2007-01-12

The two Aringarosas

Watched The Da Vinci Code movie last night.

While I do not believe in god, I have respect for most who do. Respect is not something I have for the catholic church though.

And so you can easily guess why I was attracted to the Dan Brown book in the first place. Dan Brown may be a lousy novel writer, but the material in the book is fascinating. I eventually read it (the "illustrated edition") one more time.

For obvious reasons, the church and many religious groups found the book objectionable. But I don't seem to remember reading anything saying that they found the movie objectionable as well, other than the fact that it is a film adaptation of an objectionable book.

Why? I don't know. Because in some ways, I think the movie should be more "objectionable" to the believers than the book.

Yes, both the book and the movie "exposes" the terrible things the church did in the past, but do you notice Dan Brown generally has kind words to say about the church of today?

The bad guy in the book is the Teacher/Teabing, and Silas is used by him as a killer. Bishop Manual Aringarosa is desperate to save Opus Dei and sends Silas at the disposal of the mysterious Teacher, who promises a great way out for Opus Dei. In fact, Aringarosa is portrayed as a loving and devoted (but quite naive) person in the book. Neither he, the Opus Dei, nor the Vatican big-shots engage in anything sinister.

In the movie, however, Aringarosa is also a member of the Council of Shadows within the Vatican, which works to "hide/destroy the truth". He even tricks Dectector Fache into believing that Robert Langdon murdered Jacques Sauniere at the Louvre. By doing so, the movie hints that he knows, or has even played a part, in the killings.

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Related reading: Is Opus Dei the “Villain” of The Da Vinci Code? (John Wauck)