Denis Villeneuve is an excellent director and has proven such time and time again. But he’s also a director that likes to take his time, and I can understand why some people lose patience with a film like this. I’m not going to pretend that my first viewing went down easy, it didn’t, but it reminds me a lot of Villeneuve’s other work, especially Blade Runner 2049. That film is one of my favorites of all time, but it took me multiple viewings to really be able to absorb it. I suspect that will remain true with Dune.
With any experience where you only take in only half of a whole story, there is often a lot left to be desired. But Denis Villeneuve, Hans Zimmer, Greig Fraser, the cast, and everyone in the crew make sure that you are so addicted to the unique and awesome environment of this universe that you can’t wait to get more.
The cast is deep with talent and they all do an incredible job at making you forget they’re actors and movie stars. This is probably the first ensemble film like this in a long time where I just completely forgot about the actors on screen. Where Rian Johnson’s Knives Out loved to flaunt the huge scale of the cast, this movie does everything in its power to force you to look beyond, and it does a fantastic job.
Timothy Chalamet is probably the weakest part of the cast, but I think it’s just because of the nature of his character: Paul. He’s often closed off and hiding his emotions, not unlike Blade Runner 2049’s K, but when he really gets the chance to let loose he goes all out and takes you with him. I think the scene with the black box and the gom jabbar really gave him a great opportunity to flex his acting muscles.
Rebecca Ferguson’s Lady Jessica is easily one of the highlights of the film, constantly drawing you in. She’s a powerful woman, and they let you know, but that makes it all the more frightening when she gets nervous or uneasy throughout. Rebecca Ferguson is becoming one of the biggest names working in Hollywood today, deservedly so, and I really just couldn’t get enough of her here.
From Oscar Isaac, Jason Mamoa, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Chen Chang…EVERYONE involved is doing some of their best work and it all comes together perfectly.
I think a symphony would be the perfect way to describe filmmaking (this isn’t an original thought, I’m sure). Everything has to be perfect, everyone has to be doing their job, everyone has to be right on time for it to work out in the end. When it does, it leaves you breathless, emotional, and by the end you’re standing on your feet, clapping and smiling with glee, wishing you could yell out for an encore.
Everything here is exactly on point and I don’t think I could ask for a better Dune theatrical experience short of a 6 hour monster of a film. I’m genuinely having trouble even trying to verbalize my thoughts on this film because it’s just that deep and dense and immersive.
Absolutely go watch Dune, it’s an experience like none other.
My rating for Dune:
★★★★★ / ♥♥♥♥
*The rating scale is out of 5 stars (filmmaking/storytelling quality) and 5 hearts (entertainment quality).