I guess I might see this, although I didn’t know the movie existed until poof! suddenly I’m seeing reviews here and there. Oh, I see it came out last Friday. Well, yes, I am almost completely disconnected from social media this year.
Anyway! Sounds good, but I would really rather watch it after the second half is made.
Although apparently there’s some question about whether the second half will get made? Depending on how the first half does at the box office? So maybe I should go see the first half now. I can always read the book again after seeing the movie, to help with the Aargh, where’s the other half? feeling.
Here’s the review that makes me want to go watch the movie. This is Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds. His review particularly focuses on worldbuilding.
There can be a habit in some movies or books to tell some of the background worldbuilding in a display of grand exposition — a voiceover, an encyclopedic chapter, a speech by a character Haughtily Explaining Things In A History Lesson. The story becomes a temporarily mouthpiece for Exposition Delivery. Now, the writing advice of Show Don’t Tell is well-meaning but not universally applicable, because sometimes it’s far more direct and empathetic to the audience to just tell them a thing rather than go through the shadow puppet play in order to demonstrate it. Just the same, it can also be true that Capital-T Telling can become very boring, very quickly. Nobody wants a story to be a lecture, even if that lecture is just trying to teach a class about its own history, culture, science, food, religion, what-have-you. This is especially true in film, where you need to be particularly judicious with your time. A minute of movie can be $100k or more in cost.
In Dune, Villeneuve is glad mostly to expect that the characters of this world know what’s happening, and to just move through it, and past it….
Yes, I personally detested the voiceover history lesson at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings.
When context clues aren’t enough, the worldbuilding is delivered in merciless, in-narrative experiences. When it’s time to know what a Stillsuit is, the narrative is allowed do double-duty in the story — it’s about the suit being fitted to the Duke and to Paul, and in that we get a host of vital narrative bits: we meet Liet Kynes; we see how fiercely protective Gurney is over Leto; we see that Paul is able to intuit things about Fremen life and culture, and also that Kynes recognizes it and is aware of the prophecy. It’s a lot of juiciness while simultaneously telling us what a Stillsuit is. Later, we learn of a “sand compactor,” and Villeneuve doesn’t stop to explain it — he’s just like, “Fuck you, it is what is says it is, and you’ll see it later, it’s fine.” Then he just ushers you past it.
This sounds like a really well-done movie! Or very well done in this respect, anyway.
Have any of you seen it? What did you think?