Thursday night the Jesuit priests of the Ateneo de Zamboanga, dressed in simple white shirts and pajamas, determinedly marched up the aisle in Mindpro Theater to watch the Da Vinci Code.
As they entered, the packed moviehouse stared in pleasant surprise and grinned. In an instant, the crowd got livelier and more animated – perhaps discussing the Jesuits, perhaps anticipating the movie.
None relinquished their expensive seat up to a priest but many were a friendly greeting, and many pointed out the vacant slots. The priests settled themselves in the center of the theaterhouse, and gradually we all quieted down as the movie began.
As Gim and I observed from time to time from our vantage point, Fr. Kreutz gestured and discussed animatedly with his fellow priests throughout the whole movie.
(Many questions burned in my mind: Was watching movies in a public theater a regular thing for Jesuit priests? Why was Fr. Bill so interested in watching this movie? Were they rooting for a negative portrayal of the Opus Dei, their archnemesis, or not? Had they all read the book already? What were their opinions on the relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene?)
We noticed, too, a lot of familiar people in the audience. I saw Brian and the SACSI people, Ma’am Ivy (the Asst. Senior Dean) and the CSIT bunch, my former highschool classmates turned new Nursing graduates, businesswomen in power suits, college kids and their friends / partners, whole families and all. I’m sure the lower moviehouse housed a host of Ateneans as well.
But enough about the crowd. What about the movie? All I have to say is: Good movie. I recommend everyone to watch it. But read the book first.
Usually whenever a book is made into a movie (or vice versa), the first question always is: Which is better? For the Da Vinci Code, the answer is: neither is better, both are terrific, for their own aims anyways.
Read the book to appreciate the plot in detail (which the movie couldn’t possibly capture in only an hour), watch the movie to appreciate the setting (which the book ably described, but still, a picture paints a thousand words).
If you are, however, going to watch this movie with high expectations, don’t bother. It won’t move you, it won’t discuss Jesus’ divinity in-depth, it won’t stir up discussion about Christianity or the Crusade, it won’t address everything that made the Da Vinci Code book controversial.
But it’s a good movie – the perfect visual supplement to the novel.
Just remember – don’t believe everything you read. :-)