Dune: Part One

REVIEW
The long-awaited premiere of the Dune (2021) directed by Denis Villeneuve has finally taken place. Villeneuve had a difficult task to connect his ideas about this story with how everyone else sees it. Furthermore, to fit a fairly large volume of events in a few hours. How well he managed it – read in our article.


by Sandra Kuznetsova


23/09/2021
Dune is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by American writer Frank Herbert, published in 1963-1965, first as a series of chapters in the magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, and then as a separate book. This is one of the most famous and influential works of science fiction. Dune was the novel to receive the very first Nebula Award for the Best Novel, established in 1966.

Dune has a long history and was supposed to get its first film adaptation in the 70s under the direction of Alejandro Jodorowsky., It was an extremely grandiose and eccentric project. The preparation cost $2 million and was curtailed by the Hollywood authorities due to the fact that the project actually turned out not to be American but European. In addition, they were afraid of the unusual nature of the upcoming film — after all, the most talented and extraordinary artists of that time were involved in its creation, including the great surrealist Salvador Dali (the role of the Padishah-emperor).

Salvador, by the way, was in his repertoire. He set very interesting conditions for his participation in the film before the producers: he does not read the book, will not even take the script in his hands, does not listen to the director and receives $100,000 per hour for the work. It is appropriate to the spirit of the film, in which only the name remains of the original Dune.

There is also a 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch. And although Frank Herbert himself recognized this film as worthy of his novel in spirit, style and atmosphere. The writer noted that Lynch contributed many of his own ideas to it. Everyone expected great success. It was 1984 – the time of the Rubik's Cube, wide trousers, Michael Jackson and the book by George Orwell. Of the fantastic films of this scale, only Star Wars were. Dune had a huge budget, a talented director, promising actors, a popular fantasy universe — in short, by all parameters, this film was simply bound to become a hit of the season.

However, it is a failure. After rolling out in the United States, Dune collected a little more than $27 million (quite a decent result at that time, but not enough), without recouping even half of the costs of its creation. Despite this, Dune was nominated for an Oscar for best sound and received the Saturn Award for costumes.

After seeing the results of the film premiere, David Lynch fell into depression and even thought about ending his career as a director. He was helped only by the fact that the producer of Dune, Dino De Laurentiis (a well-known and influential figure), even before filming, promised Lynch money to create another picture. Despite the collapse of the Dune, he kept his word. In 1986, the film Blue Velvet was released, which became a classic of surreal thrillers and rehabilitated Lynch in the eyes of the film community.
Villeneuve has a slightly similar situation, but for him the Dune is a chance to rehabilitate.
Although it seems that Villeneuve did not draw any conclusions from the commercial failure of his previous film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017). The heaviness and grayness, as well as the too-long timing (it was worth warning to take water with you to the cinema hall to drink during the movie session, since the film runs for almost 3 hours) also passed into the Dune. It seems that the director did not have enough time to simultaneously convey the charming atmosphere of the original and cover all the important events for the plot. Wouldn't it be better if it was a TV series? Villeneuve has not fit into the timing of a couple of hours for a long time.

And this is not even the whole book but only the first part of it. If there will be a second part, it depends on whether the film will pay off at the film distribution. Although we would all like this, it will be even more difficult for the director, because the second part of the book is huge.

In November 2020 was supposed to begin the filming of the series Dune: The Sisterhood, a spin-off of Dune based on the novel "Sisterhood of Dune" by Brian Herbert (the eldest son of Frank Herbert) and Kevin Jay Anderson, published in 2012. Villeneuve was supposed to direct the pilot episode. It would be very interesting to see him as the director of the series, but, unfortunately, there is no information about the resumption of work on the project.
Villeneuve has already directed two science fiction films Arrival (2016) and already mentioned Blade Runner 2049. And if Arrival was mystical, blurry, sometimes disturbing, Blade Runner 2049 – heavy, dark and merciless, then Dune should have been more elegant, exotic and bright. At least, judging by the descriptions from the book.

Villeneuve did not make cardinal visual decisions, his vision is quite consistent with the novel. There is no trace left of the unhurried course of the narrative, perceived as a sacred biography of the chosen prophet (which in fact is). Having lost the charm and romance inherent in the novel, the film became harder to watch. Many important milestones of the plot are not very disclosed, because the most important thing in them was the internal state of the characters. Of course, it's a little difficult to show on the screen, but without knowing what they felt and thought at that moment, the scenes seem unfilled and chopped. Again, this is a problem of lack of screen time, despite the fact that there was a lot of it, even too much. An important role in the lack of atmosphere was also played by the fact that the composer is Hans Zimmer. This is by no means a reproach to him, but the duet of Denis Villeneuve and Jóhann Jóhannsson, who died in 2018, felt each other subtly and created masterpieces, working together on Sicario (2015), Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 (unused).

Speaking about the visual component, I can't help but mention the perfectly matched cast, namely Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in the roles of Paul Atreides and Chani. They, in fluttering clothes against the backdrop of desert landscapes – a truly fascinating view.
(Let's be honest, that's why everyone is really waiting for the second part).
To sum up, the Dune turned out to be the one who bite off more than can chew. The film repeats all the usual mistakes of modern film adaptations, such as cutting important scenes, lack of atmosphere and ignoring the internal state of the characters. I can't find much fault with the visual performance or strong changes in the plot (although there are some, for example, the character of Dr. Liet-Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist, who had a quite important role in the plot, changed his gender and became a woman). However, it really feels, especially for those who are familiar with the original, that a lot is missing. Probably, this is inevitable when a film adaptation is being made, but how would everyone like to avoid this.
 
Dune: Part One
REVIEW
The long-awaited premiere of the Dune (2021) directed by Denis Villeneuve has finally taken place. Villeneuve had a difficult task to connect his ideas about this story with how everyone else sees it. Furthermore, to fit a fairly large volume of events in a few hours. How well he managed it – read in our article.
by Sandra Kuznetsova


22/09/2021
Dune is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by American writer Frank Herbert, published in 1963-1965, first as a series of chapters in the magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the leading magazine in the nascent pulp science fiction field, and then as a separate book. This is one of the most famous and influential works of science fiction. Dune was the novel to receive the very first Nebula Award for the Best Novel, established in 1966.

Dune has a long history and was supposed to get its first film adaptation in the 70s under the direction of Alejandro Jodorowsky., It was an extremely grandiose and eccentric project. The preparation cost $2 million and was curtailed by the Hollywood authorities due to the fact that the project actually turned out not to be American but European. In addition, they were afraid of the unusual nature of the upcoming film — after all, the most talented and extraordinary artists of that time were involved in its creation, including the great surrealist Salvador Dali (the role of the Padishah-emperor).

Salvador, by the way, was in his repertoire. He set very interesting conditions for his participation in the film before the producers: he does not read the book, will not even take the script in his hands, does not listen to the director and receives $100,000 per hour for the work. It is appropriate to the spirit of the film, in which only the name remains of the original Dune.
There is also a 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch. And although Frank Herbert himself recognized this film as worthy of his novel in spirit, style and atmosphere. The writer noted that Lynch contributed many of his own ideas to it. Everyone expected great success. It was 1984 – the time of the Rubik's Cube, wide trousers, Michael Jackson and the book by George Orwell. Of the fantastic films of this scale, only Star Wars were. Dune had a huge budget, a talented director, promising actors, a popular fantasy universe — in short, by all parameters, this film was simply bound to become a hit of the season.

However, it is a failure. After rolling out in the United States, Dune collected a little more than $27 million (quite a decent result at that time, but not enough), without recouping even half of the costs of its creation. Despite this, Dune was nominated for an Oscar for best sound and received the Saturn Award for costumes.

After seeing the results of the film premiere, David Lynch fell into depression and even thought about ending his career as a director. He was helped only by the fact that the producer of Dune, Dino De Laurentiis (a well-known and influential figure), even before filming, promised Lynch money to create another picture. Despite the collapse of the Dune, he kept his word. In 1986, the film Blue Velvet was released, which became a classic of surreal thrillers and rehabilitated Lynch in the eyes of the film community.
Villeneuve has a slightly similar situation, but for him the Dune is a chance to rehabilitate.
Although it seems that Villeneuve did not draw any conclusions from the commercial failure of his previous film, Blade Runner 2049 (2017). The heaviness and grayness, as well as the too-long timing (it was worth warning to take water with you to the cinema hall to drink during the movie session, since the film runs for almost 3 hours) also passed into the Dune. It seems that the director did not have enough time to simultaneously convey the charming atmosphere of the original and cover all the important events for the plot. Wouldn't it be better if it was a TV series? Villeneuve has not fit into the timing of a couple of hours for a long time.

And this is not even the whole book but only the first part of it. If there will be a second part, it depends on whether the film will pay off at the film distribution. Although we would all like this, it will be even more difficult for the director, because the second part of the book is huge.

In November 2020 was supposed to begin the filming of the series Dune: The Sisterhood, a spin-off of Dune based on the novel "Sisterhood of Dune" by Brian Herbert (the eldest son of Frank Herbert) and Kevin Jay Anderson, published in 2012. Villeneuve was supposed to direct the pilot episode. It would be very interesting to see him as the director of the series, but, unfortunately, there is no information about the resumption of work on the project.
Villeneuve has already directed two science fiction films Arrival (2016) and already mentioned Blade Runner 2049. And if Arrival was mystical, blurry, sometimes disturbing, Blade Runner 2049 – heavy, dark and merciless, then Dune should have been more elegant, exotic and bright. At least, judging by the descriptions from the book.

Villeneuve did not make cardinal visual decisions, his vision is quite consistent with the novel. There is no trace left of the unhurried course of the narrative, perceived as a sacred biography of the chosen prophet (which in fact is). Having lost the charm and romance inherent in the novel, the film became harder to watch. Many important milestones of the plot are not very disclosed, because the most important thing in them was the internal state of the characters. Of course, it's a little difficult to show on the screen, but without knowing what they felt and thought at that moment, the scenes seem unfilled and chopped. Again, this is a problem of lack of screen time, despite the fact that there was a lot of it, even too much. An important role in the lack of atmosphere was also played by the fact that the composer is Hans Zimmer. This is by no means a reproach to him, but the duet of Denis Villeneuve and Jóhann Jóhannsson, who died in 2018, felt each other subtly and created masterpieces, working together on Sicario (2015), Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 (unused).
Speaking about the visual component, I can't help but mention the perfectly matched cast, namely Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in the roles of Paul Atreides and Chani. They, in fluttering clothes against the backdrop of desert landscapes – a truly fascinating view.
(Let's be honest, that's why everyone is really waiting for the second part).
To sum up, the Dune turned out to be the one who bite off more than can chew. The film repeats all the usual mistakes of modern film adaptations, such as cutting important scenes, lack of atmosphere and ignoring the internal state of the characters. I can't find much fault with the visual performance or strong changes in the plot (although there are some, for example, the character of Dr. Liet-Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist, who had a quite important role in the plot, changed his gender and became a woman). However, it really feels, especially for those who are familiar with the original, that a lot is missing. Probably, this is inevitable when a film adaptation is being made, but how would everyone like to avoid this.


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