Creating Characters – House of Gucci vs. Dune

House of Gucci was a heart-felt attempt at making a Godfather. It didn’t work but we can at least applaud the costumes and scenery. We have no such praise for the writer or director who created a mess out of Lady Gaga’s and Al Pacino’s in-it-to-win-it energy. Their fast collapses are mystifying, from one scene to the next they go from in-control, love-to-hate-them schemers to lost, helpless disasters. This shows an utter lack of plot arc control from those in change.

The other actors made me feel like I was watching a movie from another culture; I could not read their expressions or understand what kind of motivation they were trying to project. For example, Paola: gold-digger or genuinely in love with Maurizio? Opportunist or Maurizio’s shot at redemption?

Maurizio: did he never have a soul? Had a soul but lost it when Patrizia pushed him back into his family? Did he like Patrizia but realized he could use her to take over the business, then blame and discard her? It’s over 2 1/2 hours. I would like someone/ anyone to put forth a POV about what Maurizio was up to.

So unfortunate that Adam is up against not only Al but Al’s incomparable Michael Corleone, a man dragged back into the family business against his will and then finding himself very comfortable amidst the subterfuge.

And as for the people who love the movie as it leaves so much undeterminable, watch Godfather. Watch those clearly delineated characters follow courses set by their personalities – it’s the finest Greek tragedy because you know what is coming but want to see the inevitable happen.

Watching House of Gucci is like pre-paying for a meal at a restaurant only to be ushered into the kitchen, shown the ingredients and asked to concoct the meal yourself. If I wanted confusion and unclarity about motivation I need only go to my office. When I see a movie, I want to see someone’s VISION.

And on the other hand we have Dune, a movie with no real need of characters. Sandworms! Sand dines! Sand masks! Sand with sparkles! Contending with No Time to Die for best use of concrete! Dark interiors! Ten metaphorical date palms trees! Ocean vistas!

I am not speaking about the books – but for the movie the people are superfluous, partly since  you never know what anyone is saying because they are whispering or it’s in sign language or it’s telepathy or it’s enigmatic or it’s in reference to people and places which have not been introduced to or it’s so silly your ears refuse to listen.

I am far more intrigued by the dunes.