Dune: Adapting The Unadaptable

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The prestigious house of Atreides is given the fiefdom of the planet Arrakis and is forced further into a blood war between the previous rulers of the planet and its natural inhabitants.

I will say right off the bat I have recently developed a dislike for Denis Villeneuve as his ego has really come to light, and much like Christopher Nolan he seems to think his films are works of art and worse yet that he can tell people how to watch them. Much like Nolan, Villeneuve has also launched a series of outdated, out of touch attacks on streaming services which acts as a further point of irritation. However, for the purposes of this review I will put my thoughts about the man aside and just focus on the film.

For the most part this is a stellar adaption of the classic science fiction novel, I am currently reading the book to further my understanding of this film and I have to say there are scenes in it that feel directly translated with such precise attention to detail that you can really feel the love for the text coming through. Obviously, there are a few things cut out for brevity here and there such as a wider backstory for Dr Yueh, played by Chang Chen, which I feel hurts the film but for the most part this is a very faithful and well done adaption.

In terms of aesthetics and CGI this film is a dream, it has a clear and distinct style and is honestly beautiful to look at. The world feels so real and so refreshingly new it reminds one of watching Avatar for the first time. The only time I noticed the CGI looking a little patchy would be in one of the future, vison, battle scenes in which Paul, played by Timothee Chalamet, envisions himself fighting alongside the natives in battle armour and at one point in the conflict his face covering comes off and the effects on the characters face are poor.

In terms of performances it is strong across the board, everyone has a moment to shine, except for Chalamet and Zendaya. Zendaya is not given much to do beyond be the person Paul sees in his visons and is likely be saved more for the second film. Whereas Chalamet drifts through the whole film with an indifference that borders on boredom. I understand that once he gets the sight in the novel Paul becomes a little detached, but Chalamet is instead like that throughout even before he gets the ability to see into the future.

Overall, a strong adaption with only minor issues.

Pros.

Well realised

Beautiful CGI   

A distinct personality

Mostly good performances

Cons.

Chalamet

Pacing issues and leaving some important things out

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