Film & TV

Film Review: Dune

A blockbuster feature based on the best-selling novel Dune, by Frank Herbert.

It has been over fifty years since American author Frank Herbert first wrote science fiction novel Dune, and over three decades since the first Dune movie was ever made. Directed by Sicario director Denis Villenueve, this science fiction film is bought to life in the cinemas once again.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, it may be a bit hard to understand the beginning scenes of who is feuding who and why, however it becomes less important as time moves on. The focus soon becomes about protagonist Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his fate, as he is thrust into leading a war for planet Arrakis.

Chalamet is well chosen as the lead character of this film, not only does he have the appearance of one fast becoming a man; his acting dexterity depicts both depth of maturity, as well as the emotional needs of a child not yet ready to be an adult. Unfortunately, actress Rebecca Ferguson as his mum plays too feeble a role to give full credit to the rebellious Lady Jessica, although she conveys capably as the austere mother and disguised soldier, tasked with the responsibility of raising a son that must lead.

Set in the deserts of Jordan and Abu Dhabi, with multiple scenes that minimise the characters and emphasise the bleakness of the landscape, one is easily transported to the world in which they must survive. The harsh reality of physical survival in the desert is as much a threat as the interstellar warfare, and the fight scenes in Dune are not overdone which is quite refreshing for this type of film. Jason Mamoa as the fearless and skilled fighter Duncan is illustrated well although the plot lacked the full character development required for the completeness of his role.

Finally, the costumes, the machines, and the computer graphics used for the interplanetary travel scenes are moderate enough to be believable, and hopefully this will continue in part two of Dune, also set to be released (in 2023). Dune is definitely not a stand-alone film. As with most series the finale gives a hint of what is to come yet the film doesn’t really have a full independent narrative, so you’ll be keen to watch part two.

Slow to start 3.5 stars

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