Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chang Chen, Stephen McKindley Henderson
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: 3.5 Moons
After teasing us with several trailers, Denis Villeneuve's breathtaking imagining of the iconic Frank Herbert's science-fiction novel Dune (1965) has finally hit the theatres. Herbert successfully wrote an engrossing interplay of the environmental cost of progress, the concentration and emergence of messianic religions in deserts TE Lawrence's story in his novel Dune. Villeneuve's film is a visual spectacle that comes extremely close to Herbert's imagination which others before him (including David Lynch) failed to successfully translate onto screen.
Dune or Dune Part 1, sees Villeneuve's vision translated onscreen beautifully by his cinematographer Greig Fraser, who manages to convey the dark world circa Year 10,191. The story revolves around Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), as he and his family, the noble House of Atreides are thrust into a war for the desert planet Arrakis which boasts of 'spice'-the most valued possession in the universe, robbing its natives called Fremen in the process. Paul is chosen as the colonist by the universe's Emperor and takes it as his inheritance. However, things are not as easy as they seem since the new aristocratic regime must face Arrakis harsh climate with scorching heat and no water coupled with brutal invasion from the evil House Harkonnen, who having ruled the planet for 80 years are unwilling to relinquish their hold. They also must face Fremen, the natives of Arrakis who hate the 'Outworlders' and their imperialism and are waiting for a messiah.
Chalamet is impressive and emotes well his confusions and dilemmas as well as his conflicting dreams. He is not afraid to show his fears and shines among more musceled and senior actors like Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa and Stellan Skarsgard. His screen presence and performance proves why he has become such a big star and an Oscar-nominee so early in his career. However, Villeneuve falls short in giving proper screen time and explanation of Zendaya's character, but she still manages to leave an impact. Besides, Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson (Jessica) who plays his mother, Oscar Issac (Duke Leto) his dad, Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho) and Stephen McKindley Henderson (Thfir Hawat) as Chalamet's mentors so a swell job. Dave Bautista as the villain (Glossu Rabban), Chang Chen (Dr. Yueh) an employee of House Atreides, Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Liet-Kynes), the ecologist and Charlotte Rampling (Gaius Helen Mohiam) the Reverend Mother give stellar performances to bring Villeneuve's vision to reality.
In the latter part of the film, the lingering camerawork on expansive background instead on people, starts to get to you and Villeneuve rushes post interval. He also fails to properly establish Zendaya's role in the film. The film's dialogue is another field which disappoints. However, the score of Hans Zimmer uplifts the film and captivates your senses.
Dune is the perfect reason why we love watching films on big screens with grand displays and extravagant canvases. The film sets are eye-catching and the costumes elaborately breathtaking. Hopefully, we will get a sequel soon.
PeepingMoon.com gives Dune, 3.5 Moons