Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.
It’s been twenty years since I read the book, but I recently read a graphic novel adpatation that covered about 2/3 of the movie, so I was refreshed on the plot. Many of the scenes overlapped, and honestly the graphic novel had a bit of an upper hand because it could spell out what people were thinking in thought bubbles. I did think the movie did a nice job of building in quiet / small character moments that added depth to relationships.
Visually the movie is stunning – the world is imagined in great detail. The picture quality looked fantastic on our TV. (Unfortunately, the sound kept skipping, which threw you out of the experience a bit.)
I like their typography:
It stopped at a logical place in the story — though, discussing with my husband who hasn’t read the book and was going in mostly blank, this offered basically zero resolution to any of the story arcs. In terms of the hero’s journey, it barely reaches him “accepting the call” / “crossing the threshold.” So a bit frustrating for him I think. It was very much a Part One, half of a whole, and it would be a shame if the second movie doesn’t get made and it ends there. But, unfortunate they wouldn’t fund both movies at the same time so if they do greenlight it, it’ll be several years before it’s resolved.
Would this have been better as a single-season TV show? Maybe, from a storytelling perspective? GoT showed that a series could build week after week without resolution in each episode, but an upping of the ante or change of the score.
My husband had a good critique: several big characters died, but their deaths all felt “just” in that they all had a chance to take out enemies when they went. It would have been better with a little more unbalancing of the scales — don’t allow them to be balanced right away, allow the injustice of the death to sit for a time. Let the hero be weakened more, and earn less vengeance immediately. Maybe this is just coming in a post-GoT storytelling world though 🤷♀️
The prophetic dreams thing needed to be dug into more — why is Paul following them instead of choosing a different path altogether? Many of them seemed designed to entice viewers to demand the next movie, previewing all the action to come. Yet, Paul admits that things don’t always happen as the visions appear — and the finale shows such an instance when the vision prompts him to act differently than he might.
Frankly, Paul seems destined for success, and things don’t seem that hard for him. He takes to the Fremen ways easily. He’s been trained to be an excellent fighter. He can compel people with magic, even if he hasn’t yet mastered it.