Saturday, May 27, 2006

Making Sense Of The Da Vinci Code Phenomenon

Some Candid observations.

The early works /books on the Shroud of Turin, including the recent one that also tied the name of controversy-magnet Da Vinci to an alleged hoax, and which work is alleged to be not fiction, made very tiny splashes compared to the deluge created by DVC, both in book and movie form.

Enjoying its late-blooming successes at the tills, the DVC is now being compared to Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ, which also created quite a stir during its time. Now its precursor book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which many concede was better written and had a more exciting storyline, is following suit and generating more sales because of the DVC. And needless to state, the other works of fiction of author Dan Brown are also garnering reflected glory and late financial successes.

You know what might be the most primal and elemental thread that piques people’s interest to read and/or view these particular stories, whether fictional or factual, and not the others?

Let not anybody, least of all the fainthearted and shaky of faith, be shocked and scandalized. But it is my lowly hypothesis that it is the sex angle in them that sparked their great following. The eye-popping revelation that Jesus Christ could be involved in any human sexual relationship! That’s what piques and titillates the interest of most everybody, sufficient enough to make people want to set aside time and resources to read or view those works.

I have witnessed the randomly-picked man/woman on the street being asked on TV, sheepishly say that that is so. And of course, the image of Leonardo Da Vinci over time has been defined and inured by sexual innuendos. And as the unwritten but revered advertising code declares and confirms: Sex Sells!

The Passion of the Christ was also a box-office success, narrating a very oft-told and reflexively familiar story, already known to most of the world. Granted that the antecedent stories about the unparalleled gore and barbarism made for a compelling intro and come-on for the patrons to see the movie. But there may be more to it than just that.

Producer/Director Mel Gibson hired his cast composed mostly of virtual unknowns in the US, and thus not noteworthy not only in renown but also in looks, except possibly for James Caviezel. And of course, the very beautiful and voluptuous Italian siren, Monica Bellucci, cast in the role of Mary Magdalene. So, why her for that specific role? Even the role of Mother Mary, who may have only been 47 when Jesus died, is given to an older-looking woman who though possessed of striking features paled considerably when compared with the former.

The news reported that Miss Paris Hilton in her recent holidays in Europe was paid a cool 1.2 million bucks, just to be present in a couple of events and to wave her dainty hand to the public.

So what kinetic attraction value do you think she has? Most everybody knows.

What could possibly develop if we all simply “get out of the closet” and recognize the very strong, maybe immutable and inescapable, magnetism sex and its many allures exert in the everyday and workaday lives of most humans? Is it time maybe to let it all hang out in the open, and maybe somehow strip away (puns intended) some of the puzzling mystique of guilt pleasures clandestinely associated with it?

For after all, isn’t it that most everybody, experts and lay people alike, already swear that sex is good and should not be viewed as dirty and shameful?