Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, and Eric Roth
I typically avoid reviewing films based upon books as the original author often doesn’t have control over the screenplay. I make a rare exception for this film as it is also a remake of sorts with the 1984 film by David Lynch still proving to be my favorite by far. Granted this film looks gorgeous and the CGI is outstanding, the heart and soul is missing. The inner monologues of Kyle MacLachlan (his film debut) in the 1984 classic seems to be the one major misstep the writers took with this film. This just leaves out lots of information and misses the chance to bring you closer to the main character. This film does have a great cast with Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and can’t believe I didn’t recognize him sooner – Javier Bardem. Eric Roth was a writer on this film and with his track record I expected a stronger story that most audience could interpret easier. I just found it hard to follow and that is with me knowing the story. I can only imagine how other viewers without any knowledge of the story fare with this film.
Here comes the spoilers.
Actually hold that though of spoilers…I won’t spoil this film as it is a treat to watch and perhaps motivate people to read the book. It is often said that the book was better. Most of the time that is exactly the case as the original author doesn’t always get to have control over screenplays. Sometimes the themes and meanings get lost in the screenplay translation. I hope that Dune Part two will make up a lot of lost ground story wise, but I feel it may also fall just as flat. With such a cast and a usually solid director, you would expect a better written film. I would hope that when filmmakers remake a film they first watch the previous one and take all of the good beats and repeat them. In this case I could have done with less visions of Zendaya, and more inner voice speaking their thoughts to me. No offense to his fans, but Timothée Chalamet is a far cry from being as solid of an actor as Kyle MacLachan was in his first film debut.
Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.