‘Dune’ is an extraordinary spectacle: a vast space epic

Although the passage of time has twisted and added nuance to its meaning, if there is anything left in relation to the “blockbuster” concept since its creation in the mid-70s, it is certain sectors of the film scene. categorically denies that a product with these characteristics can have author backgrounds and artistic aspirations that are more than entertaining the general public. Nothing could be further from reality.

With his excellent ‘Jaws’, Steven Spielberg paved the way to a new cinema model, which later became the benchmark of “writer blockbusters”, which he improved upon in titles such as “AI Artificial Intelligence” or “Minority Report”. A witness who, saving distance, now brandishes Christopher Nolan who we can classify as the great contemporary champion of this trend, and as a reliable example that there is room for more than empty and noisy entertainment on multiplex cinema screens – who, on the other hand, nothing wrong with them.

The versatility of its themes and incredible visuals has made science fiction a genre particularly vulnerable to the kind of production that has found its newest standard in Denis Villeneuve. After his breakthrough into the game with the splendid ‘Arrival’ and his confirmation in the splendid ‘Blade Runner 2049’, the French-Canadian player has made a big hit on the table with ‘Dune’: Space Opera turned into art via a , a sweeping and epic show, with a scale and intensity that would hardly be replicated, at least in the short term, on the big screen.

Exciting hostility

While its difficult digestion doesn’t detract in the slightest from the brilliance and genius of its 155 minutes long, ‘Dune’ is a film that is extremely hostile to audiences. Beyond the almost imperceptible burden of repeating the dramatic patterns inherited from archetypal “chosen” stories—including the messianic component—Villeneuve’s most authoritative vision forces itself to radically distance us from some protagonists who, a priori, should be a soul. from any movie.

From Thimothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides to Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto Atreides, through Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica—everything is perfect—the characters are treated on paper and through camera with a cold, detached demeanor that makes them lose almost all of their human warmth, even in his most heroic and emotional moments.

Instead of projecting his gaze with greater intensity on them, the director chose to focus most of his efforts on articulating the enormous world-building exercise that, despite the necessary synthesis—especially the notoriously poor in basic relations between factions—, lay ahead. they. to the honorable, the immensely rich universe that confirms that we are dealing with works of science fiction that are more interested in mystical and geopolitical conflicts than emotional conflicts.

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The strange, contrasting rhythm of ‘Dune’ didn’t help in the slightest to assimilate its contents. Despite sounding antagonistic, the film is contemplative and frantic at the same time, cooking drama over a very slow fire but with scenes laden with incredible intensity going on without pause. It makes its two and a half hours pass you like a milling machine, enriched with formal treatments that turn what could be a weakness into a resounding victory.

Best Space Opera

Without its catchy narration, ‘Dune’ would not be able to become one of the most interesting audiovisual shows in recent years. Greig Fraser’s excellent cinematographic direction and excellent production design in terms of costumes and props as well as sets and locations, is the full service of esthetician Denis Villeneuve to date.

The filmmaker, keeping his genetic code intact, once again displays an extraordinary sense of composition and kinetics, and an innate ability to form the most impressive big shots we can put in our mouths today; form part of the captivating beauties who are more dazzling when they bet on dreams.

Complementing the incredible sound design, wrapping up the ensemble and providing a solid finish on top, Hans Zimmer boomed the stall with what could be his best soundtrack since ‘Interstellar’. Tireless, unrelenting and projected like a spell that plunges you into an almost hypnotic state, this German masterpiece is definitive proof that ‘Dune’ falls not in enchanting love, but at its most primitive and profound; mercilessly attacks the retina and eardrum to keep you glued to your chair, almost gasping for air ah, but need more and more.

Respect for the truth, and despite my enthusiasm for the feature I can’t wait to review, it’s important to highlight the execution of some of the action scenes — particularly the battle scenes — that don’t deserve a section like this. Leaving aside the total absence of explicit content, it’s somewhat surprising given the intrinsic violence of the plot, the planning and montage of these fragments is uninspired and just too bad.

While it looks attractive enough to be used off the field through resources like blurring or reframing, when the camera is in the middle of the action and decides to shoot it unfiltered, it’s as artificial as it is ineffective. The feeling of risk and suspense is really reduced, turning these pieces into mere documents to justify the fate of certain characters or to advance the plot.

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This wouldn’t be a big deal if it didn’t directly affect a tedious third act that condenses its awkward, anticlimactic climax – worth the redundancy – in a few minutes that doesn’t understand emotion, and which opens the door to ‘Part Two’ presented without trying to make it episodic. clear at all.

A last-minute stumble, there’s no denying that Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ is a film destined to radically polarize audience opinion. If you don’t accept his proposal and are sucked into his atmosphere, he will immediately kick you out, turning the tape into torture. But if you’re captivated by its many charms, it’s hard not to fall in love with the majestic Space Opera, which can turn adjectives like “bombastic” or “excessive” into something positive; a marvel that could be the last of its kind in an industry that, all the time, plays safer.

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