Over the weekend I watched Dune in the way the creators did not intend, in my home. Whether it be on the big screen or my own screen, “Dune” was quite the experience either way.
This movie is adapted from the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.
It focuses on a young man by the name of Paul Atreides who has an extraordinary power of “The Voice” which lets him command individuals if he finds the right pitch.
Alongside being plagued with visions of the future, he and his family of House Artreides get caught up in a conspiracy after they travel to the desert planet of Arrakis with the goal of securing their own planet’s future.
I was set to watch this movie since I heard Denis Villeneuve was directing it. Villeneuve directed my favorite movie of all time, “Blade Runner 2049.”
He has a distinct style of filming his movies that you can’t find anywhere else these days. His cinematography is unmatched, he’s able to set the mood and tone perfectly while also making absolute eye candy out of it.
Especially in the case of “Blade Runner 2049,” it was like a moving painting. I could pause at any moment in “2049” and be able to make a poster out of it, his shots are just that beautiful.
After “2049,” I had no doubt Villeneuve could master yet another sci-fi film. I was pleasantly surprised with this movie, it felt like a true Villeneuve film with its cinematography and overall design aesthetics.
However, as someone who hasn’t read the “Dune” novels, it was absolutely an unfinished experience. It is able to find a stopping point, but it leaves a lot of questions in the end.
There are also other issues with this filmmaking process, such as undefined character arcs and an erratic version of the usual storytelling process.
On top of that, since I haven’t read “Dune,” I’m not left with a sense of where the stopping point was and how much of the story has progressed.
This movie is the first part of the “Dune” saga, but a sequel isn’t even confirmed yet. By my knowledge, there could be three “Dune” films spread out between a vast number of years.
So, people like myself are much better off picking up the novel after watching the film instead of having to wait a number of years for a sequel that may not even happen.
That’s not even mentioning the five other books that come after “Dune” as well. We have a long road ahead for this series if there are plans to adapt the other books as well.
With that being said, many people are comparing it to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic “The Lord of the Rings.”
Usually you’ll see comparisons between “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings,” but “Dune” has a bit more in common with “The Lord of the Rings.” This is despite the fact that “Star Wars” was directly inspired by “Dune.”
Anyway, their parallels mainly lie in the fact that both are pinnacles of their respective genres, that being fantasy and sci-fi. Both now have high-budget major motion pictures attached to them, and both offer a highly creative world for the audience to dive into.
When “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” released, it became a timeless classic. I’d even call it “the”fantasy movie.
You could watch “Fellowship” by itself and be completely satisfied. This also applies to the two other films that come after, “The Two Towers” and “Return of the King”.
Dune is just shy of the feeling I got after finishing “Fellowship” for the first time. “The Lord of the Rings” films are famous for having extraordinary runtimes, with the extended editions of the movies ranging from three and a half to four hours long.
“Dune” is only two and a half hours long, and I think they could’ve run for a bit longer just like “Fellowship” did and there wouldn’t be an issue.
All in all, I don’t think “Dune” is this generation’s “Lord of the Rings.” Nevertheless, with its extensive world building, beautiful cinematography, and memorable characters, I think it just needs more time to prove itself until the torch can be passed.
Editor’s note: At the time this was written, a sequel had not been announced.