I recently saw Dune in theaters, incidentally it was my mom who thought it'd be a good idea to go, so I obliged. But it did give me a chance to compare it to the books, which I've read in the past. There was a lot I like about the production and characters, but some things I wish I'd seen differently in the plot.
I was very skeptical about how this movie would be because I am a big fan of the Dune book series and didn’t think that anyone would be able to do the book justice. There's simply a lot in the books that is very hard to capture on film, especially given that there are so much subtexts and allusions to the Christian religion. In fact, I hope they break all the Dune books into as many films as is required to fully capture the greatness of the series. Or even better, I think would’ve been a TV series just because there's so much to cover in the books, I feel like it should be in a medium that allows for deeper exploration of the content. But I will take what I can get!
I liked all the character's who were in-house with the Atreides from the general servants, to the weapons masters. Plotwise, I do wish Leto had lived a little bit longer, but I knew he was going to die eventually. I also thought Baron Harkonnen was well-portrayed. Although, I am trying to figure out how he survived the assassination attempt. Though I like the fact that Baron was able to find the trader behind the attempt and eventually kill him because I think all traders should be harshly dealt with no matter what century humanity is in.
A character I did not like was the emperor. I mean I understand why he wanted to hold onto power so badly, but I think it would’ve been easier for him if he just called the two families together and had them iron out their differences like civilized individuals. Nevertheless, I understand that human nature is not necessarily logical as much as we wish it could be and when somebody has so much power, it can warp their perception into thinking that they should always have it. Or maybe it's an example of how absolute power corrupts no matter who is holding that power, nor how noble their intentions are.
I didn't like the way the movie monopolized everything since I’m a person who hates monopolies of anything. I think having a monopoly on any resources is a bad idea. In any century, you would think that someone in the future would’ve figured that out. Even in the future that has regressed to a feudal type of system, I think it would’ve been better to think of the powerful houses in Dune as separate companies vying for one vital resource instead of portraying them as royalty.
I also didn’t enjoy the overuse of the flash-forward visions in this film. I understand the importance of the visions, but I think they could’ve been used more sparingly and made the decisions the characters own instead of having Paul Atreides just follow these visions throughout the entire film. And another thing that could've improved the movie was if they'd shown exactly why the Harkonnens hated the Atreides so much. We really don't see any of the why in the film, which would be an important part to understand. I guess the movie implies that it's just competition between the two, but I feel like it's more than that and needs explanation.
And my final critique is that I did not like the Bene Gesserit order because their plan for humanity didn't include allowances for unforeseen events. I also believe that no one organization should have as much power as they accrued over the centuries. In a way, I found this film similar to Game of Thrones except it's in space.
Aside from those plot critiques, I think this director captured the scope and the aptness of the books. I think the visuals alone were worth the price of the ticket. For instance, the scene of leaving their home planet where their ship comes out of lake was a great shot. You see a high level of contrast between the two planets, and lots of vibrant color. Overall, I'd recommend this movie to the fans of the Dune books or even Game of Thrones fans because of the similarities. To anyone who watched it, what did you think?