Dune is the newest hit movie being released, and I suspect it will win oodles of awards.
The previews suggest a fight for freedom and ecology, with lots of excitement. But there is more action in the preview than in most of the movie, which concentrates on slow but beautiful scenery instead of less trendy things like story line, action scenes or character development.
Like the classic film 2001, it seems to be a half hour plot stretched out by scenery.
Dune follows Paul Atreides and his family as they relocate from their home world to the desert planet, Arrakis, nicknamed Dune, the only source in the universe of the mysterious but vital spice, melange. Amongst this nest of secrecy and subterfuge, Paul becomes involved in a political plot with universal consequences. In the midst of a grand betrayal, he is forced into the desert to live with the secretive Fremen. It's there that he begins to uncover the true nature of the enigmatic spice and starts to realize his full potential.
So it is about the prince growing up. But since he is forced into the desert only at the end of this film, presumably we won't see that until part two.
So the main character in Dune is a prince, and he has a nice mom and later you find one of the soldiers is his dad, also a prince, and he has a weird grandmom. I think. I'm not sure. Presumably the scriptwriters think you have read the book, not thrown it away in frustration because it too is a long overboring classic.
The prince and his family were sent to the Spice planet to take it over but in reality it is because the empire wants to kill the prince, not by slipping him some arsenic or sending in an assassin, or having his ship explode in space, but by a multi million dollar plot to land him on the spice planet where they could do it and blame someone else.
And this is where it become confusion. The soldier I thought was the body guard was his father the Prince, who apparently isn't as important as his son. Not sure why. And his mom is a nice lady, but I was confused why she was there with him. And what was that part about the crazy grandmom?
Unlike the prince, they seemed to have normal human emotions: the father did show concern and dignity under his stiff upper lip ethos, while his mom showed she could grovel.
But the prince has a flat affect, and even when he is emoting, it looks like the character is acting a part, not really feeling the emotion.
So yes, there was some acting in the film. And I wish that we could have been shown a bit of their backstory, to put the story into context (the backstory was told in a sentence or two that were mumbled and could easily be missed)
There is a subplot about ecology, and of course, the reason the book was a hit in the 1960s was that it extolled Spice, a hallucinogenic substance that not only gave you visions, but let you navigate safely through the universe. (shades of Silicaon Valley using hallucinogens and mini doses of LSD to get more creativity).
My stepson said it reminded him of Mandalorian. Which it does because of the desert scenery and the CGI space ships.
Yes, but you cared about Mandi, who has a backstory and shows more emotion wearing a mask than the prince shows in his handsome face for the whole movie.
You care about Mando because he has human connections: he cares about baby Yoda. And the other characters are different, colorful, and act human (even the robots) and you get an idea of their history and why they do what they do.
Not so here.
So yes, go to see the film, which will probably win oodles of awards.
But if you want to laugh and cry watching a film about people you learn to care about, go rent a copy of the Mandelorian, or the original Starwars films.