Dune (2021) is the latest adaptation of the Dune book. Dune is a science-fiction novel, written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. It was widely praised and loved by its readers and won awards such as the Nebula Award for best novel.
There was an attempt to adapt the book in 1984, which was written and directed by David Lynch (known for Mullholland Drive, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet). It attempts to be an epic sci-fi film, but in execution, it lacks. It grossed below its budget and many critics described it as “unstructured”, “hollow” and “perilously overloaded”.
Following on from his neo-noir, science fiction film, Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve was looking for his next production. Blade Runner 2049 was a commercial failure on release, but years after became very favored by critics and audiences. This movie proved that Denis Villeneuve had the skills to recreate the book.
Dune (2021) is the first part of a series of films yet to be released, it follows the story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the son of Leto Atreides, as his family and world are torn apart after their emperor stabs them in the back. The film stars, as said above, Timothee Chalamet with help from Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, and David Dastmalchian, who all did a great job. The actors who stole the show for me were Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista, who also played Drax, in the Guardians of the Galaxy. Although we didn’t see much of Dave, he was one of the few characters I remember quitting the theatre.
The cinematography was done by Denis Villeneuve and Grieg Fraser, which did a fantastic job with how the film looks. The parts with the Harkonnens were visual cake for the eye, the dark and eerie imagery paired with the great cinematography created an excellent atmosphere. But not only these parts looked great, almost all the film looked great. A small note is that I struggled with the aspect ratio, so some of the grandiosity was lost for me. The music by Hanz Zimmer is also top notch, the music elevates some of the film to greatness for me, such as when Josh Brolin and the crew are charging towards the enemy as huge explosions boom, the music blares which makes the scene one of the most powerful moments in the movie. This was a massive highlight of the film for me, and the great music continues throughout.
Now for the negative. The story is interesting but drags at points, I found in some parts my mind wandered, however this was mainly in the beginning as there is not a lot going on, but the movie picks up after about an hour when all the action begins. The story picks up and then it ends… This is the first part of a series of films. Unlike earlier films like Lord of the Rings, it doesn’t have much of a climax, I believe the fight at the end was supposed to be it, but it ended abruptly. Looking at the critics and audiences’ reviews, they seem to share the same opinion as I. Currently on IMDB it is rated 8.2 and on rotten tomatoes it is 82%. Is it a success in studio terms? According to IMDB it has an estimated budget of $165,000,000 and made $94,664,482 in the US and Canada so far. Worldwide, however, it has grossed $354,264,482, meaning, in studio terms it is a success.