In the context of film adaptations of novels, there are several titles of books that were previously considered unable to be filmed according to the wider film community, due to reasonable reasons. The source material of the story is so rich, complex, and deep that it is almost impossible to produce satisfactory results even if it is poured into a three-hour film, one of which is Dune, a novel by Frank Herbert, which is now being revived by Denis Villeneuve in Dune: Part One. .
The space opera, which tells about the political intrigues of three great clans for the control of a planet and the transformation of a character who is considered a chosen person, has an extraordinary level of challenge. In addition to the content of this bestselling novel far beyond its time, Frank Herbert’s casting here has a very high complexity. As one of the original saga, Dune inspired many popular saga, from Star Wars to the phenomenal series Game of Thrones. (Read the official synopsis of the film here)
Efforts to film Dune itself have been started since the 1970s. The first was through the ambitious efforts of Alejandro Jodorowsky, which ran aground in the middle of the road, while the second was through the direction of David Lynch, who although he managed to film it, the filmmaker himself was not satisfied and disappointed with the result, even though his Dune film has now become one of the cult classics.
Because there are two ways to pour the story of Dune. The first, as a love letter to the heavyweight science fiction genre with medieval political intrigue. Meanwhile, the second is as an audio-visual presentation that presents a spectacular aesthetic landscape, future technology, and family heritage into an emotional and philosophical plot. Fortunately, now that Denis Villeneuve’s remake has achieved both of those things, Dune fans feel like they’ve got the ideal cast version they’ve been waiting for.
Shooting as a continuous saga, Villeneuve presents the story of this Dune in a multi-part design. And, from what Dune: Part One looks like, it seems that a big and epic saga has actually been born.
With a blend of his signature directing style, as he did before in Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, unlike in the Lynch version, Villeneuve lays out the foundations of the Dune universe in more detail and length. The first half seems to be aimed at educating the audience who may not know about Dune to get into its world more easily.
With so many new sci-fi terms in Dune: Part One, maybe not everyone will enjoy the injection of fictional information, but Villeneuve is able to balance it with various visual aspects supported by Hans Zimmer’s musical score which proves to be very effective in adding to the life of the entire scene. Making Dune a truly gorgeous-looking movie, indulge in some of the best visual landscape ever on the big screen. The costumes are amazing, the casting is varied and the characterization is pretty good as many characters and concepts are fed to the audience.
From the lineup of players, in addition to the excellent chemistry of Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson, the lineup of supporting players consisting of many big names has proven to be able to increase viewing pleasure. Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, and Josh Brolin managed to become three impressive musketeers in every portion of their scene.
Without further ado, the writer himself who was a little skeptical of this film (because he was worried that this film would only be a version of Lynch with better ‘make up’) must admit that Dune: Part One is unexpectedly a near-perfect film. . And, it seems that among other sci-fi films made by Villeneuve, this is the most fun to enjoy. Expectations also soared with the presentation of the next round in the future.
There is only one real criticism of Dune: Part One. Villeneuve’s thirst for sequels makes the pace of the storytelling of this saga feel a little long to touch the audience. Similar to Peter Jackson’s execution in the first act of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Dune prepares so much exposition that a lot of the conflict component is pushed into the second part, and (minor spoilers) the kind of film that only reveals a small part of the storyline.
In closing, according to the authors, with Dune: Part One, Villeneuve did an excellent early job delivering the version that loyal Dune fans have been waiting for. But the question is… Is it enough to attract non-fans who care about the revival of this ancient epic space saga so that a sequel can be made in the future? Considering that the new creators will give the green light if the performance of the first half of the film is considered commercially satisfactory.
Dune: Part One will open in Indonesian cinemas starting 13 October 2021