Dan Brown has had his shot to fame with his bestselling books, namely Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code and Inferno. They topped charts all round the world and translated to several languages, including the famous film adaptations of the same name. The first being ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (2006) and subsequent installations in 2007 and 2016. Directed by Ron Howard, all three movies star Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, a symbologist and professor at Harvard, called upon to solve mysteries. The movies constantly touch upon similar themes of historical myths, cryptography and Christianity-centered topics.
In chronological order, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is set first, introducing Langdon and his character arc to the world as a sharp and inquisitive character with an eye for the details. Called to investigate a murder, we see the unraveling of many ‘mysteries’ that pop out of nowhere, are not interlinked in no visible way, all in search of some very vague answers. Even though the plot has complex and twisted paths, Howard has tied up loose ends interestingly, opting to go for different endings from the books, and also reducing the shots throw at Christianity. He attempts to maintain a level of mystery right to the very end, getting us to wonder what the mystery was all along.
‘Angels and Demons’ is the best of the three, using violently beautiful videography paired with a dark, twisted and complex storyline, making it a pleasure to watch. It follows the death of the Pope, following which the Cardinals next in line are kidnapped and a time-bomb is placed in the heart of the Vatican City that could blow it to pieces. Langdon is called upon to solve the crisis at hand and faces personal predicaments along the way. Howard does another fantastic job in sustaining the thrill throughout the movie, without a break, and matches it with nail-biting conclusion. The age-old dispute between religion and science is the main theme of the movie, with Howard balancing the arguments towards the end. It is executed with great scenes of the Vatican City’s beautiful sculpture and Hanks delivering with a great portrayal of Langdon, topping the movie as an all-round great viewing experience.
‘Inferno’ is the sad little brother, though not completely trash, is bleak compared to its predecessors. Ron Howard does well in the directing part, but the writing seems very thrown around and disconnected to each other. Hanks once again is simply the best part of the film, along with a star cast of Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan and Omar Sy. It revolves around Langdon and Dr. Sienna Brooks (Jones) solving a set of crypts and anagrams to prevent a global disaster that could leave a dent in the global human population. The good thing about the movie is the different places they go to solve these, and that is also the bad thing. It shows just too much being fit into a short amount of time, but riding on the message that humans are killing humanity. It is great for someone looking for swift (but unrealistic) mystery solving and some exquisite cinematography thanks to the myriad locations.
The subtle and silent heroes of the series are the background score and the visual art. The sound is ironically muted, with Hans Zimmer doing a fantastic job prevailing the mystery and dictating the mood throughout through his music. As the movies deal with ancient and medieval history, Renaissance art- paintings, sculptures and architecture, are all spotlighted in the movies, playing the roles of a character themselves and helping Langdon and his mates solve the mysteries. They are helpful, to take a breath of break from all that is going on in the film and enjoy their calmness.
Why should you watch the trilogy?
This series is for those who yearn for that adrenaline rush with some adventure through the history books. It is for the inquisitive, and for those who look for enlightenment and philosophical questions shot at you along the way. Angels and Demons is a must-watch, and sets the bar for the series so you could check that out. It is not entertaining all the time, but it is something you think about at the end of the day. If you are into some good sci-fi action movie, ‘Reminiscence’ is the one for you and for the romantics out there, we have ‘The Kissing Booth 3’ waiting for you.