Dune review: the beginning of an extraordinary story

Here is our review of Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel

ORIGINAL TITLE: Dune. GENRE: Drama / Fantscienza. COUNTRY: USA. DIRECTOR: Denis Villeneuve. CAST: Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista. DURATION: 155 minutes. DISTRIBUTION: Warner Bros. RELEASE: September 16, 2021.

A month ahead of the rest of the world, Dune, the science fiction blockbuster directed by Denis Villeneuve. The film debuted in Venice at the beginning of September and immediately arrived in our country in theaters, which literally filled up to attend one of the most anticipated films of the year. After the first weekend of screenings, Dune has already earned more than two million euros, registering a 73% increase in attendance in the room compared to the previous week (source: Ansa). These data can only make us cinema fans smile, but also and above all Villeneuve and la Warner Bros.

After the excellent work done with Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve throws himself back on science fiction, a field he now knows like the back of his hand, and he does it very well. Many of the shots follow his style, which we have come to love and know. Villeneuve accompanies us in this unknown world, a universe 8000 years in the future, showing us above all the power relationships between ferocious nature and man, with his technology and his strength. References to both of his previous films are wasted, as well as in the shots, in the representation of the world, especially once you get to Arrakis.

Dune review: the beginning of an extraordinary story

The plot | Dune Review

In the distant future, the galaxy is ruled byImperium, which grants the various planets as fiefdoms to the most important families. To one of these, the house Atreides, is assigned Arrakis, a desert planet that has long been ruled by the Arkonnen, a race thirsty for power and blood. Arrakis is a fundamental place, because on it it is possible to obtain the Spice, a substance necessary to navigate the various parts of the cosmos. The planet is inhabited by Fremen, a race of blue-eyed men, believed to be very dangerous. The new office worries the Duca Leto, at the head of the Atreides family, who is aware of the delicacy of the situation, and also his family, who will face many dangers during their stay.

“This is just the beginning” | Dune Review

It was already known before its release, but it is right to reiterate it: this film is not self-contained, it is only the beginning of a bigger story. It is no coincidence that the Dune saga has been labeled as the 1920s Lord of the Rings. Unlike what is done by David Lynch with his 1984 Dune, Villeneuve decided not to condense the immense story told by Herbert into a single film. The Dune we saw in the cinema brings to the screen only the first half of the writer’s first book, leaving room for sequels in the near future. It is no coincidence that Villeneuve hopes that the proceeds will be high for his work, because above all the start of filming for the second chapter of the saga. But how did this choice to break the plot and not finish it fully affected the film? In any way. Exactly, because, although the film reaches its climax before the conclusion, Villeneuve has left space to complete (or rather, begin) the arc of the protagonists. I’m talking specifically about Paul (Timothée Chalamet), who completes a first transformation in the finale, which we will see continued in the next chapter. After all, the last line of the film is “This is just the beginning”.

Dune review: the beginning of an extraordinary story

The cast | Dune Review

Already from the trailer and the first images released, it was possible to admire the immensity and quality of the cast. Starting from the protagonists, the Atreides, we have Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson e Oscar Isaac which, in a different way and timing, all leave their mark on the film with an impeccable interpretation. We also have side characters played by Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem e Zendaya herself which, since it doesn’t show up much, we can’t wait to see it again in the sequel. The proof of the cast is therefore excellent and is one of the real engines of the film.

The sound | Dune Review

The other engine is represented by the sound aspect. Starting from soundtrack from Hans Zimmer, who interrupted his historic collaboration with Christopher Nolan to work on this film, leaving the reins of Tenet to Ludwig Goransson. Music plays a fundamental role within the film, with epic tones that further elevate this story, already with an epochal and mythological flavor. Not just the soundtrack, as well as the sound design of the world conceived by Herbert is of an impressive quality. Without the sounds of spaceships, blades colliding with shields, and the silences of the desert, Dune would not have been the same.

Dune review: the beginning of an extraordinary story


Dune is therefore a film that promises a lot, but returns in equal measure. We have a spectacular technical sector, from directing to photography, passing through the soundtrack. The stellar cast did an excellent job, both the protagonists and those who had less space. The film enchants, but it also entertains. Epicity reigns supreme, it fills our eyes with unique images and we often find ourselves asking: is what I’m seeing really not real, but done on the computer?

We cannot fail to underline, however, a great, perhaps the only, defect of the film: after 2 hours and 35 minutes, it ends.

And you? What do you think of Dune? Do you agree with us, or are you among those who have not loved the film? Let us know yours in the comments!

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