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Dune is directed by Denis Villenuve and was released on December 18, 2021. It is “Part one” of the planned two-part retelling of the critically acclaimed science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert. It is also a remake of the 1984 David Lynch film of the same name.
The film has an incredible amount of star power headlining talent such as Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgard.
The year is 10191. Duke Leto, leader of House Atreides and played by Oscar Issac, rules over the oceanic planet of Caladan. The House is allocated the duty of replacing House Harkonnen as head of the desert planet Arrakis.
The planet hold various wonders such as giant sand worms and the most valuable recourse in the galaxy, spice. Spice is mainly harvested by the native Fremen and is utilized as a hallucinogen giving its users an expanded awareness and a sense of heightened consciousness. The resource is also vital for interstellar travel as it allows ships to safely hop from planet to planet.
We follow Paul, played by the up and coming star Timothee Chalamet, son of Duke Leto and heir to the throne of House Atreides. Joining him through the film is his mother, Lady Jessica, beautifully played by Rebecca Ferguson. Jessica is part of the the Bene Gesserit; an otherwise exclusive sisterhood who’s members train their body and mind to become masters in psychic and telekinetic abilities.
Paul is gaining these abilities at a rather rapid pace becoming a possible messiah-like contender aptly named the Kwisatz Haderach.
The Director of the film has come out and said he has been a long time fan of the story and his work reflects just that. The movie feels patient in its grand story it attempts to tell and never feels rushed. Also having the benefit of a two-part story helps it tremendously. Villenuve and his team do an exceptional job at capturing just what Frank Herbert had envisioned when he published the novel in 1965.
The acting is of course superb as well. When a film can have Javier Bardem and Zendaya as background characters you know there is going to be no problem in the drama department. Granted they will no doubt have a more prominent role in “Part two” but for this movie they fill in perfectly.
FIRST HOT TAKE OF 2022: Dune is the most optically pleasing movie since “The Revenant” (2015). The film clearly utilized every cent of its $165 million dollar budget. From the subtle detail of spice fluttering in front of the camera to the awe-inspiring sand-worm known as Shaimhulud.
Now… my personal favorite part of this film, the music. The influences of the Middle Eastern and Arabic genre matches the feel of the desert aesthetic the film is going for wonderfully. Hans Zimmer never fails to create the most astonishing soundtracks that match the tones of each movie he does. There is no doubt he will go down, next to John Williams of course, as the greatest composer to ever do it.
Other than the slow burn naritive, which some movie goers may not completely hop on board with, there really isn’t a whole lot to dislike about the film. Especially since the movie isn’t littered with an overwhelming amount of explosions, chase scenes and CGI. Harking back to what made film the experience it used to be with a consistent pace and phenomenal story telling. If you are a fan of the novel or film Dune will be a refreshing watch indeed.
Dune: Star Wars meets Game of Thrones.