As Pras had posted earlier in IK, Angels and Demons is one of the most anticipated movies of 2009. Although the book was released before the Da Vinci Code, the movie is released only after DVC. Just like every other book of Dan Brown invites controversy from the church , this one is no exception. The novel is about the differences and the cold war that exists between religion and science. This war has it’s roots back from centuries and has led to a lot of issues and controversies.
The movie can be reviewed from two viewpoints-those who have read the book and those who are yet to. Those who have read this thrilling un-put-down-able sci-fi tend to think that the director has deviated much from the original script. There are places where you feel the narration was much better in the novel. But this problem persists with almost all movies adapted from novels. It’s difficult to replicate a book as it is into a movie. But A&D has done a great job! For those who are yet to read the book, I assure you, this one is an edge-of-the-seat roller coaster thriller which you will immensely enjoy.
Close your eyes and scroll down to the bottom of the page if you’d rather not know the plot!
Tom Hanks reprises the role of the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. The movie starts with the collision experiment of the LHC at CERN. A scientist named Vetra successfully collects some anti-matter (also known as God’s particle) which forms the basis of the life on earth. But even before he could rejoice this find of his, he is brutally murdered and the canister containing the anti-matter falls into the hands of the bad guys. Meanwhile, the Vatican is mourning the death of their holy Pope and Langdon receives an urgent call to visit Vatican. On reaching there he finds out that four cardinals who are the likely candidates to be the next pope are abducted and threatened to be murdered. Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor) informs Langdon that the Illuminati (a secret society of scientists against the church) is responsible for the abduction. Also Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) joins Langdon and informs him of the anti-matter. Commander Richter (Stellan Skarsgård) and Inspector Olivetti (Pierfrancesco Favino) find out that the antimatter is placed somewhere within the Vatican by the Illuminati and they are threatening to blow up the whole place. From there on starts the Vatican cat and mouse chase where Langdon, using his ability to solve puzzles, tries to hunt down the killer and save the cardinals and the Vatican from abomination.
Tom Hanks has played his role with ease. He fits the role of the highly talented symbologist well and his dialogues at times tickle your humour cells. Vittoria, the adopted daughter and main assistant of Vetra, who plays Langdon’s second fiddle in the book, is wasted in the movie. She neither is seen sharing information with Langdon nor helping him find the path to the Illuminati’s church. They hardly get to know each other since they are busy running from church to church across rome to find the killer. The movie is void of any emotional content between the two which plays a great role in the book. Ewan McGregor does justice to his role as Camerlengo Patrick. His innocent looks and rage when he learns that the Pope who adopted him when he was young is well portrayed. But there isn’t much scope for Commander Richter who is scantly seen in the frame. The paid assassin (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) does a fair job in keeping up the tempo and the movie moves with good pace throughout.
Director Ron Howard has ensured us all a beautiful ride across the Vatican. The chase is well portrayed and the sets are beautifully crafted. The BGM adds to the tempo and keeps us glued to the screen without winking. This movie is many folds better than the DVC movie, which lacked the pace and thrill. I felt that Howard should have stuck to the book for the climax rather than changing it.
The Bottomline – A fully entertaining and thrilling movie overall. A must watch for all movie goers! Let the angels guide you to the theatres and demons haunt you if you’re one of those filthy downloaders
IMDB: Angels & Demons (2009)
Genre: Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Cast: Tom Hanks (Robert Langdon), Ewan McGregor (Camerlengo Patrick McKenna), Ayelet Zurer (Vittoria Vetra), Stellan Skarsgård (Commander Richter)