Dune

Dune β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Ah, finally, the moment I've been waiting for has finally arrived in full force and with open IMAX shaped arms.
For full disclosure’s sake: I did read 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒆 before watching although I originally hadn’t intended to; I couldn't give my best friend (Who, hadn’t heard of the book until I was ranting to her about how much I was looking forward to this release) the satisfaction of being the only one between us with some pre-established sense of what the heck was going on while watching.
Additionally, I also insisted on this being my first experience back at the cinema since the pandemic has started…. something about thinking absence might make the heart grow fonder, or whatever…. and I will say that the splendor alone was payoff enough.
Anyways:

π‘©π’†π’ˆπ’Šπ’π’π’Šπ’π’ˆπ’” 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 π’…π’†π’π’Šπ’„π’‚π’•π’† π’•π’Šπ’Žπ’†π’”

Dune (titled onscreen as Dune: Part One) is a 2021 American epic 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, primarily covering the first half of the book.
Set in the far future, it follows Paul Atreides, as he and his family, the noble House Atreides, are thrust into a war for the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, between the native Fremen people and the enemy invaders, and former rulers of Arrakis, the House Harkonnen.

As with any story rooted in fantasy, Dune as a theatrical experience indebts itself to the formality of world-building; while tedious, it also unsurprisingly impacts a larger part of the interactions audience members are selectively made privy to.
Spaihts, Villeneuve, and Roth’s screenwriting reflects some anticipation for viewers that will be unfamiliar with the source material, and as a result provides the bare-minimum of information needed to become familiar with the grandeur of Dune (The β€˜Whos’ & The β€˜Whys’) without getting lost in the complexity of Herbert’s source material. It is helpful, undeniably, to read Dune for a more nuanced understanding of the relationships made between characters (as Herbert's novel spends a large amount of time elaborating on the difference between emotions 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 and the emotions π’…π’Šπ’”π’‘π’π’‚π’šπ’†π’…), but here spectators are trusted to extrapolate as it relates to what various correspondences could mean in the larger scale without being too far off or dissuaded by an onslaught of creative licensing.

Written with some environmental cognizance (as Arrakis’ arid nature is a driving force on its own, narratively speaking), Greig Fraser’s Cinematography in addition to the decision to shoot in both Jordan and the desert outside of Abu Dhab capitalizes on imagery that is equal parts harsh and engaging. The juxtaposition between aesthetics and functionality are emphasized through a myriad of interludes rooted by the contingency of risk versus reward: with the landscape lending to a steady augmentation of conflicts, victories, and the inevitable plateau.
No review of Dune is complete without giving a shout-out to make-up head (Donald Mowat) in addition to crediting both Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan; Collectively they designed well over 1,000 different costumes in addition to overseeing the construction of at least two hundred of the more intricate and form-fitting outfits (Like the Stillsuits) using actual molds of the leading cast members.
(#Funfact #1: Filming on location in in combination with wearing some of the heavier costumes had actors running around in almost 110 degree weather 😳
#Funfact #2: Despite not seeing very much of him in this particular half, Stellan SkarsgΓ₯rd’s Makeup took seven hours to apply. Again: 😳)

Some audience members may find themselves snoozing away - and perhaps some will feel a tinge of deja-vu: which leaves little room for anticipation or excitable refinements
And, to the credit of those feeling this way, it's far from a coincidence.
Published in 1965, 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒆 is originally a reflection of Herbert’s previous experience researching into desert and desert cultures ( and, more specifically, measures being taken by the USDA at the time to forcibly stabilize sand-dunes found in Oregon) and is centered by his identification with and the palatability of various groups (like The Freman) as an off-handed criticism of imperialism and reckless manifestations of power.
In its earliest drafts and even and its subsequent release: 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓 𝑾𝒂𝒓𝒔 has previously gained the recognition that 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒆 deserves. From the desert terrain, to an evil emperor, to a boy with a ✨galactic✨ destiny, and parallels that could be made between the Bene Gesserit and the Jedi: it is high time that Herbert's influence on the genre of Science-Fiction as a whole can bear witness to the big-screen even if the experience in retrospect feels all too comparable to ones we've enjoyed before.

on a personal note, pacing wise, I would just like to say:
As much as I enjoyed Herbert’s writing, at times it did remind me of an accordion: eventually (and consistently) the elements and pieces of a scene come together, but it is not before excessively taking them apart. This leaves me thankful for the (yes, unbelievably) concise nature of 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒆 (2021): making it a collapsible oasis amongst an excess of synchronic complications. This leaves me curious about specific narrative choices (Like a lineage twist and certain character not being revealed) made throughout.
But mostly I’m excited: and more than ready for Part 2.

As with any desertable trek that threatens fatigue or exhaustion: Bringing protective gear for 𝑫𝒖𝒏𝒆 (2021) in the form of a cautious gait or prior-knowledge of its source material is endlessly advisable, but in this case is certainly not necessary. As with any activity involving sand, however, donning apparel and attitudes with the expectation they will remain spotless isn't just impractical…. at the very least, it's really just begging for trouble.

𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 π’ƒπ’†π’„π’π’Žπ’† π’Šπ’π’”π’‘π’Šπ’“π’†π’… 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 π’ƒπ’π’π’Œ 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅:
π‘»π’‰π’Šπ’” π’‡π’Šπ’π’Ž 𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑷𝒂𝒖𝒍 𝒔𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒔 π’˜π’Šπ’•π’‰ π‘±π’‚π’Žπ’Šπ’”.

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