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Dune (2021)

Director:
Denis Villeneuve

AKA
Dune: Part One

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Science Fiction/Adventure

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Dune

RUNNING TIME
155 minutes

Producer:
Denis Villeneuve
Mary Parent
Cale Boyter
Joe Caracciolo Jr.

Screenwriter (based on the novel by Frank Herbert):
Jon Spaihts
Denis Villeneuve
Eric Roth


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Paul Atreides Timothée Chalamet
Lady Jessica Rebecca Ferguson
Duke Leto Atreides Oscar Isaac
Gurney Halleck Josh Brolin -
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen Stellan Skarsgård ½
Glossu Rabban Dave Bautista -
Thufir Hawat Stephen McKinley Henderson -
Chani Zendaya -
Piter De Vries David Dastmalchian ½
Dr. Wellington Yueh Chang Chen
Dr. Liet-Kynes Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Gaius Helen Mohiam Charlotte Rampling -
Duncan Idaho Jason Momoa
Stilgar Javier Bardem

 

Review

An hour of loitering and talkative power struggles and politics kicks off this adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert's "Dune". Interspersed are wonderfully expressive shots of the landscapes and structures of the worlds of the renowned novel. But while these help set the stage for a story of epic proportions, director Denis Villeneuve's sluggish pacing and overelaborate storytelling make this film a rather unengaging, detached experience. Despite a whopping (and soporific)  groundwork taking up half the film's running time, the characters remain stuck to the page, and Timothée Chalamet's beautiful face stays just a beautiful face, except in a couple of scenes of real emotional and narrative intensity. Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the heir to the House Atreides, who may or may not be "the one". Yes, it's the familiar Messiah concept. And yes, it has potential in Herbert's vision, especially the aspects which connects his powers to his mother's lineage. Unfortunately, Villeneuve and his production company don't really want to tell you the story as much as they want to give you a CGI overdose and transport you safely to their faux cliffhanger so that you'll become hooked and come back to watch the sequel. "This is only the beginning", says Zendaya at the very end. Take her word for it. You don't need to see this film, you can safely wait for the next one. Or, perhaps better still, see David Lynch's 1984 version.

Copyright © 20.09.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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