière was the curator of famous and historical Louvre museum in Paris. He was shot dead by an albino monk named Silas. The monk is working for a mysterious man known as teacher. The main objective of the teacher is the discovery of ‘keystone’, which is essential for the search of the ‘holy grail’.

The monk threatens the curator and wishes to know the location of the keystone and holy grail. Jacques tell him the location . After getting to know the location, Silas shots him and leaves him to die. But Jacques lies to him about the location. After realizing that his time is about to come, Jacques has to pass on the secret location of the holy grail.

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In order to give a specific message, Jacques draws a pentacle with his own blood on his stomach. He paints a circle on the floor and puts himself inside the circle and removes all his clothes. By this arrangements he re-creates Leonardo Da vinci’s famous painting,  The Vitruvian Man. He also writes a code, two lines of text and some numbers on the ground with an invisible ink.

Jerome Collet takes Langdon to the museum. Collet informs him that he is invited to decode the mysterious message that Jacques has left. Langdon, by his expertise explains Bezu Fache( Police captain) that the pentacle on Jacques’s chest represents the symbol of goddess and sacred feminine.

The Twist!

Soon, Sophie Neveu, a professional cryptographer enters the museum. She tells Bezu that the numbers that Jacques wrote were Fibonacci sequence. Sophie takes Robert to the bathroom and secretly explains Robert that she is Jacques’s granddaughter. She tells him that Bezu Fache’s prime suspect in no one but Robert himself. As, the last line that was written by Jacques suggested,”P S. Find Robert Langdon” and these lines were erased by Fache to hide them from Robert.

Robert and Sophie tries to escape but soon they discover a chain of clues that Jacques had left. Langdon finally understands what ‘P S’ stood for, The Priory Of Sion, A European Secret Society founded in 1099. The Priory included prominent members like Leonardo da vinci, Sir Issac Newton and Victor Hugo.

After decoding the message, they find a key behind the painting ‘Madonna of Rocks’. The message leads them to the Paris branch of Depository Bank of Zurich. On their way to the bank, Robert explains Sophie about the Priory. He  tells her that it was established to protect the Sangreal  documents or the Holy Grail. And her grandfather is the member of the Priory.

In the bank they find that the numbers that Jacques wrote is the code for opening the safe deposit box. The safe deposit box contains a Cryptex which contains a rotating dial. The cryptex contains information that would ultimately lead to the Holy Grail. Police manages to track them and reaches the bank. But, however Sophie and Robert escapes with the help of Andre Vernet, bank’s manager and Jacques’s friend.

But Vernet threatens them to hand over the box to him as he doesn’t believes them. He wanted to protect the property of his customer(Jacques). However, Robert and Sophie manages to escape.

The quest begins

In order to find the password that would open the cryptex and reveal the ultimate secret, they take the box to Sir Leigh Teabing.  Leigh was a royal historian and an expert of holy grail. He tells Sophie everything about the grail. Leigh shows her ‘the last supper’, a famous painting. He explains her that the painting included a women, Mary Magdalene. Sophie gets shocked when Leigh tells her that Mary is Jesus Christ’s wife, who carried Jesus’s royal blood in her womb. And that the holy grail isn’t a cup but a tomb which contains documents that reveal the existence of Mary Magdalene and Jesus’s child. It also contained some information about Jesus that the catholic society and Opus Dei can’t afford to be revealed to the world.

He explains that the Opus Dei is behind the grail and they would do anything to find and destroy it. She finally understands that her grandfather was the current head of Priory. And he passed on the secret to her in order to protect the grail and the documents. Leigh also tells her that the bible hasn’t came directly from god, but was rather compiled by Constantine the great.

Unfortunately Silas arrives in Leigh’s castle. He hits Langdon on his head and hold Sophie and Leigh at gunpoint. But Leigh attacks Silas and they manages to get rid of him. Their attack makes Silas unconsious and he collapses on the ground. Soon Collet arrives to the castle to arrest them. But Sophie, Leigh, Langdon, Leigh’s servant Remy along with unconscious Silas manages to escape. They move to England on Leigh’s private plane.

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The quest continues

Langdon finds that there’s a text on the safe deposit box. They soon decode the message on the cryptex, it was a poem which refers to ‘ a headstone praised by Templars, ‘Atbash cipher’ and ‘A knight the pope incurred’. Langdon recalls that the Templars worshiped Baphomet who was represented by a stone. They soon discovers the password for opening the crytex. The password was ‘Sofia’. After opening the cryptex they get surprised and a bit annoyed by finding another smaller cryptex.

During the flight Sophie tells Langdon the reason why she cut all contacts with her grandfather. When she came back home from her university, she witnessed a rite in the basement of her grandfather’s estate. She saw her grandfather in the middle of the basement with a women in an inappropriate position. She was staggered by this and flew back and cut all her contacts with Jacques. Langdon explains her that the rite she witnessed was a sacred rite known as ‘Hieros Gamos’.

Fache, after getting to know that Leigh and others are in the jet, he calls British police and orders the police to arrest them as soon as they land. But they finally manages to trick the police and escape to the Temple Church in London. The church was the burial site for the knights which were killed by the pope.

Remy frees Silas when Leigh, Langdon and Sophie were in the church. Remy reveals that he is also working for the ‘teacher’. Silas moves in the church and threatens Langdon to hand over the cryptex. When Langdon resists, Remy enters the church and takes Leigh hostage and makes Langdon hand over the cryptex. Silas and Remy escapes taking Leigh as hostage.

You’re in for another twist!

On their way Silas gets a call from the teacher. Teacher orders Silas to hand over the cryptex to Remy. He also orders Remy to drop Silas at the nearest Opus Dei residence. The teacher soon turns Silas to police by calling the police and giving them his location. He instructs Remy to meet him in the park. When Remy reaches the park, the teacher kills him by giving poison.

When Silas tries to escape from the police, he accidentally shots his mentor, Bishop Arnigarosa, whom he perceives as his god. Silas hospitalizes Bishop. Fortunately, Bishop manages to survive the gunshot but Silas, drowned deep into regret, stumbles in the park and eventually dies.

Meanwhile, Collet’s men finds something suspicious in Leigh’s house. They find out that he was monitoring Jacques secretly with the help of chips and micro speakers. Fache soon realizes that Sophie and Langdon aren’t the real culprits.

When Bishop gets to know that Silas was found dead, he speaks up and reveals everything to the police. He tells them that the teacher has used Silas to kill many innocent people for his own benefits. He reveals that the teacher has promised him to hand over the grail which would enhance Opus Dei’s position in the eyes of  The Vatican Church.

During their quest, Sophie and Langdon find out that the knight the poem refers to is Sir Issac Newton who was buried by a pope. They go to the burial site of Sir Issac Newton, Westminster Abbey. They get a note by the teacher, it instructs them to meet teacher at a specific place. When they finally meet the teacher, they were staggered to find out that the teacher is no one but Leigh himself.

Conclusion

Leigh tells them that there’s a big reason why he decided to do all this. He tells that Jacques, being the leader of Priory, did not want to reveal the secret of Mary Magdalene to the world. As he was threatened by the church that they would kill Sophie if he does that. Leigh considered Jacques a coward. And according to Leigh, Jacques was disrespecting the Priory by not revealing the secret. So he decided to take the Grail himself and reveal the secret.

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Leigh asks Langdon to help him open the cryptex, but Sophie restrains it. She asserts that her grandfather passed it to her in order to protect the secret. Langdon finally finds out the password and secretly open the cryptex without informing Leigh. He then throws the cryptex in the air and Leigh drops his gun and jumps to get the cryptex. Suddenly, Fache enters the area and arrests Leigh.

The message inside the cryptex leads Langdon and Sophie to Rosslyn Chapel. Sophie soon discovers that the mentor and head of the chapel were her brother and grandmother. Sophie was told that they died along with her parents in a car accident. She soon reunites with her family. She finds out that they are the descendants of Mary Magdalene. But however, they weren’t able to find the grail in the Chapel.

The story hasn’t ended yet!

Langdon soon decodes the message and finds out that Rosslyn refers to the ‘Rose Line’. The line leads him to the glass pyramid of the Louvre and finds out that the Grail is buried beneath the glass pyramid.

The da vinci code: Criticism of the novel

The da vinci code is equally criticized by the Catholics and various other Christian communities. The novel is mainly criticized as it inaccurately describes the characteristics of Christianity and European art, architecture and history. It also portrays the image of Opus Dei as an extremely conservative institution with numerous scandals. The description of Mary Magdalene also gave rise to criticism.

The novel is banned in many states all over the world. The novel was widely criticized in India by Muslims and Christians. Most violent reaction occurred in Kolkata. Nearly 20-30 protesters vandalised a bookstore in Kolkata. They took the books from the rack of the store and destroyed them. A group of nearly 60 protesters stopped the selling of the novel in the Oxford bookstore on Park street.

The mystery thriller gave rise to huge controversy just after it was published. The novel also suffered various lawsuits of copyright from Lewis Perdue,  Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh.

The da vinci code: Review

The novel is undoubtedly an extraordinary suspense thriller and surely one of a kind. The novel is filled with labyrinths which are enough to blow your mind. You’d dwell deep into each and every labyrinth and it would become insanely difficult for you to keep your eyes away from the book.

The novel is filled with historical facts that are fascinating. Each historical fact is as surprising as the other. Although some facts are widely questioned by historians, which is the biggest reason for its a critic. But I was amazed by each and every one of them and that’s the best part of the book.

The second best thing about the novel is that it’s really unpredictable and the twists and turns would amaze you! Dan Brown greatly portrays the protagonist Robert Langdon, and you slowly become obsessed with the character. The same thing applies to Sophie and Jacques.

You might even get overwhelmed by the childish experiences of Sophie with Jacques!

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