Although “Dune” (2021, dir. Denis Villeneuve) was released some time ago, it is still being discussed, mostly due to today’s Oscars, in which it had a great deal of success, winning in more technical categories. The film was widely praised, both by critics and the audience, even though it achieved mediocre box office results, mostly due to simultaneous release on HBO Max. As some time passed, we may finally evaluate “Dune”, asking ourselves the question: Will Denis Villeneuve film become modern “2001: Space Odyssey”, reviving rusty science fiction genre and reclaiming it back for more ambitious, artistic cinema?
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. I don’t really think that “Dune” will be as much of a revolution As “2001: Space Odyssey” was. Yes, Villeneuve crafted a really brilliant movie, but it isn’t breaking any barriers of cinema. Kubrick’s masterpiece was a real change not only in special effect's category, but also in artistic greatness and storytelling. On the other hand, “Dune” is flawed, not only as a movie, but also as an adaptation of a very famous classic by Frank Herbert. Villeneuve does on okay job, which is enough for me, but not enough for being a masterpiece. A lot of important scenes from the book were omitted and unfortunately due to this the film has a lot of pacing problems. The ending is also a bit annoying, as it is cut in a really weird moment.
One thing that Villeneuve done on the best possible level is the creation of the world inside his film. One might argue, that “Dune” is one of the best films regarding the total cinema idea. When I started watching the film for the first time in the cinema, I was stunned, amazed and intrigued since the first frame. Despite the pacing movies, I was invested the whole time and focused on the action. That’s the main strength of “Dune”, which is mostly due to Villeneuve visionary directing as well as a lot of production value. Story and acting is secondary to that… And I really liked that it was this way!
Yes, this, might sound odd, but I really like fantasy and science fiction. The main strength of those genders is the world building. Some have great stories, but if the world is weird, rich, or fascinating, I really enjoy the work. This applies to films even more than books because they are the mixture of visual and auditory medium, so they stimulate more senses. This makes films like “Dune” much more applying and fun!
Overall, I really liked “Dune” and I can’t wait for the release of the second part of the film. While I don’t think it is as revolutionary as “2001: Space Odyssey” was, some comparisons between those two are quite obvious to make. I’m quite satisfied with all the Oscars “Dune” won today, although in my opinion it deserved winning one for the best film… But that’s me.
What’s your opinion of “Dune”? Do you think it deserved more or less Oscars and if yes, in which categories would you change the verdict?