Dune shows why Denis Villeneuve is the best director for Science Fiction today.
Ever since Denis Villeneuve was announced as director of the adaptation of Epic Science Fiction novel by Frank Herbert, Dune is one of my favorite books and easily has been my most anticipated film. This movie is stunning, large, and breathtaking. Dune is a Sci-Fi Cinematic Masterpiece and one of the best films of 2021.
Dune is a story about Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who relocates to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence, only those who can conquer their own fear will survive. This movie presents Part 1 of the novel (as the title card reads on-screen).
Critics and individuals that have not read the novel, compare Dune to Star Wars meets Game of Thrones. This novel spawns the creations of those movies and books. Not only does the adaptation of the novel feel surreal, but Villeneuve also brings this novel to life and gives you the sense that he filmed in another world. To tackle a novel as large and in-depth as it is, Villeneuve does not try to condense the book. The story is too large to fit into one film (see David Lynch’s Dune as reference).
The supporting cast performance nails their roles. Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, the parents of Paul. Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, the weapon master of House Atreides along with Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, swordmaster, and Paul’s mentor. Stellan Skarsgard as the Vladimier Harkonnen, Baron of House Harkonnen, the enemy of House Atreisdes and formal steward of Arrakis. Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, nephew of Baron Harkonnen. Zendaya as Chani and Javier Bardem as Stilgar, are Fremen, locals that live on the Plant Arrakis. Their character has a small role in Part 1 as their roles expand in Part 2 of the Novel.
The cinematography (Greig Fraser), the epic score (by the great Hans Zimmer) and the story is the reason why films are made. Unfortunately, I and other critics experience the film in a small auditorium a week ago, we walked away saying we can’t wait to see it in IMAX or Dolby Amos to experience the scale of this film.
Denis Villeneuve wanted to film both parts back to back but Warner Brothers denied that request to wait and see the reception of the first one. With Covid 19 pushing the release date back and moviegoers struggling to get back to the theaters and HBO Max releasing the film on streaming, this could seriously affect Part 2. Movies like this deserve to be seen on the big screen.
If you are a fan of Star Wars or Game of Thrones or just a fan of Science Fiction, forgo watching Dune on HBOMax and go see this in the largest theater possible. Denis Villeneuve's Dune is a movie experience that is well worthy of you returning to the theaters. Dune comes out in theaters and HBOMax this Friday.