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Angels and Demons – Science or Religion?


That mystic diagram is an ambigram – a calligraphic design that manages to squeeze two different readings into the selfsame set of curves (from Wiki). This forms the baseline for the movie Angels and Demons.

The most awaited sequel(prequel?) to Da Vinci Code hit the theatres a few days ago. In this Ron Howard’s production, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a professor, is in a race against time to discover the true identity of a long lost brotherhood The Illuminati. What he discovers is a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church which threatens to destroy the credibility of Christianity.

The story begins with a research facility at CERN where a team produces the world’s first anti-matter in substantial quantities. One of the canisters is stolen after killing the head of the team. His daughter Vittoria Vetra (Aylet Zurer) flies to Vatican City where the canister is stashed in a secret place. Langdon is sought by the Vatican after it receives a threat from the brotherhood called Illuminati. In the midst of this, Conclave is going on to choose the next Pope and the Preferiti(Chosen Ones to be the next Pope) disappear. Langdon teams up with Vetra on a wild goose chase. With him are the Swiss guards and the Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor), a kindly papal assistant eager to stamp out the Illuminati threat, in his quest to find the illuminati lair and recover the canister.The film also focusses upon the eternal debate between science and religion. As it turns out in every other story there is a man on the inside and the final ‘twist’ in the plot reveals who that is!

If you go to the theatre expecting the movie to be a replica of the book you will find yourself disappointed. Though pruning the story here and there is a pre-requisite for making such a snappy thriller it does not mean the whole plot has to be changed. Many characters are missing and those that are present are not given much elaboration to save time for Langdon’s quest. Such drastic changes do not do well for the movie. The Hassasin who plays one of the pivotal roles in the novel is sadly portrayed here just as a killer and kidnapper. There is absolutely no depth in his character. That was a terrible disappointment in the movie. (He does not even look scary!!!!)

Of course, there are pluses to the movie as well. As the crew was denied permission to shoot in the Vatican, they had to reconstruct the whole of the city. Marvellous work indeed! Hats off to the set designers for having done a splendid job especially in the re- creation of St.Peters square! Though the movie is long it must be accepted that it is fast moving, snappy thriller. Though it doesn’t bring you to the edge of your seats, the air of suspense and thrill has been maintained very well by the director. Tom hanks stands out in his role. With witty dialogues at his hand he easily carries off the role of the atheist professor. Aylet Zurer though not given much room has done a neat job. Also special kudos to the music crew for having chosen the music with great care!

To sum it up, if you can remain oblivious to the fact that this movie is based on a novel, the movie makes a good watch. Else its just worth watching once for the heck of it. I would rate the movie 3 on 5.

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1 thought on “Angels and Demons – Science or Religion?”

  1. d head of d team who is killed is jus Vittoria's research partner acc 2 d movie.. he's her dad in d novel only..n no movie can be made as descriptive as d book.. d folks who've read d book can fill d voids.. this trend follows in d entire "bourne" series…n Langdon flying along with d Camerlango as in d book has been changed which acc 2 many is an improvisation since his escape route 4m d chopper in d book was 2 flawed and nt exactly acceptable..n evan mcgregor deserves special mention n d cinematography is also 2 good… d assasin is jus under d belief dat its d illuminati which is actually operating and he's described a lil scary in d book.. but these r flaws which r microscopic when compared 2 d whole plot n d movie!!

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