Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons


Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer in the movie ‘Angels & Demons’.

In ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Dan Brown gave the Catholics a hard time when he let free Harvard professor and symbologist Dr Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) to unravel the church’s most guarded secrets which had questioned the very foundation of Christianity.

However, in ‘Angels and Demons’ Dr Langdon (Hanks again) is seen racing against time to save the Church!

The film, like ‘The Da Vinci Code’ too begins with a ghastly murder scene followed by the death of a pope. The cardinals are to elect the new pope but four of them are kidnapped by the Illuminati — a resurgent group of an ancient secret society of scientists who were executed by the Church.

To avenge the murder of their forefathers the Illuminati declare that they would kill the cardinals one by one and finally destroy the Vatican City with a vial of anti-matter, a powerful weapon stolen from the Swiss government.

Now, it’s the job of Dr Langdon and his new lady partner Dr Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer) to find the hidden clues from ancient monuments and then put them together to beat the Illuminati in their game.

The film is packed with non-stop suspense. The sense of urgency prevails throughout.

Both close-ups and panoramic shots are used extensively to add variations in what could have been many static and boring lecture scenes. Besides the exotic locations the endless car drives back and forth around the Vatican and Paris are well enacted.

Director Ron Howard keeps the film rolling most of the time except towards the end when it slows down to reveal the final plot.

The film is also scripted quite well. It prepares the audience for each turn, especially for those who may not be aware of Catholic traditions of electing the pope. However, for some this may be a bit preachy.

The entire production team has done a marvellous job. The editing room cleans up all possible distractions in some of the shanty settings.

Director Howard also keeps the characters of Prof Langdon true in Hanks and present Ewan McGregor, as the perfect right-hand man of the late pope. McGregor comes out well in a priest suit representing openness in the Church. There is also the versatile Armin Mueller-Stahl as Cardinal Strauss with his ever cool-headed approach to the entire drama unfolding in the Vatican.

What makes ‘Angels and Demons’ most interesting is that it remains as engrossing as the book, even when new twists are incorporated into it.

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