Sci-Fi Movies Will Never Be The Same After Denis Villeneuve’s Dune
Dune, a classic among science fiction fans, is relatively unknown in the wider context of pop culture. Beyond a less than stellar 1984 film adaptation starring Patrick Stewart and Sting, and a few TV adaptations, Dune fell into obscurity for a while.
That is, until it is announced that critically-acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve will direct an all-new cinematic reboot of Dune, which could potentially spawn an entire trilogy of films.
In the wake of Arrival and Bladerunner 2049, Villeneuve’s sci-fi chops are well established. Combined with a star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya, there was no way this film would fail.
After watching this new adaptation of Dune, IGN Southeast Asia can confidently say that Dune is the best cinematic experience of 2021, one that will inspire the imaginations of moviegoers around the world and, hopefully, truly be the one. worthy story of Frank Herbert’s flagship series. .
World of spices
Dune begins when House Atreides, one of the noble houses of the Intergalactic Imperium, is tasked with taking control of the planet Arrakis, which is the only planet that produces spices. This substance allows humans to travel safely through space at the speed of light, while extending life itself.
Paul Atreides, the sole heir of this noble house, accompanies his father and all their military force on the desert planet. Unbeknownst to them, a rival house seeks to destroy the Atreids, and Paul himself awakens in him an ancient power.
What Dune does best is world building; The minute the movie begins, you are drawn into its sprawling sci-fi universe. While there are brief glimpses of many different planets belonging to different factions in the story, most of the action takes place within Arrakis itself.
Since this is a desert planet, Dune wears his Arab influences on his sleeve and does not hesitate to use Arabic terminology in his story. Muslim viewers will certainly recognize words like “lisan al-gaib” and “muad’dib” which are used in the film to explain the more spiritual and prophetic nature of Paul’s powers.
Two become one
Paul Atreides, played by idol Timothée Chalamet, is arguably the young actor’s best role to date. Chalamet delicately gives Paul a gentle but firm demeanor, especially when Paul and his mother face so many trials and tribulations throughout the film.
Rebecca Ferguson also does an amazing job as Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica, who trains her son in the mystical arts. Oscar Isaac also shines as the head of House Atreides, Duke Leto, with Isaac bringing his charismatic charm as the leader of an entire planet.
From Javier Bardem to Dave Bautista, supporting cast are also adequate to portray the roughest edges of the Dune world. Still, with all the cut-throats and backstabbers in place, it’s Jason Mamoa’s portrayal of elite soldier Duncan Idaho that stands out, making him one of Momoa’s best roles to date.
When it comes to the acting and visual aspects of Dune, there really isn’t much to complain about. It’s more than a step up from the 1984 film and truly captures the essence of each character as well as the alien world around them.
One issue with Dune is the runtime and the actual amount of plot threads taking place on the screen. It’s not that nothing is happening, but it’s clear that this first film is more of an extended prologue and an introduction to the world at large.
Admittedly, the film sets the stage for an incredible conflict down the line, one that is foreshadowed by visions of Paul’s future, but it makes the wait for the sequel all the more exciting. This is exactly how many must have felt when The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring first came out.
In addition to comparisons to Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s epic saga, we are also planning comparisons between Dune and other pop culture megahits like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, especially when it comes to themes. and the images used in Dune.
Overall, Dune is a very high experience watching it in theaters, preferably IMAX or Dolby Atmos. If cinemas are open in your country, it is strongly recommended that you watch this film in the format provided.