I saw Dune on a midnight premiere... And here's what I think!

in Movies & TV Shows11 months ago (edited)

I was waiting for the "Dune" (2021, dir. Denis Villeneuve) for quite a long time. Although I have never read the books (they are still on my list of shame...), I always knew of their importance for the science fiction genre. There is one catch. As far as I know, the original "Dune" is very hard to write for the screen. Alexander Jodorovsky tried to film a 14-hours long adaptation, but ultimately failed to convince the producers. David Lynch make a long movie, which was terribly cut by the studio and it, well, quite terrible. I feared that Villeneuve's vision may share the same fate as it's predecessors... Luckily I was wrong.

"Dune" is truly a visionary movie, at least when it comes to the visuals. Villeneuve creates an astonishing, impressive movie, in which every frame is just beautiful. Big budget science fiction movies always relied on it's visuals, but Canadian director sad taken it to a whole another level. This does not only apply to the overall cinematography, but also to great special effects as well as the costumes, locations and set designs. The moment the film started, I immediately believed in Villeneuve's vision and delved deep into it, right till the end credits. And although the great visuals should be enough for you to make haste to the movie theater, I must admit that the film has some flaws.

To my surprise, having not read the books, I fully understood everything about the political plot, which was definately the best part of the story. The concept of fighiting over a single source of the all-powerful McGuffin is interesting at it's core, especially if you add there some other motifs, such as ecology, colonialism and struggle between oligarchy and central authority. Unfortunately all of these things are shown from a shallow perspective, which is a bit disappointing. The messianic plot centered around the phropecy and Paul's visions was a bit confusing at first, but ultimately I liked it. I think that the movie might have been 10-15 minutes longer and it wouldn't affect the narration that badly.

Oh, yes, the narration. I think it's one of the best things about "Dune". Villeneuve sacrified the complexity of the story in order to pace it right. I like this decision, because I think it workes well as a first part for a hopefully long story, in which we will learn more and more about the "Dune" universe and explore it's depths. Of course as long as they are made.

There is one last thing I would like to write about - the characters. There's a lot of them and unfortunately most of the cast simply doesn't get enough time to make their characters feel like a real people. Some of the actors handled it using their charisma (Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem), while others unfortunately were just a bit like Mary Sue (yes, Zendaya, I'm reffering to you). What I liked the most was Oscar Isaac who gave a stellar performance as the Duke Atreides as well as Rebecca Ferguson. Duke's concubine in her interpretation is a bit fragile and lost, but ultimately a strong female character with an interesting internal conflict between her family and obligations towards Bene Gesserit. I really liked it, despite some of the critics pointed her as one of the flaws of the film. Oh, I almost forgot about Timothée Chalamet... He did an okay job. I had an impression that his character was a bit to reclusive - you could feel a distance between him and all other characters exept Chani. This was interesting to see, but also weird. I suppose that it was Villeneuve's way to show the true greatness of Paul, but who knows?

Overall I give "Dune" 8,5/10. As a science fiction spectatle, it's just perfect. As a film, it works just fine, with some minor flaws that might annoy some of the viewers. I had a really great time in the movie theater - I went to IMAX with a friend and the screening room was full. Since I was fully immersed, I didn't really look at other people reactions, but as we were leaving, I heard a few comments praising the movie. I hope the second part will shot and released soon!