What Is the Movie "The Da Vinci Code" About?

by John Cagney Nash
Da Vinci's

Da Vinci's "Last Supper" is credited with holding clues to the Holy Grail.

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"The Da Vinci Code" is a 2006 mystery thriller film, adapted from Dan Brown's similarly titled worldwide bestseller from three years earlier. The film is long, at approximately two-and-a-half hours, but still did not manage to incorporate all of Brown's twists and turns; it nonetheless pleased devotees of the book and made more than $750 million on its release. It did not please everyone: The film, as was the book, met with harsh criticism from the Roman Catholic Church. Some church-goers boycotted the film, while others actively protested outside cinemas and bookstores.

The Main Plot Device (Spoiler)

The plot centers on the unfolding of a number of plots and millennia-old undertakings intended to protect the truth about the Holy Grail. The Roman Catholic Church is portrayed as cruelly and villainously determined to hide this truth, so as to enable its ongoing primacy and receipt of free fortunes from its adherents. The movie's contention is that the Grail was never a drinking vessel, but rather was the womb of Jesus' wife, Mary Magdalene, she being pregnant with his child at the time of his execution.

Characters are Introduced

The movie opens with the protagonist, Langdon, in Paris as part of a book release tour. He is taken to the Louvre Museum to give his opinions on the murder of a scholar. The police believe Langdon guilty of the murder, but the bookish academic manages to elude them. Before escaping the museum, he finds time to explore the entire museum, accessing the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, solving riddles and anagrams to unearth several clues.

The Storyline

The dead man in the museum was killed by a monk in the service of an ancient Catholic organization, Opus Dei, dedicated to keeping the Grail secret hidden by whatever means are necessary. With the French police in hot pursuit, and cut off from all aid -- including the United States Embassy -- by accusations of murder, Langdon eventually accesses a super-secret reliquary stored in a Bank of Zurich vault. He arrives with it at the home of an old friend who is an expert on the Grail and the plot. It transpires the old friend is behind a movement to expose the church's duplicity by revealing the tomb of Mary Magdalene to the public. Langdon ends up at Rosslyn Chapel, in Scotland, where his suppositions prove to be true.

A Final Revelation (Spoiler)

In a final blinding flash of inspiration, Langdon realizes that the Grail was moved from Rosslyn to a vault beneath the Louvre, where it all started for him. He returns to the museum to wander about unchallenged atop one of the French capital's most important buildings, looking meaningfully down through several dozen feet of solid concrete to see that he is correct.

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