Some movies are not just a movie. They carry a volume of many references and so many other attempts of many other directors (Dune 1984, David Lynch), to the point that you question yourself what’s so special with this scenario’. But in the first place, let’s see the ensemble Dune cast that took place in this Frank’s Herbert sci-fi novel adaptation.
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides is the lead actor of the Dune cast. Young and talented, he fits great in the role of gifted savior. Rebecca Ferguson as lady Jessica Atreides, and mother of Paul. Oscaar Isaak is the father of Paul , the Duke Leto Atreides. And other great stars coming like Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Jason Momoa as Dulhan Idaho, Zendaya as Chani, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Charlotte Rampling as mother Mohia are only some of the great actors who participate at Dune 2021.
Going back to (the future) 1965, Frank Herbert published a science fiction novel Dune, as two separate serials in Analog magazine, and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for best novel. In 2003 already described as the world’s best-selling science fiction novel. The story is about a young boy Paul Atreides, who lives with his family on a planet where is part of an interstellar feudal society, and he is the one who should negotiate with other planets the control of the ‘spice’ which is a source of melange, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities.
The story is one more story, of dominance claim, political toils, and the battle between supernatural powers of good and bad, but mostly a futurological reformulation of Moses story, who tries to survive with his people in the inhospitality dessert of planet Dune.
The lines of characters are minimum but very meaningful. For example a line of Paul s mother Jessica Atreides ‘I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is a little-death that brings obliteration. I will face my fear and I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past… I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.’
So the picture is the strongest transport who’ll bring the sense of greatness, of the new messiah who is the chosen after many generations.
The film is full of contrasts. Simply stone houses into the desert, but the highest technology spacecraft. Beliefs who belong in another spacetime, like the one about the messiah, religious hierarchies and robot soldiers, enormous dessert monsters from the other hand. The aesthetic of clothes, which remind us of tribes of the east come in contrast with the survival uniforms our characters wear, to protect themselves from the great heat of the desert.
The feeling that tries to achieve Villeneuve, in this new transfer of Dune, is the aesthetic of mystical, imposing atmosphere, which is as familiar as a god to people. Far away from as (as the planet Dune) but connected with human tradition, which is as old as human history.
And finally, we wonder. Is Dune an attempt to connect two asymmetrical and unconnected worlds using only the materials of aesthetic?
I’ll say yes. Dune is an optic metaphoric of the biggest powers in the world. Religion and science. Both of them take place at the same time, in full harmony and finally.. survive.
I am a lifetime movie addict and cinema is my passion. I’ve been a movie writer for 8 years. My goal is to teach people how to watch movies and how to appreciate them instead of hating them. Some gems are hidden out there but I’m here to show you them all!