Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve, succeeded in capturing my attention but failed to detail what is happening and its scale. The main cast consists of Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Zendaya as Chani, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, and Oscar Isaac as Leto Atreides. Screenwriters are Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth, and Denis Villeneuve with the film’s musical score by German film score composer, Hans Zimmer.
The complexities that surround the genre of science fiction cannot be understated. To create a reality based on real world events or issues is daunting and many fail at trying. Even more difficult is adapting a 412-page novel with 60 years of interpretation and discussion.
Be prepared to witness a short film’s length of characters walking and establishing shots. Though the scenery is beautiful, it replaces scenes that could have developed the story and characters. The film lacks a substantial amount of exposition, which further leaves the audience in wonder about the events and motives throughout the film. Not every movie can start with an opening crawl like Star Wars, however; a narrative should have some background to make sense of the plot.
The film revolves around a desert planet called Arrakis, also known as Dune. The planet produces a natural spice called Melange which has significant importance in the film. This spice has powers that extends life, expands the consciousness, and even “fold space”; by being able to travel any distance without physically moving. The main character, Paul Atreides, has a great destiny upon him. The challenge lies with him comprehending his visions while escaping death from malevolent forces. These visions occur frequently and disjointly, increasing Paul’s confusion.
Positives are all atmospheric. The cinematography is outstanding, and the production design deserves recognition. Not once was I not immersed in the visuals; I just could not connect with the story. The shots ranging from establishing to close ups brought life into the universe, made it feel real and tangible.
The score was serviceable but nowhere near Hans Zimmer’s best. A lot of prolonged loud noises that appeared at random moments. It must be noted that this is only part one of a two-part series. Many plot points will be expanded, and more depth will be added to the universe at large in the sequel.
Dune's quality varies on who is watching it and what they are looking for. Having no knowledge of the book, my response is based off other science fiction films. Though each science fiction film is unique and have underlying messages or a story; I still could not find it in Dune. Apart from the stunning cinematography and art production, Dune lacked the necessary narration requirements for a wonderful experience.