- Kimberly Okesalako
Sitting and watching a movie like Da Vinci’s Code, is something that is close to impossible. The suspense along with the climax and anti-climax is enough to keep someone on their toes. Watching it in a class of almost forty students just adds on as everybody is either whispering what is about to happen next or they are either in their own world having already watched the movie. From my experience, this is one of those movies that has managed to have created wide controversial scenarios in regard to the aspect of its interpretation of the Catholic Church.
The movie centres around two protagonists and their quest to clear their name while on a quest of some kind. Unknown at the start of the movie, they soon realise what exactly it is they are searching for and how twisted and hidden the truth can be. The Catholic Church can be considered a body that is made up of several bodies. This is present in the movie as we see two secret fractions that have emerged from the church itself. The first one created to help the world of Christianity and when they became too powerful, another was created to eradicate them. The Priory of Sion and the Opus Dei are two secret societies within the movie that seem to hold the cards of what the entire movie is about. The two fractions are trying to protect a secret, one for the good of the people and one for the good of the world. The movie shows us an understanding of the church that also adds to the patriarchal situation of our society.
The Roman church is seen as a body powerful enough to control the people and who is a male-dominated entity. The movie shows us how this could be affected if a secret so great that had built the very foundation of such an empire was revealed. Women in the Roman church were always seen to have had a negative inclination in their lives. From the Virgin Mary, who was considered an outcast for having a child out of wedlock to Mary Magdalene who was seen as a prostitute during the period of Jesus Christ. These two women play such an important role in the humanisation as well as the immortalisation of Christ.
Jesus Christ was considered to have been a divine being that surpassed the thinking of man and created him in a whole new immortal light. However, the thought that it was possible for Christ to have been nothing but a mortal man and also have had a sexual relationship with a woman none other than Mary Magdalene was seen as something to be considered taboo. This reduced the idea that Christ was a miraculous being who worked miracles and healed the people. The movie mentions about other works of disciples and individuals who had written books including that of Mary Magdalene. They were presented at the council of Nicaea to be taken into account but were rejected. Here it was mentioned that Jesus had a companion (which at that time meant spouse) and it was supposed to be Mary Magdalene. It also mentions how Christ wanted his kingdom (that of the church) to have been carried on by Mary Magdalene herself. This, in short, was a slap in the face of the church.
The movie further goes on to show us how the ideal world we live in today is entirely based off on symbols and representations. This is explained by the symbol that represents both men as well as the woman. Both represented by a triangle. One showing the pinnacle that represents man. A symbol that shows aggression and about being to the point. And the other in the form of a chalice that represents the woman. In other words, shows the symbolic representation of a woman’s womb.
The movie goes on to show how the hunt for the Holy Grail, a “cup/chalice” that Christ had used during the last supper to drink, has led man to do such grievous things in the name for the good of mankind. It makes us wonder if things are better left as secrets or if it is better for the world to know what it is all about. At the end of the movie, we are struck with a major twist, where the entire plotline of the movie takes a turn. By now, we know that the “Holy Grail” in fact represents the “Royal Bloodline” of Christ rather than the cup itself. The movie ends with us knowing who the latest descendant of Christ was and why so much cover-up was required all in the name of staying alive and being hidden from the interest of the Catholic Church.