Dune

Dune

Rating: 2.75/5

Premise:

Dune, or planet Arakkis, is the only place where the spice Melange can be found. Whoever controls the spice, basically controls the universe, since it has all sorts of properties, namely travelling anywhere without moving. The duke Leto Atreides travels to Arrakis with his family: his concubine Jessica and his son, Paul Atreides, who should never have been born.
There is a reason his mother was ordered to bear only daughters, and Paul will discover his fate shortly after setting foot on the desert planet.

Review:

This movie is a classic of science fiction for good reason. I watched it a few years ago and then again a couple days ago. There are a few things which I wish I could have seen better explained, like , regarding the desert suits, people were supposed to breathe in through the mouth and breathe out through the nose tube (hello, sandstorms??); how we are told that the planet has crazy high temperatures which don’t seem to bother them when they go outside; what happened to Dr Yueh’s wife, what made him betray the Duke and especially who exactly he wanted to kill; why Paul says that the worm is the spice and vice-versa; how Jessica could lead the sisterhood while stuck on Arakkis; why that “place” Paul saw when drinking the water of life was so forbidden to women; other stuff I don’t remember at this point, most if not all of which I am sure are better explained/addressed in the book which inspired this movie, and is probably at least part of the reason why people who read the saga first hate the movie so much. I have not read the book(s) so, to me, Dune was, for the most part, a positive experience.

There are some features which make this movie unique and perhaps a bit harder to appreciate than your average blockbuster.
The special effects are pretty out there, when you consider the movie came out in 1984.
There are all sorts of bizarre, disturbing things going on, particularly with the Harkonnen, which made me sick to my stomach.

You are SO beautiful, my Baron. Your skin, love to me. Your diseases lovingly cared for, for all eternity.

That scene when the Baron ogles/admires his nephew’s beauty was disturbing in a different way from the sick stuff they put in their mouths, for instance, or the picture above.
The different camera plans were engaging and I especially enjoyed certain closeups, accompanied by characters’ thoughts.
The scenery, gadgetry, character wardrobe/hair/styling, etc – all the visuals, in general, were stunning, and the soundtrack was superb, reminiscent of Star Wars.

I think that for the most part the movie was well developed. I appreciated many things, right from how someone I initially thought was the good guy, righteous and honourable, really wasn’t.
There were a few slow paced moments, especially when Paul had his premonitory dreams and when the characters were ‘thinking’, because their voice came out all whispery, and when it went on for a while it caused me to almost doze.

On the other hand, other parts went by too quickly and I wish they would have been more developed, like Paul’s relationship with Chani and his whole transformation to Muad ‘Dib.

I recommend Dune to anyone who enjoy sci-fi classics.

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4 thoughts on “Dune

    • Ah yes, that seems to be the general consensus of those who have read the book before watching the movie.
      I guess that, much like Shining by Kubrick, it’s great as a standalone movie but does not do the book justice.

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