This Dune review contains no SPOILERS at all.
When a few years ago we heard that the 80s sci-fi hit, Dune (1984) was going to be rebooted . And it's undeniable, for those of us who are fans of the sci-fi genre and of course, this film directed by David Lynch ( Mulholand Drive ) is immediately curious but also anxious at the same time.
Because the first film, which also featured the vocalist of the legendary rock band The Police, Sting, was really bad. Anyway, if there really isn't anything to watch in this world, don't watch this Dune movie instead of losing a lot.
However, like The Room (2003), which was considered the worst film of all time, Dune was ultimately considered a cult classic . And, not a few are also big fans of the film, which is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert which was released in 1965.
His 1984 film Hard to Understand
Some of the main reasons why Dune 's 1984 adaptation was so bad, firstly, the story of Dune 's novel is in fact very deep, and very broad in mythology, characters, and so on. So it should be, the widescreen adaptation requires more than 1 film (can be 2-3 films).
Second, when offered to handle the Dune adaptation, Lynch had never read the novel. And the third as quoted from the Wikipedia page Dune (1984 ), in the end Lynch read his novel. And after reading it, he also drafted the adaptation script up to 7 drafts.
Now, after seeing the entire draft of the script, he realized that this Dune story does require more than 1 film. He also initially took the initiative to make the film into 2 films ( parts ).
However, whether due to the urging of the studio or other specific reasons, in the end this Dune film only became 1 film with a duration of 137 minutes. As a result, because of this, the film looks very rushed, shortened.
There are a number of plots and sub-plots that should require a more detailed explanation, but have become very short. So it is not surprising that many audiences at that time had difficulties and were very dizzy in understanding the story.
Even though at the beginning of the film the character Princess Irulan (Virginia Madsen) has recapitulated some of the initial core of the plot, still the rest of the plot and everything looks very confusing and the pacing is very chaotic. Anyway, I really got a headache when I watched the movie.
Is the 2021 Version Really Cool?
But as said at the beginning of this Dune 2021 review paragraph , even though the original film adaptation was completely destroyed. But after all, many ended up liking and even appreciating the film.
And also when I finally watched the 2021 version, which was directed by Denis Villeneuve ( Arrival, Blade Runner 2049 ), I also felt a big advantage from watching the 1984 version, which I watched before watching the 2021 version.
What are the advantages? And is the 2021 Dune version much cooler than the 1984 version? Just look at the following Dune review .
Competition Between Two Families
But before we do an in-depth review and comparison, of course I have to re-discuss the plot of this film. Because as far as I can see, even though you may have watched the trailer or read the plot synopsis, maybe you are still confused about the plot.
Okay, so the plot of Dune released in 2021 is more or less the same as the 1984 film version as well as the novel. In essence, this film focuses on two large families ( houses like in the Game of Thrones series ), namely, House of Atreides and House Harkonnen .
The two of them are depicted as always competing with each other. Usually, which family is more dominant on the entire planet. Well one day, the emperor of the entire planet / film universe , Shaddam Corrino, assigned the leader of the house of atreides , Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) to go to the desert planet, Arrakis.
Caring for and Maintaining "Spice"
Well, the purpose of the assignment was to replace the position of the Harkonnen family as the leader and supervisor of Arrakis. Although it is a super arid planet, Arrakis is the source of "spice" .
What is "spice?" Spice is a substance or substances that are considered vital. Specifically in this film's mythology, spice is a substance that can prolong life, keep the body healthy, heal wounds, and also increase self-awareness ( improving awareness ).
However, this decree from the emperor turned out to be nothing more than a cunning conspiracy. Specifically, he would later order the Harkonnen family's troops to stage a coup. So that later, Harkonnen can regain control of his spice fields .
Why does he have this evil and messy intention? Because the emperor from the beginning really wanted to eliminate the entire Atreides family who was considered very dangerous during his reign.
Want to Kill Paul Atreides
With this plan, it is not surprising that he also plans to kill Leto's son, Paul Atreides ( Timothee Chalamet ). The reason is, Paul is a candidate for the "default" replacement as the leader of the Atreides family (with the title Duke ) if Leto dies.
Now his father's two children, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), as well as his beloved mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), are aware of this. As a result, they began to train and prepare Paul as well as possible.
Gurney and Duncan prepare Paul with sword fighting and other fighting drills. Meanwhile, Jessica trained Paul with the discipline of Bene Gesserit. Bene Slideit is the name of a group of women who basically have mental superpowers.
One of them, they can hypnotize people to do something the members of Gesserit want. Simply put, the power of Bene Gesserit is like the force in the space soap opera film, Star Wars .
Mysterious Visions and Visions
Well, even though he is being and has been prepared, Paul, who is still very young, of course, is also still very unstable. In addition, he often gets mysterious visions or visions. Which in his vision, he saw the figure of a beautiful woman named Chani (Zendaya).
In addition, he also saw other terrible visions. Wow, what's really going on with Paul? Who is Chani?
What is the meaning of other visions? And with Paul's condition like this, Jessica and several other members of the Atreides family can really prepare Paul to ward off all the dangers that will come his way?
Much Easier to Understand Version
Before continuing, I'm really sorry if the discussion on the plot of this Dune review might be too long. But I have to do it. Because as I discussed in the first paragraph, everything is because the plot of the 1984 film is very messy.
So, to understand all the stories we are also confused ourselves. Well luckily, Villeneuve knows very well about this. So I can say very loudly and proudly, that the plot of this film is much easier to understand.
Even those of us who have never seen the 1984 film adaptation, will immediately understand. And I think this is also influenced by the 2021 version, which is made in 2 films. Alias not forced 1 film like the 1984 version.
Thus, the storytelling and its very broad mythology can be told with more detailed plot lines and sub-plots. Including the plot about Paul's vision of Chani which, in his 1984 film, is not explained at all.
Awesome Cinematography and Production Design
In addition to the storytelling factor which is very easy to understand and Villenueve's direction is very good, another cool factor of Dune 2021 is also all the technical aspects in the film. And when I say all here, really all.
Okay, let's start with the cinematography and production design aspects. WOW guys . Both of these aspects are truly extraordinary. Villenueve and cinematographer Greig Fraser ( Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ), have been very successful in presenting the universe in a very beautiful way.
Apart from looking beautiful, both of them have succeeded in making us feel like we are in their world too. Every dust and sand flying in Arrakis, also looks very realistic. All of this is further reinforced by the overall production on the set that looks and feels very neat.
Scoring Hans Zimmer Who Really Lives and Rumbles
However, despite all the technical aspects of the production, it's amazing, it's meaningless if the scoring isn't good either. Especially for films with the sci-fi genre . Yes, for example, like Star Wars .
Can you imagine if this top franchise didn't feature a score or theme song like "The Imperial March" by John Williams? It would be really bland, wouldn't it? Well luckily Dune is aware of this.
And fortunately too, the 2021 version has a film composer who we don't need to doubt anymore, Hans Zimmer. And yes, as he did in films such as: Inception (2010), The Dark Knight (2008), and other top films, this German composer has once again successfully displayed his legendary cold hands.
GOKIL! His soring in this film, once again succeeded in flying our imaginations when watching Dune . In fact, the more convincing us that the world of this film is real .
Honestly, if he doesn't win Best Original Score at the upcoming Oscar 2022, it's going to be crazy and really weird. Likewise for the Cinematography, Production Design , and even Adapted Screenplay categories .
Even Villenueve, also has the potential to win the best director award in the most prestigious film award event.
Very Okay and Likeable Cast
In addition to the technical aspects and Villenueve, some of the film's actors also have great potential to bring home an Oscar. But of all, the one I predict will take home the best actor award is Chalamet.
Because he is very perfect film as Paul in this film. Yes, he did base his performance on actor Paul Atreides' 1984 film adaptation, Kyle MacLachlan ( Twin Peaks, Sex and the City ).
But in the end, Chalamet managed to combine it with his distinctive acting style. So the character of Paul Atreides, is indeed Paul's version of Chalamet. However, the other co-actors are equally capable in this film.
Well , with names like: Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, and Dave Bautista, it's not surprising, isn't it, that the performance aspect of Dune is really cool? And to be honest, I haven't seen a very likeable cast in a long time .
From the first time I watched the film and saw all the actors who appeared (even the supporting actors), I don't know, I immediately felt happy and felt at home. If Chalamet cs later succeeds in winning the best ensemble cast award at several prestigious awards, I will not be surprised.
Even though it's bad, it's very useful
Even before watching Dune 2021, I've seen a lot of super positive reviews from various media and film critics. But I also see a lot of bad reviews given. Moreover, reviews that come from ordinary audiences.
The layman here means those who have just watched the 2021 version and have never watched the 1984 version, let alone read the novel. The average bad review criticizes the film 's pacing which makes you sleepy and also because you don't understand the story.
Okay, for the pacing problem that makes you sleepy, maybe I agree a bit. Especially when it comes to act 3. But even so, in my opinion, the film is still much better and, again, easier to understand than the original 80's film.
Meanwhile, if you don't understand the story, it's clear. They must have never seen the Duner 1984 film and also, have never read the novel. Well, I said earlier that the Dune 80s movie was really bad.
And yes, I will not change that view. But even though it's bad, the original film is very useful in fact. By watching this, at least, we know with the detailed background of the premise of the story, the characters, and of course the entire mythology.
So when I watched the 2021 version, I wasn't immediately confused by the story and the story. In fact, the 2021 version has succeeded in clarifying everything that I know and understand from the original 80s film.
So I once again emphasize in this Dune review , for those of you who really want to watch the 2021 version of Dune , it's best if you watch the 80s version first. Do not worry too much about the chaos of the plot that is displayed. Anyway watch and try your best to understand everything.
Best Movie 2021?
So with all these discussions, then is the 2021 version of Dune really one of the best films of 2021?
Well , for a reboot , then yes, Dune is one of the best movie reboots . As a sci-fi film , Dune 2021 is one of the best sci-fi films . But for the overall best film of the year?
Maybe for the size of 10 or 15 of the best films this year, yes, Dune is one of them. But for the best 5, I don't think so. But regardless, through this Dune review , I can say that this film is very enjoyable .
Anyway, if you like 80s novels or movies, or in general, you like sci-fi films , you will definitely like the 2021 version. Okay, I hope this Dune review is useful, guys !
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