by Fr. Lito Jopson
In globeandmail.com, Michael Valpy reported how Sony would setup a website for expert theologians to give their comments on the film “Da Vinci Code” and lure the faithful to watch the movie in the its first days.
“ Hollywood's growth industry these days involves rounding up Christians and herding them into movie theatres -- road-tested with The Passion of the Christ, born again with The Chronicles of Narnia and now squarely aimed at delivering big bucks for The Da Vinci Code.”
My commentary is this:
I think that we should stop comparing the Da Vinci Code with the Passion of the Christ. For one thing, Mel Gibson is a staunch Catholic who wanted to present the sufferings of Jesus Christ according to traditional stations of the Cross. Secondly, Mel Gibson wanted to show how gruesome and brutal Jesus' murder was because that is really what happened; there's nothing too elegant about the Cross, a sign abhorred by many but for the believer, a sign of salvation and hope for all.
On the other hand, there may be no other motive for the Da Vinci Code except pure opportunism. Dan Brown got an ancient apocryphal document rejected in the Canon of books not only because the 4 gospels are sufficient but also the book contained false teachings. It's like the times today when anybody is free to write news and ideas; but someone has to decide which is faithful to what actually happened.
Finally, all news items I've read point to only one thing - Sony pictures, Dan Brown and all others involved with the pictures are desperately trying to save their faces on a movie that’s a flop and elicits no new ideas except to play around with the nature of Jesus who is respected and adored by many through all ages. Even their releases show nothing else except create a media hype and lure the "curious" to the theater, nothing more, nothing less.
As Mel Gibson may have done the film to rekindle the Holy Week practices of Catholics for centuries, Dan Brown and Sony Pictures do not have any motive except to get their money back on something that is just a figment of the imagination at the expense of religion and faith.