Dune Review

Review | DUNE (Part One)

DUNE is a masterpiece and one of this year’s best movies. Denis Villeneuve has crafted a visual wonder. Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson deliver exceptional performances and are the highlight of this star-studded cast.”

DUNE was my most anticipated movie of 2021. Firstly because it’s a Denis Villeneuve movie. Secondly, every DUNE adaptation has been an absolute catastrophe so I was very intrigued to see what Villeneuve would do with it. It’s a colossal project. And it’s only the first part. If this one is successful, Villeneuve will be able to complete his vision and I truly hope it happens because he deserves it.

STORY

Adapting DUNE is extremely difficult but Villeneuve has already made a sequel to Blade Runner, which was no easy task. First of all, not apdating the whole book in one movie was the best choice. You can’t contain this big in a single movie. It’s also a risk because if it fails, we’ll never see the whole adaptation but I have high hopes it will be successful. For DUNE, Villeneuve personally helped writing the script. You can feel how involved he is in this project and more importantly, how passionate he is.

This first part has a lot of necessary exposition. It takes its time to introduce the characters and tells us what is going on in this universe. I would say it’s the equivalent of The Fellowship of the Ring in the best possible way. There are some action scenes as well. The battle on Arrakis is short but quite explosive! Duncan also has an impressive action sequence. It has the right balance between character exposition, moving the plot forward, and action.

THE CHARACTERS

Most of the movie focuses on getting to know Paul Atreides, the hero of the story, and his mother Lady Jessica. For Paul, it’s the beginning of a self-discovery journey. I think it can be described as a coming-of-age while also being a lot of other things. DUNE is also a sci-fi movie and a drama with a political commentary on imperialism among other things. The story is still very much relevant in today’s world, maybe more than ever.

All the other characters play a secondary role. Though, some are more important than others. For example, Chani and Stilgar are barely featured in the movie, they are introduced to prepare us for their more important role in the second movie. For those who know the book, this first part is a real bloodbath, it’s the fall of House Atreides.

CAST

Denis Villeneuve has assembled a star-studded cast for Part One. This massive cast impressed me. Timothée Chalamet delivers a multi-layered performance as Paul Atreides. He was perfectly cast in the role. I do hope the Oscars will finally recognize his work because he is an amazingly talented actor and surely deserves an Oscar. Rebecca Ferguson is the other highlight performance of this movie. And just like Chalamet, she is a rising star whose talent deserves to be celebrated and recognized. Both are exceptional in DUNE.

I also want to mention Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa who are great in their respective roles. Oscar as Leto has an imposing yet gentle presence on screen. While Momoa’s Duncan is just so cool and badass. As for Stellan Skarsgard as Baron, he is absolutely terrifying and disgusting. That’s exactly how the character should be!

VISUALS

It’s a Denis Villeneuve movie so you have to see it on the biggest screen possible. That’s what cinemas were made for! Plus, Greig Fraser is the cinematographer. So, it’s the perfect team-up. This movie is a visual wonder, Villeneuve created one of the most beautiful movies. Every shot has been carefully crafted and has something to say. If I have to be honest, it’s on par with what Peter Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The craftmanship with the ships, the planets, the buildings is phenomenal. It felt REAL. The design for the ships is very simple but it fits the DUNE aesthetic. Many designs felt like Star Wars and Blade Runner, which were both inspired by the original book. I also have to talk about the costumes. These costumes are beautiful – elegant and practical. DUNE deserves many Oscars, if not all of them and that’s not an understatement. There are not a lot of movies like this one.

SCORE

When you choose Hans Zimmer as your score composer, you know it’s not going to be disappointing. Once again, he delivers an incredible score. I love the use of chorus several times during the movie. It fits with that universe and transports you even further into the story.

VERDICT

DUNE is a masterpiece and one of this year’s best movies. Denis Villeneuve has crafted a visual wonder. Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson deliver exceptional performances and are the highlight of this star-studded cast.

DUNE Part One is distributed by Warner Bros. The movie will be released in the UK on October 21 exclusively in cinemas. While in the US it will be released day-and-date on HBO Max and in cinemas on October 22.

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