Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book vs. Movie: Angels and Demons

Almost five years ago, I read Dan Brown’s four books and I really loved them. But my favorites were the controversial The Da Vinci Code and its prequel, Angels and Demons. It was indeed beautifully written by Dan Brown, so beautiful that the powerful Catholic Church despise his finest works of literature. On the 17th of May 2006, The Da Vinci Code was released in cinemas worldwide but it was restricted for mature viewers only. I was only fifteen at that time and there’s no way to watch that on the movie house. I only had the chance to watch it six months later on DVD. Unfortunately, I was NOT happy with the movie version and like what all Dan Brown fanatics have claimed, the book is always better than the movie (except for Stardust).

Three years later, its prequel, Angels and Demons was released and I was waiting for it for almost a year already. Finally, the long wait has come to an end. I just watched it on the movie house this afternoon and today, I’m watching it online, again. I have even downloaded its OST!

So, what’s the fuss of this movie by the way?

First of all, people are somewhat curious of what’s really happening inside the Sistine Chapel during one of the Catholic Church’s rarest events to occur, the Conclave. The ceilings and the four corners of the historical Sistine Chapel was the only witness of this religious event for the past thousand years aside from the Cardinals who will cast their votes for the next Vicar of God, the next leader of the Catholic Church. We all have this notion that cardinals are clean, not materialistic and do not practice vices. Apparently, Cardinals smoking pipes, talking to their high-end phones and recording videos using their state-of-the-art video camera were portrayed in the movie. It’s just an eye-opener, to see that Cardinals are just human beings though they are one of the leaders of the most powerful religion, the Catholic Church.

Another thing is this. Aside from people’s curiosity on religion, they are also nosy with the antimatter. As what the novel had described, antimatter is a new generation matter which can generate great amounts of energy in just an infinitesimal amount. Antimatter is made through the gigantic particle accelerator which ran the entire complex of CERN in Zurich, Switzerland. A cataclysmic event or annihilation shall occur if antimatter is in contact with matter, the things that we see everyday. This study is primary concerned with the creation of the universe, to see whether the idea in the Holy Bible would be coherent with science.

The idea of having science as the mortal enemy of the Catholic Church stretches as early as 1000 AD. The Catholic Church before thought that scientists were heretics and those who will not follow their beliefs shall be excommunicated by the pope or worse executed by grotesque means. The novel portrays a different story, some sort of the revenge by a secret society called the Illuminati.

The novel was indeed powerful that it drew media attentions worldwide. Such upheavals of it claimed both praises and criticisms. The movie was almost called off due to the protest made by the Catholic Church. But fortunately, the production continued this project.

What I really liked in this movie were the cinematography, the original sound track and the visual effects, most especially when the antimatter exploded into the midnight sky of Vatican. All were great. The script was surprisingly simplified though and as what I had expected, scenes from the book weren’t included in the movie. Here are some:

  • The movie didn’t portray the state-of-the-art Boeing X-33, the plane use to transport Robert Langdon from USA to Switzerland in just three hours (normal flight duration on this route usually takes a good 8 hours from a jumbo jet).
  • Robert Langdon was asleep and he wasn’t swimming when Vatican called him.
  • Robert Langdon and Vittoria Vetra didn’t meet at the Vatican. On the book, they met at CERN.
  • The mischievous BBC reporter Chinita Macri (or was she a camerawoman?) wasn’t in the movie.
  • In the book, Robert Langdon had caught in the helicopter and flew together with the Carmelengo and the antimatter. The Carmelengo escaped by using his parachute and Robert Langdon had a majestic dive in the Tiber River. In the movie, only the Carmlengo rode the helicopter and Robert Langdon only watched him in horror as the helicopter rose before the grandiose explosion.
  • In the book, the Assassin died when he fell from his secret hiding place. In the movie, he escaped without the terrifying fight scene from the book, but eventually killed when his car exploded.
  • The movie and book had different beginnings. In the former, it was just a narrative story about the demise of the pope while the latter explains the death of Vittoria’s father and that was the time when the canister went missing.
  • The Carmelengo’s life story wasn’t emphasized in the movie.
  • The head scientist of the CERN didn’t visit Vatican.

I think this is already enough because I might get killed by someone due to these spoilers. Haha!

But yeah, the movie was at least depicted in a straight-forward manner and likewise, this is better than The Da Vinci Code. Whether you have read the book or not, this is going to be one of the greatest movies of this year. I’m looking forward to watch this flick on DVD again.


  1. I agree. The Da Vinci Code was better read than watched. I was a little bit disappointed with the movie because there were a lot of scenes from the book that were either omitted or altered in the movie...I so hate that!

    I couldn't say anything about Angels and Demons though because I haven't read the book yet. As always the case for me, I have got to read the book first before watching the film.

  2. hahaha. si mama ayaw niya ng angels and demons na movie. hhahaah :)) mas gusto niya ang da vinci. idk why.