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Dune Review: A Visual Treat with poor Storytelling

Legendary Picture’s Dune was released a couple of weeks back . Without the movie even completing it’s first week, it has already grossed $100 million worldwide.

Here’s my review for this movie.

Director:  Denis Villeneuve

Writers:  Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth and Frank Herbert

Cast:  Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Stellan Skarsgård, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Chang Chen, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian,
Zendaya

Music: Hans Zimmer

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Cult Film, Drama, Adaptation, Epic

Budget:  

Synopsis: Paul Atreides has never left Arrakis. All he has ever know is luxury and comfort. Suddenly he starts having visions of life in a desert with a girl. His family then must go to this desert planet to prove their loyalty. 

A Visual Treat with poor Storytelling
Image Source – Google | Image By – Reddit

Review: 

The movie starts directly with us getting a brief history of Arrakis. It’s importance is told a couple of times in the movie which helps in story building. The plot then takes its time to build itself; a whole lot of time. This finally ends when Paul and his mother are chased. This chase then ends when the movie reaches its climax.

Now, this climax is sort of the foundation for the sequel. Hence, after 5 years down the road, when its second part is released, it may not be looked upon as climax. But the plot clearly doesn’t obey it’s genre of thriller. Half way through Dune, I almost wanted it to end. The plot is so slowly built that it’s easy to lose interest in the movie.

One of the strengths of this movie is a very versatile cast. All the protagonists and antagonists in Dune have somewhere in their career featured in comic book films. Some of them, may be seen later on (Oscar Issac, Jason Momoa & Zendaya). Given their versatile reputation, Dune’s plot doesn’t offer them any kind of justification. It’s like the cast is there to die. No past, no future.

The plot just focuses on one character; Paul and his glimpses or dreams.

I felt the overall concept very odd and unusual to adapt for a movie. This may be one of the many reasons as to why I didn’t find this movie interesting as per the hype it created. Most of the movies today are very fast, build the characters fast and move on to the next part. For Dune, its exactly the opposite.

There’s also one more thing Dune is terrible in and that’s explanation. Some of the things which are there have been explained via indirect conversation. But despite that, there were a lot more things the plot could have provided more explanation about.

Character Development

As already mentioned Dune just focuses on Paul and his dreams. Now, this is also annoying to watch every now and then. The story moves ahead very slowly and it develops Paul the same way. In the end, it just leaves Paul a little bit developed but still yet to discover more about himself and the Dune. 

Despite having a versatile cast, the plot doesn’t do any justice to other characters which is a very big disappointment. There’s no point in wasting money in such an amazing cast if you’re not going to use those characters.

Music  

The music composer for Dune is Hans Zimmer. Now Denis Villeneuve unlike Patty Jenkins made a very good use of Zimmer and hence, the background music of this movie is just amazing.

Other than that, all the other sound effects are also pretty accurate. The sounds are so accurate that none of them feel like they were artificially produced. Every sound feels very real.

Cinematography 

Dune’s strength is it’s wonderful cinematography. There’s no doubt that it’s a visual treat. The grandeur at which this movie takes place is pretty amazing.

The sad part is that, none of the scenes are indirectly addressed by the characters. If the fighting and the monsters would have been explained a little bit then, it would have made Dune more interesting.

Direction

The directions is neither good nor bad. But as Denis Villeneuve partly wrote the script I would consider his storytelling poor and not the direction.

Action/Effects

Dune is just terrific in this department. This movie just takes the level of action to grandeur and then brings it close to reality. Everything that happens in movie seems like real and very much doable.

There isn’t any kind of extra buttery effect which would make the movie exotic. This movie literally gives you a feeling of what would happen if human race were to develop after some centuries.

Screenplay 

This where Dune lags behind. This is because a sci-fi thriller movie of this scale requires a very good storytelling. Doesn’t matter if it’s slow but it should at least justify the characters. The script terribly fails at doing this.

I’ve laid emphasis on the “WHY?” of watching a movie before as well. Your audience is giving their two hours of their day to your movie, least you could do is explain why are they watching this movie.

A guy who is living with all the comfort and luxuries. Suddenly he starts hallucinating about life in the desert with a girl. That’s simply not enough for me to watch a movie.

Now, with everything discussed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dune wins a couple of Oscars. This is movie is Oscar materials. The characteristics if Oscar movies are: high on effects or drama; terribly slow plot, unusual/strange/no character development and missing explanation at various points.

This is exactly what I’ve found Oscar movies are. Dune has all these characteristics.

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