Expectations are weird things. They make you want more from movies when they are based on successful books. I used the term ‘successful’ and Angels and Demons didn’t have it easy. It was written before Dan Brown became the man who wrote Da Vinci Code. In the matter of detailing and thrill, Angels and Demons often surpasses Da Vinci Code. Though some facts and incidents used in both these books are debatable, fictional and contrived, the heart of both these novels are at the right pace and it sets your heart pounding as Robert Langdon manages to crack one symbol after another.
Angels and Demons has got the gist right, but the papal conclave, the Illuminati references and anti-matter surrounding the core of science vs religion story still works on the screen if you leave the book off your mind for a while.
Robert Langdon is summoned to the Vatican (It goes to CERN first in the book) as a symboligist to figure out the references left by an assassin on the day of Papal conclave after the Pope’s death. Camerlengo, the young in-charge of Pope’s office seems helpful and mysterious at the same time. Vittoria, a scientist and daughter of creator of Anti-matter accompanies him as she has to find the anti-matter in time before it explodes and brings the Vatican and half the Rome to ashes. Once it becomes clear what they’re facing, they are racing from one monument to the other with some hits and misses.
The canvas is large, but I can’t help bringing the book in again, you can not have enough time in two hours to include everything. Just as a stand alone film, Angels and Demons is fine. The production value is super. I wish it showed more bonding between Vittoria and Langdon, had given them more time talking of artistic and scientific heritage. But as it follows the central action, it seems to spend more time on Camerlengo and it is still good. Ewan McGregor seems like a curious but correct choice for the role as he does total justice. Tom Hanks is never wrong in playing a character, but somehow just like most other fans, I still have a different Langdon in mind. Hell, I’m more a Tom
Hanks fan than Robert Langdon’s, so it is all thumbs up for Hanks.
I still wish to watch it a couple of times just to savour it. Nothing takes your mind off access rain and relaxes after work than a mystery that has your hero save a future Pope, get trapped in various Roman churches and break Vatican rules.