And I can report I really liked it. I dreamed about it the night I saw it, and I dreamed entirely in terms of the new actors and their representations of the characters, so it must have really gotten into my mind. I did not, however, find it perfect, so here’s a little rundown…
Taking time to tell the story. One of the only recurrent critiques I’ve heard of this Part 1 is that the second half drags. I didn’t think so. I thought it was well paced and a nice balance of going deep into the context without slowing the plot.
Everything audiovisual: the effects, cinematography, landscapes, music, sound, visual storytelling–all of that was excellent. Others have broken it down at length, but I’ll just lump that all together here.
The casting overall: the biggest win of Lynch’s film for me and the biggest lose of the SyFy miniseries is in casting. This is a story about eugenic superpeople and those who can keep up with them, and that takes some gravitas. I thought this cast generally worked well visually and in terms of their performances, minus the caveat I’ll discuss under “The Bad” below.
A suitably young and well-written Paul. Overall, I really liked the film’s concept for Paul: small, adolescent, having some stuff to learn, but already clearly hyper-trained and very mature for this age. This landed very well, minus the caveat below.
The technology: though the film didn’t mention the Butlerian Jihad, its presence is there in the tech, which is both advanced and retro, and I really liked the reliance on buttons and switches. It both looks cool and makes good sense for a culture oriented around keeping humans in charge of manipulating what tech does on a very manual level.
Stilgar’s interview with Leto. Everything about this was lovely! It hit just right the balance between Stilgar’s trying to make a good start with the new colonizers while having zero faith that anything will be different than before.
Chani is intrinsically a really boring character, but the film here is trying hard to make her credible and likable, and it pretty much works for me.
The Might Have Been Better( Read more… )