Monday, May 11, 2009

Worldly? Normal? Regular? Un-Demonic?

..... "Angels and Demons" comes out this Friday and boy, oh, boy, am I excited! Ever since Freshman year, I have been waiting for this movie to come out, after reading the book version in Ms. Duangsawat's class. Hopefully director Ron Howard doesn't butcher the perfectly exciting story-line with cheap visuals and special effects. I definitely recommend the book, and oddly enough, I am going to recommend the movie as well.
..... I say oddly enough not just because I like the simple phrase but because many in the Church have condemned the film to be anti-Catholic. Sure, the movie will be about how the Church supposedly massacred members of the "Illuminati," who eventually swore revenge against the holy institution. At least in "Angels and Demons," Robert Langdon will technically be on the side of the Church as he helps it search for the missing cardinals, all of them candidates for election for Pope by the way! Makes you want to pray a few decades on the rosary, don't it? So in this case, the Church will vaguely be on the "good side" of things. 
..... Now I'm not promoting the film because it portrays the Roman Catholic church in a positive light. I'm more interested in the movie for the story-line. But every movie loosely-based on Catholicism produced by Hollywood is just that: loosely-based. Hollywood just loves all the visual delights, mysterious practices, and the rich history of our beloved Church. We can offer crucifixes, rosaries, devotional candles, and statues of the saints, all of which make up a great set for a movie. Unfortunately, Hollywood tends to exaggerate Catholicism. Movies involving exorcisms and generally demonic forces bent on bringing hell on earth always adhere to this Hollywood dogma. Actually, practically every film which has an ounce of Catholicism must always be about demons. About the only demonic force in "Angels and Demons" is, well, the title. Everything else is pretty...oh what's the word? Worldly? Normal? Regular? Un-Demonic?
..... It's nice to see a movie featuring priests and cathedrals to be not so supernatural. Sure, one can never separate the religious nature of the Church, but when all you see is rogue exorcists battling hordes of fiendish creatures, you tend to think that that is all Catholics do. Which is not to say we don't... :]
..... Some have accused "Angels and Demons" to be anti-Catholic. Hopefully the spirit of "The Golden Compass" has left movie studios for good, but I have yet to see the movie. Maybe Saturday morning, I'll post a blog whether it is anti-Catholic or not, but when has Hollywood ever produced a movie that doesn't offend anyone? So, I guess I'll see you all at the movies! Friday. May 15. Be there or be sprinkled with holy water.

-Jeremy Dela Cruz, Peace be with you!

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