Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The Most Anticipated Films of 2021

Dune became one of Hollywood’s most anticipated films of 2021, being a space opera movie depicting an epic war. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, it is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s wildly popular novel of the same name. Additionally, well-known Hollywood actors and actresses, who have been on the rise in recent years, also starred in the film.

The synopsis tells the story of the Atreides family, who are ordered by the emperor to take care of the planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The planet is filled with deserts containing a spice that can prolong human life, and the arrival of the Atreides family on Arrakis creates a conflict with the Harkonnen family, who previously ruled the planet and still desire power and control over the valuable spice.

The main focus of the film is on Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, who is the son and potential successor of the Atreides family. Paul frequently has dreams about his future in Arrakis due to his mother’s Bene Gesserit bloodline. In one of his dreams, he becomes involved with a local tribe called the Fremen. Not long after this dream, the Atreides family arrives on Arrakis to fulfill their responsibilities.

However, conflict arises as the Harkonnen family, the previous administrators, still seeks power and control over the spice, which brings substantial profits. This situation leads to various problems, forcing Paul and his mother to seek help from the Fremen tribe to navigate the challenges they face.

The Building of Villeneuve’s Dune

In the heart of this thrilling space epic lies a castle intrigue set in an English academic setting with sweeping desert views. Villeneuve’s imagination is rich in detail, evoking eye-catching imagery, and scorching billions of characters in the battle scenes. Creepy space nuns in billowing robes descend from towering spaceships. However, Dune becomes a fever-dream with the image of contemporary medieval culture. Berserker soldiers make blood sacrifices before donning rockets, and interplanetary treaties are formed under the banners of various factions. With pulsating chorus scores and nerve-wracking percussion by Hans Zimmer, the wailing sound hypnotizes, and the audience’s expressions sink in.

While the film’s primary focus is on constructing a sci-fi epic war and space opera, Dune meticulously explains the terms and other essential aspects of the universe throughout the film. Villeneuve does this so that audiences who have never read the novel can still understand the film’s universe when watching the movie. In addition to successfully building the world in a neat manner, the audience is guaranteed to understand, even those who have never read the novel.

The Concept of Dune

The setting’s decorations vaguely incorporate a motif of ancient colonialist factions fighting. The space opera of Dune highlights the eternal drive of epic war, enslaving, and conquering from the past to the future. The exploitation of desert resources resonates throughout the entire setting, accompanied by manipulation. Critics can draw connections to themes of colonialism, the Gulf War, the Crusade War, or Paul’s jihad on the battlefield. There is inspiration drawn from the Vietnam War or the Cold War, channeling other epic war films such as Apocalypse Now, Lawrence of Arabia, or other anti-war films with a sense of tragedy.

At the film’s overall concept, even though people may feel confused when first watching it, the world development progresses at a languid pace, allowing the story to delve deeper into the characters. Some might argue that it is becoming less unique. Despite being the first part, the film only covers the novel’s first half of the story. Villeneuve also intends to continue with the sequel, the second part.

The Well-known Actors in Arrakis

Several well-known Hollywood actors and actresses star in Dune, including Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. People say they are successful and well-suited to play their respective characters in the film. However, the characterizations in the movie come across as bland and less intense. There is no emotional bond between the characters, and the audience doesn’t connect with them effectively. It feels more like a brief introduction, and characters can be killed off abruptly.

Given that the film serves as an introduction, the lack of emotional attachment may be addressed in the second part, where the audience becomes more familiar with the characters, and the journey is filled with drama.

Villeneuve’s sci-fi genre relies heavily on CGI visual effects. Throughout the film, the audience witnesses many impressive CGI scenes, from energy shields protecting the body to planes resembling space dragons. The CGI quality looks realistic, and the visuals are stunning, treating the eyes to various panoramas. The desert landscape of Planet Arrakis is particularly breathtaking. Moreover, the costume design adds to the sci-fi feel, especially with the stillsuits used for wandering in the desert.

The Sequel

While the vision of the future intrigues both the young prince and the audience, it sets the stage for the sequel. Initially, it proves more captivating than having to drag on within the first part. The ending sets the tone for the next story, and if the first film succeeds, Villeneuve may begin production on the sequel in late 2022. Audiences may wonder whether he has shot both films together, considering the uncertainty brought about by a potential pandemic or the possibility of streams being taken down.

In 1984, David Lynch had time to work on the film Dune, envisioning it as a science-fiction film franchise. However, the plan failed as the first film received a very negative response from the audience and critics, even though Lynch had written the script for the sequel. A similar fate befell Alejandro Jodorowsky, who had drawn designs for the universe but faced rejection due to time length issues.

Most likely, Villeneuve will receive the green light from the studio to work on the sequel. A comparison can be drawn between the movie and a combination of Game of Thrones and Star Wars, with a space conflict centered around the throne. The franchise also stars Hollywood celebrities, making it an attraction in itself.

Conclusion

Dune opens a new sci-fi franchise in Hollywood. The slow pacing may not be an obstacle for certain people, but it proves to be a hurdle for audiences unfamiliar with Villeneuve’s films, especially considering the marketing blunder with Blade Runner 2049 as an example.

In conclusion, Dune serves as a superb entry for those who are not acquainted with Herbert’s works. It takes a faithful yet comprehensive approach in its audio-visual presentation, resulting in heavy exposition for the most part. The film’s splendor lies in how it gradually introduces elements of politics, philosophy, psychology, and more. However, some aspects of the novel’s vast universe are left unexplored in the film, focusing mainly on the core story matters.

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