Before I start my review, I just want to mention how much I loved Denis Villeneuve’s movies from Arrival to Blade Runner 2049, I think he’s one of a few directors who really understands science-fiction and bring it to life. As for Dune, it was one of my most awaiting movie adaptation, because not only the book has a really dear place in my heart, but it’s because it’s one of the first books that started the sci-fi genre.
The film opens up with a narrative voice of Zendaya, and while I appreciate the move for making non-readers understand the context, I still think it sets the tone of the movie : a very obvious tone that the book has managed to simply lead us into the story.
I loved the cinematography, the designs, the costumes and even the cast, everyone nailed the role. But, as it’s a nice looking movie, it lacks substance. I feel like everything was too much and not enough balance was put into the movie. There were too many scenes of the visions of “the girl”, too many scenes of fabric floating around for aesthetic purpose. Too many slow paced scenes. Too many random dramatic sounds. Don’t get me wrong, Hans Zimmer soundtrack is terrific but adding too many of it, loses its relevancy.
Where are the emotions, the raw unconsciousness and visceral ? Not only that, they butchered the most important part of the book : Fear is the mindkiller. I also don’t understand the move of separating it into 2 parts because when the movie ends, I just feel relieved. Relieved that after 2 hours, I get to finally walk out of the room and start doing something productive with my day. And that is a very disappointing sentiment for a movie that I had such big expectations.
I have many critics for this movie but the main one is that Denis Villeneuve’s take doesn’t allow any of the characters to develop, let alone having their own moments without cutting into another scene or another vision. It’s a talented cast going to waste in my opinion. As if Dune was reduced to minimalism, a cold hearted universe without emotions and physicality making it a dull experience. I’m only hoping for the sequels to maybe bring the whole saga together.
What did you think of the movie? Did you read the book beforehand? How does it make you feel?
– Review by Trang