The heir to the famous house of Atreides, Paul, goes with his family to one of the most dangerous planets in the Universe – Arrakis. There is nothing here but sand, a scorching sun, giant monsters and the main cause of intergalactic conflicts – an incredibly valuable resource called melange. As a result of the seizure of power, Paul is forced to run and hide, and this becomes the beginning of his epic journey. The hostile world of Arrakis has prepared many difficult trials for him, but only those who are ready to face their fear in the eyes are worthy of becoming the chosen one.
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“Dune” is a monumental film adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by Frank Herbert by Denis Villeneuve, with which the director finally and irrevocably inscribes his name in the history of world cinema. One gets the feeling that Villeneuve is not a person at all, but a magician who is able to cope with any material, no matter how difficult it is. It doesn’t matter if it is the sequel to Blade Runner or the transfer to the movie screens of the novel, which is considered unscreened because of its grandiose proportions. And although the first film in the cycle is an adaptation of exactly half of Herbert’s book, even that is enough to come to the obvious conclusion: Villeneuve’s Dune is a powerful canvas, full of volume, depth and insanely meticulous attention to even the smallest details.
Dune has only one cardinal problem, which Villeneuve himself understood perfectly well – the stories are too crowded within the framework of a 155-minute film. Therefore, the director did not try to cram a whole book into one two and a half hour tape. Villeneuve, being an ardent fan of the original, dreamed of creating a film adaptation worthy of the original source all his life, and therefore approached the source material with all the trepidation. Yes, in some places Villeneuve had to cut back on some peculiarities of the lore, somewhere not showing or not describing the everyday and cultural characteristics of peoples in such detail as it was in the novel. But all this does not spoil the overall impression of the tape, Villeneuve conveys the essence of the original very accurately. After all, literature and cinema are two completely different tools for telling stories, and therefore Villeneuve made his own film, not trying to transfer every line to the screen exactly, making changes to please the tempo and rhythm. But the love with which the director approached the film adaptation is amazing. It oozes from every frame, glitters on every grain of sand, reminding of itself even with scratches on the walls.
Villeneuve’s greatest strength as a director is editing. And the editing of “Dune” could be called one of the greatest in the history of big cinema, if it were not for the very problematic first act in this regard. Fortunately, Villeneuve does not repeat the mistakes of the 1984 film adaptation, which David Lynch reluctantly directed, starting the film not with titles floating on the screen, but with dynamic frame cuts, immersing the viewer immediately into the action. The plot of the picture rushes with such a wild speed that by no means all the events and characters a person unfamiliar with the novel can have time to understand and remember. Everything is cut very messy, one location is replaced by another, and the time frame is erased completely. This is where the tightness of the film is felt. Thank God, closer to the second act, the picture begins to breathe more confidently, and with it the viewer himself, while Villeneuve neatly, as if by the handle, leads him through the rich world of Frank Herbert.
It’s funny about Dune and the fact that it, in fact, lacks an ending on a global scale. Again, this is due to the impossibility of squeezing the book into one film. Therefore, Villeneuve focuses all the attention of the audience on the main character Paul (Timothy Chalamet) – this is exclusively his story, the whole plot revolves around him. Speaking purely academically, Dune is a movie about becoming a personality, about how a frightened boy gains voice, confidence and overcomes his fears of forced leadership. And like a painting about growing up, “Dune” works without sagging, there are no unnecessary questions to it. However, against the background of the story of the boy, Villeneuve unfolds a whole chain of events with many interesting and deep characters. In Dune, each, with rare exceptions in the person of a couple of heroes, a supporting character has its own complete storyline, not devoid of depth. Thanks to this, the world of “Dune” turned out to be really alive, it revolves not only around the main character, but exists apart from him. Therefore, Villeneuve leaves the most epic and large-scale events for the second part, which can be called a really correct decision. Better this way than some other way.
Suddenly, under the leadership of Villeneuve, even Timothy Chalamet began to act out a little more than two emotions. In most scenes, Chalamet, as usual, remains himself, but Villeneuve is almost the only director who managed to show the acting abilities of a young actor. And although Chalamet is clearly unable to compete with his colleagues, losing in acting terms to the excellent Oscar Isaac, the amazing Rebecca Ferguson in this film, the great Javier Bardem and the incomparable Stallan Skarsgard, he still does not get lost against their background, adequately saving his face. But Zendaya and Dave Batista are two gray spots of the tape, whose characters, although written quite well on paper, in fact do not represent anything special due to the expressionless acting.
In general, Dune lacked only one person in the team to become a world masterpiece – Roger Deakins. One word is enough to describe Greg Fraser’s camera work – “beauty”. Dune is a visually beautiful movie, but its footage lacks depth. Compositionally, everything is correct, the lighting work is done on a professional level, but, unlike Deakins, Fraser does not try to create something more than a beautiful wrapper. Deakins in Blade Runner 2049 could tell more about the characters’ inner conflicts with guiding lines alone than the characters themselves out loud. Fraser can’t do that. Villeneuve himself is more about editing than about visionary work, and therefore the director focused on which plan will be glued to which, which detail to connect with and how to make the transition between scenes more seamless. Villeneuve’s craving for editing is reflected in the sound design, which deserves separate awards and applause – the sound of the film is amazing.
Dune is a grand auteur cinema that leaves its viewer with trembling hands and feet in the final credits thanks to the greatness of Hans Zimmer’s music and the skill and exuberance of Villeneuve’s production. And the fundamental work of artists is striking in its scale throughout the entire duration. Denis Villeneuve worked on Dune not as a studio project, but as a dream movie. That is why the director is so furious and follows every splicing, every note and every detail in the environment. Dune is more than a movie. Dune is a work of art that can be called one of the most important events in world cinema in its decade in absentia. Now it is definitely impossible to imagine a director who could cope with the tasks set better than Denis Villeneuve.
âThe world rests on four pillars. This is the knowledge of the wise, the justice of the strong, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all four are nothing without a ruler who knows the art of government. ”
Denis Villeneuve is not just a director, but a full-fledged artist, gracefully directing the work of the ‘brush’ over the radio.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (59.8 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.43:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
German: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
German: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Italian: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Spanish (Latino): Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin (Traditional), Mandarin (Simplified), Korean, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Swedish, Hindi.