Dune : Part One (2021) – Review

    Dune: Part One is the first part of a planned two-part adaptation of the novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Earlier there had been several unsuccessful attempts to adapt Dune. The biggest task was to make a Dune film within  feature-length without losing any important details. After Arrival and Blade Runner, Denis Villeneuve is on paper the right choice for Dune.

    Denis’s Dune is a visual masterpiece with cinematography by Grieg Fraser. Hans Zimmer’s  music elevates the whole storytelling. His effort to reinvent new music to a science-fiction genre is commendable. Focusing closely on the journey of Paul, his dreams,  his fears and his curiosity , Denis Villeneuve crafts a very personal movie. Thus he has retained the true essence of the book. “The mystery of life is not a problem to solve, but a reality to experience ” the film is all about this idea and how Paul becomes enlightened with this idea. The planet Arrakis is Paul’s calling. From a confused boy to a well determined man, from a prince to a wounded son lost in the desert,  the film narrates the story beautifully. 

    When the movie explores other characters , other socio political and economical aspects then you feel a little rushed or less clarified approach. The pacing could have been better if you considered the available  amount of source materials. Some of the slow-mo scenes in the flashback could have been avoided. The flashbacks to the dream sequences in the last half hour seem to have dried up. The action sequences are very average, just carry the story forward, neither thrilling nor engaging. 

    Oscar Isaac is a powerhouse of acting. He gives a very commanding performance. Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet are the heart of the film. Playing Paul’s mother, Rebecca gives a solid performance. In one scene she expresses fear and ambition at the same time which is worthy of mention. You can see Paul’s journey through her eyes. It’s an overwhelming task for young Timothée Chalamet to play such a demanding role, which requires you to carry a wise side along with a vulnerable side. He is excellent and portrays his part with perfection.

    Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is a masterclass of visual-storytelling but overall as a movie falls short of his previous works. Given the complex narrative in the novel, making a fully satisfying feature length Dune film seems to be an impossible task. Part one set the tone for an epic climax. We can expect a better sequel from the master storyteller Denis Villeneuve.

    Don’t dare to watch Dune at home, it is a visual treat to be experienced only on big screens. 

    About the author

    Ajit has had a passion for movies since he was a child. As a screenwriter, he has written scripts for films and television series. Aside from films, he enjoys travelling. You can follow him on twitter @ajit1113

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