Dune is absolute cinematic mastery. Thoughtful storytelling that takes its time, patiently expanding the world and the characters who inhabit it so as to create a rich universe that feels tangible.
The Atreides family & empire is entrusted with the protection, collection, processing, & extraction of the galaxy’s most valuable element. Seeing as it only exists on a dangerous hostile planet the task is no easy feat and one that Duke Leto Atreides does not take lightly. However, what unspoken dangers lie in this desert planet– concealed by the sand, the heat, and the politics– may be beyond even the mighty Atreides.
Denis Villenueve can do no wrong! Since his first affair with Hollywood his films have been critically acclaimed, every one receiving nominations, two of which won. He is a masterful director who is deliberate with his choices. An auteur. Dune only elevates him further.
I chose to remain ignorant to Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel as well as to David Lynch’s previous attempt to adapt this back in 1984. Actually, I was advised to. I’m glad I listened because my expectations were set only by Denis Villenueve & the star studded cast bringing the characters to life.
Timothee Chalamet delivers a strong enough performance but the character of Paul is one with few notes. I regret to inform the Chala-mates & Chala-maides that they will not find his best performance here. Not because he doesn’t deliver but because it isn’t required of him. Jason Momoa is as likable as ever and manages to kick some serious tail. Prepare yourselves because you will see less of Zendaya than you hope as her character is set to play a bigger part in the sequel to come.
The real show stopper is the ever lovely Rebecca Ferguson who is given some of the most powerful moments in the film and, in true Ferguson fashion, gives her all to the character.
We’ve seen the trailers. Aside from the moment Paul’s face is revealed behind a retractable face shield thing (you know what I’m talking about) the visual effects are fantastic. Again, this world is brought to us in a way that makes it very digestible. It looks & sounds like a very real galaxy far far away… but better.
All jokes aside, the film is truly great because the bones were so. The script by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villenueve, and Eric Roth is thoughtful and patient. Give this to a studio helmed by a mouse and this first born would have been an only child. An only child who’s first words consist of forced exposition. More flash, more action, more spectacle but less of everything of substance. Denis and Co. deliver a film that engages, surprises, & prepares us for something greater.
Dune is more than I expected and I thank Denis Villenueve for being bold enough to make a film that is only half the adventure not knowing if he would get the opportunity to finish what he began. Unlike David Fincher’s brilliant The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, we will get to see the entirety of Dune and I, for one, can’t wait.