Before we heed into Inferno Review, it is imperative that we talk about the source book first. In an interview, Ron Howard had cited the reason for skipping The Lost Symbol as “coming close on the heels of Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code, that thematically and tonally, it might feel a little bit too much like the other books”. And obviously, he is right. Being my first Brown book, The Lost Symbol was too much alike to Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code (when I completed the other two later, duh!) and it has pretty disappointing ending. Fellow readers will know what I am talking about. So, it was apt for the Director and Sony Pictures to instead adapt the latest Robert Langdon’s adventure – Inferno.
Inferno, as a book, is dissimilar from its counterparts. Though the basic construct of storytelling – finding clues hidden in historical items to avert a disaster – remains same, yet there are plenty twists to keep you hooked. And the end of Inferno (book, not movie) is simply mind-blowing. In the end you realize, there is no hero or villain here. Everybody is winner. I, like many other readers, was awestruck at the genius Mr. Brown produced. It’s shame the movie completely cut out the brilliant book ending and replaced it with Hollywood cliche.
For the most part, the movie remains faithful to the source material. The places, clues and almost all characters are directly plucked from the book. Let me demonstrate you with an example. There is a dream sequence in the beginning of both book and the movie. I remember having chills while reading it as it was vividly described with powerful imagery words. The movie completely incorporates that chilliness. If I were a non-reader, I would have been genuinely horrified with the scene. Full marks to the visual effects team.
For almost three-quarters, the movie is knitted intricately and is a good edge-of-seat thriller, if not the best. However, it is towards the climax where the movie tries to stand on its own feet by branching away from the ending responsible for turning the book into a bestseller. And the movie fails miserably. As I watched the ending, I fell deeper and deeper into a well of agony and aghast. I was like, Why….WHY will anyone replace the ending with this idiotic, overused one. Irrfan Khan and the ending were the two main reasons why I grabbed a first day, first show ticket. I don’t know about you guys, but for me the changed ending was a deal breaker. Also, this new ending didn’t resolve some of the mysteries. I know why ‘That’ thing happened because I read the book. But others won’t get the reason.
Now, coming to the acting part. Tom Hank has got Robert Langdon down to his veins. He can play the fictional Harvard Symbologist even in sleep. His portrayal only gets better with each installment. However, it is Felicity Jones that disappointed me. She wasn’t at top of her game. Whether it was her acting or something, many times you can feel her forgetting the dialogues during conversation. The book’s Dr. Sienna Brooks is a live-wire. But Felicity Jones’ Dr. Sienna Brooks, a diffused one.
In the latest outing, Irrfan Khan proves why he deserves more Hollywood films. He is outstanding as Harry ‘Provost’ Sims. In the book, the Provost is no-nonsense chief of a shadowy organisation The Consortium. He likes to get his work done in discreet and swift manner. He doesn’t give a damn about the methods and only cares for results. Sounds familiar? Yup, that’s Irrfan Khan for you. Nobody is better suitable for playing Provost than him. He brings the charisma and breathes life into the character.
From Special Effects point of view, the movie does an okayish job. The movie isn’t a VFX studded flick. Barring the horrific dream sequence, there isn’t much use of special effects later. The dream sequence is skillfully done and captures the chilliness of book’s dream description. The women in black, fiery hell and freaky ghouls like humans are perfectly crafted out. Hans Zimmer’s music is the ideal companion of the movie. There is no point talking about a guy (read: Legend) who does no mistake when it comes to his music. He flawlessly captures the essence of the movie in his music.
Overall, Inferno movie is a decent edge-of-seat thriller. With few tweaks in the script, the movie had the potential to be box-office success. Dan Brown fans will absolutely love it till three quarters, but then hate it in the end. But for other, Inferno movie is big let down from previous installments.
INFERNO CAST AND CREW
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Screenplay by||David Koepp|
by Dan Brown
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
- Acceptable Acting
- Excellent Music
- Cliche Ending
- Plot Holes