Dune: Part One review: Stunningly weird sci-fi epic cuts out early

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Timothée Chalamet has come up with knife-sharp cheekbones in the hit film Doon: Part One.

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The best-selling books in the Dune series are as follows interesting and obscure Like the moving sand of the desert. So it makes sense that a star-studded new film adaptation director Denis Villeneuve Manages to be both extremely satisfying and incredibly disappointing. NS 2021 Dunes The film is a tour de force of cinematic sci-fi, a star-studded yet deeply strange fantasy epic, and a thoughtful and thrilling film experience.

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Then it stops in the middle.

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Villeneuve’s version of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel titled “Dune: Part One” opens. This is your first warning that the film is not going to give you much closure. It’s certainly packed with ideas and stunning visuals and information by the spaceship-loaded, but it’s also the setup for a story that’s going from nowhere the credits roll.

After premiering to (mostly) critical acclaim at the Venice and New York film festivals, Dune hit theaters on Thursday, October 21, and debuted on the US streaming service the same day. hbo max, It’s available to rent and buy online before next week, December 3rd, DVD and Blu-ray lands January 11th, 2022.

Dune is already The biggest hits for Warner Bros. during the pandemic, so is Warner Confirm part two will open in 2023 – Which is good, because Part One would have been an unsatisfactory cinematic experience if the sequel never came out.

The mighty Atreides and the Harkonnen family are space elites, feuding on the planet Arrakis, a desert world where the only thing more treacherous than the shifted sands is backstabbing politics. Arrakis is the only source of the spice, a substance that serves as fuel for space travel in the Dune universe. On Arakis, the seasonings shine so brightly in the air, the riches so intoxicating you can taste them.

Spice has a mysterious affinity for Timothée Chalamet’s young prince Paul Atreides. He has a lot going on: his father (Oscar Isaac) is an honest duke teaching him to play the game of cosmic real politics; His mother, his mother, his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) is a superpowered space witch; He is haunted by the horny teen dreams of a blue-eyed desert warrior (Zendaya, And he just might be an intergalactic messiah.

Dune

Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaacs are eyeing a sequel as the new Dune movie arrives.

Paul is at the center of this thumping space epic, which blends Shakespearean palace intrigue with wide-screen desert scenes, incendiary battle scenes, and a cast of Arabs. In Villeneuve’s hands, this version of Dune is an exquisitely detailed and extremely evocative imagery filled with striking imagery. It’s supremely and triumphantly weird.

The film blends febrile-dream sci-fantasy with medieval fantasy: Sister space nun in billowing robe descends from a rising spaceship; Interplanetary treaties are supported with wax seals under hoisting banners; The Berserker armies make blood sacrifices before donning the silent jetpack. It’s all faceless helmets and deep shadows, as the action moves from rain-swept granite to iridescent sand, choir singing to a compelling and throbbing Hans Zimmer score, electric drones, nerve-wracking percussion and Fantastic horning blowrups. and bagpipes.

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Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac Doon have related parents.

The rain-filled home world of Honest House Atreides is perfect for moody pacing on wave-battered cliffs. The vaguely Catholic decoration of that world includes a bullfighting motif, which suggests two distinct but intertwined themes: a senseless fight against an unlikely opponent, and a link to Spain that commemorates the Spanish conquistadors of old. does.

This link with ancient invaders evokes the timelessness of the desire to conquer and enslave, drawing the line from past to present. From the bygone days of colonialism to the Gulf War and the War on Terror, Dune’s theme of plundering desert resources has always resonated with Western manipulation and exploitation by the rest of the world. The conflict is clearly based in the visual style of a modern war film by Villeneuve and cinematographer Greg Fraser. A dragonfly-like plane beats behind the camera like a Vietnam-era helicopter gunship as the air fills with 20th-century radio chatter. Ride of the Valkyries is lacking on the soundtrack, as Dunne channels combat flicks from Apocalypse Now to Lawrence of Arabia to Black Hawk Down.

The film begins with a sudden troop withdrawal from Arrakis, and is a chilling image in light of the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan in recent weeks.

“Arrakis have seen men like you come and go,” says an indigenous character. “Who will be our next oppressor?” asks the world-weary narrator.

The conflict is clearly motivated by money, and it’s tempting to watch a sci-fi movie with the economic aspect of politics, as well as the familiar interplanetary power struggles of Star Wars and Star Trek. House Atreides may be noble and Harkonnance venal, but their nature is irrelevant in this galactic economy: no matter how they feel about it, they have to fill their quota. Space Capitalism!

However, it is hardly a polemic. There are so many ideas flying around in this movie that many are mentioned only once, and it takes you to develop your thoughts on inequality, lack of resources, climate crisis, war, feudalism, space travel, dreams, parenthood, unity has been invited. nature, and much more. As if that wasn’t enough to consider, it’s all wrapped up in a dense lore Multiple languages ​​and strange vocabulary, which means more than one voice-over explaining it all.

The weirdness of sci-fi is also due to the limited number of colors on the screen. Beyond the blackness of space, there are only shades of gray and beige in this universe. Don’t get me wrong, Dune looks great, but outside of the dreamy design, the suppressed palette borders.

Dune

Rebecca Ferguson gets weird in the dunes.

The acting is similarly silent: everyone is emotionless and serious and often mutes incomprehensible dialogue into a calm tone. Like Villeneuve’s previous films, it is dramatic and intense. But it’s also a one-note, allows Jason Momoa For example, to stand out by simply showing that he is enjoying himself. The most dynamic range comes from Ferguson as the conflicted Atreides matriarch, embodying the emotional turmoil of a character who is both a passionate mother and a scheming enthusiast.

As far as the actor in the lead is concerned, Chalamet’s cheekbones and soulful eyes do most of the storytelling. like ryan gosling Blade Runner 2049, she doesn’t have much to say, which defines her character as either deceptively vague or vague. Is he dutiful or distracted? Is he a reluctant leader or an ambitious conspirator?

The young prince is troubled by visions of the future, and he is also troubling for the audience. Some of those scenes carry over to the sequel, and frankly look more exciting than some of the drawn out scenes of part one. With the abrupt ending begging for a sequel, you might wonder if they shot both the films together. No: The Sequel could go into production in late 2022, which was far from guaranteed in the event of a pandemic and a streaming release potentially raking in the box office.

If You Love Advent and Blade Runner 2049, Maybe Dune Is Denis Villeneuve In his Villeneuviest. If you like sweeping military sci-fi with a dash of weirdness, Dune will be your jam. The muted palette and performances won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I could spend a lot more time in this world — when the sequel finally arrives in 2023, anyway.

Even if it doesn’t quite give an ending, this new dune is one hell of a beginning.

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