Dune Part One is a 2021 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Villeneuve, and Eric Roth. It is the first of a planned two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, which covers roughly the first half of the book.
In Dune Part One, young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) follows his father Duke Leto (Oscar Isaacs) and mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) to the planet Arrakis (aka Dune) whereby House Arteides has been ordered (by the Emperor Shaddam IV) to take over the fiefdom of the planet previously held by their arch enemies the Harkonnens. However, House Artreides is betrayed, driving Paul into fulfilling the prophecies of the native Fremen people and on his way to achieving the “terrible purpose” of his life.
Director Villeneuve has done an excellent job in visualising the world-changing events depicted in the novel. Every scene is gorgeous especially when viewed on IMAX – the cinematography and art direction is flawless throughout! Dune Part One is also successful in establishing the key characters of the novel. Most are very faithful to Herbert’s vision and coupled with Villeneuve’s stylish imaginations, presents a powerful and dynamic retelling of the seminal Dune saga.
As longtime fans of Herbert’s Dune series, we were pleased by Villeneuve’s love for the lore, crafting a tale that is true to its fundamental elements without losing mass appeal. This Dune adaptation hits all the right spots and would be spine tingling all the way for diehard fans, for sure. Glad to report that there were no attempts to dilute these key elements but Villeneuve did all he could to make Dune Part One comprehensible to anyone with a cursory familiarity with scifi & fantasy movie tropes, while providing enough material for diehard fans to appreciate on a deeper level.
The narrative has been varied from the book but that is to be expected and these deviations were by and large justified. Minor changes in character details were also acceptable in the grand scheme of things. Though changing Liet Kynes to a woman would present a problem with regards to Chani’s parentage but perhaps Dune Part Two will address that issue? No big issues here as the cast is almost perfect in every way!
Big question is of course, whether Dune Part One will be commercially viable enough for Dune Part Two to be made and released. Would be a shame if Villeneuve is not allowed to do so. Highly recommended for all scifi movie geeks.
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