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Review | Dune

Duna has already gained other adaptations, which ended up being criticized. Will this finally do justice to Frank Herbert's work?


Finally the latest version of Dune is coming to Brazilian cinemas. Film adaptation of the literary work of Frank Herbert, the current reading of Dennis Velleneuve came to light surrounded by doubts, mainly about his box office performance in a world still trying to rise from a global pandemic, but also because of the history of his other attempts at representation on screen.

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The first of them, directed by David Lynch, even though it has become a cult classic for some, it suffers a much more negative than positive reception, even by readers of the original work. The three-part miniseries, released in 2000, is best rated, but is also barely remembered today. So a third attempt ended up bringing a lot of anticipation, but also fear, about whether the complexity of Herbert's work could really be transposed to other media.

Villeneuve's version of Dune it is certainly superlative in virtually every respect. It is clearly meant to be seen in cinema, with its typical epic film scale, spectacular photography, grandiose scenes and a soundtrack that is probably one of the genius' best works. Hans Zimmer (which is no small thing). Villeneuve clearly sought a different approach to what he made Blade Runner 2049 so controversial (even though the film got 2 Oscars) and focused on giving what most of the audience wanted: a cinematic epic based on one of the great works of science fiction worldwide.

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In this he does not fail in practically anything. The main references that the general public (that is, those who have not read the books) will have will be Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and this is an excellent reason not only to check out this gigantic work, but also to hope that the sequel (not yet confirmed by the Warner) is produced (because, despite everything you see at the beginning, Dune definitely not Lord of the Rings or Star Wars).

Obviously, adaptations needed to be made to transpose Dune for the screens. Although there is an effort to omit as little as possible and stay true to the work, it is noticeable how much the action sequences received greater emphasis, giving the film a steady and exciting pace, where you can barely notice the duration of almost three hours.

Allied to this, the excellent use of its special effects and spectacular photography make it Dune a visual delight, something that really fills the eyes (and the ears, as it never hurts to remember Hans Zimmer's work here). Of course, to give all this focus to visual grandeur and action, it was necessary to sacrifice some of the plot, and so part of the audience may lack a more elaborate explanation of who these and those are, or even find the plot too rushed. But it is possible to say that the principal was maintained. The “spice”, the planet Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit, the politics of the Empire, the various Islamic references in Fremen, the giant worms Shai Hulud, it's all there for the fans.

The star-studded cast was also a big hit. Timothée Chalamet he's a great protagonist, although it's very important that the sequel comes to fruition, since, just for the first film, the impression audiences will have of Paul Atreides can be quite wrong, even though it's hardly unnoticed by more attentive people (or that know the book, obviously).

Rebecca Ferguson is definitely a standout as Lady Jessica Atreides as she looks absolutely fantastic in the role. Oscar Isaac, like Duke Leto Atreides also delivers excellent work, though audiences will likely miss more about character. Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck) and Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen) do not disappoint and there was no way to expect more from them, as there was not enough screen time to develop the characters better.

Dave Bautista (Glossu Raban) and Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho) deliver, well, exactly what you would expect from Dave Bautista and Jason Momoa, no more, no less, but appropriate. The other characters have even less screen time, and I understand that there was no way to work everything, but it seems a waste to have names like Charlotte Rampling (as Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit), Javier Bardem (like Stilgar) and so many others in roles that could be better developed. the own Zendaya had little to show as Chani, but it's something that should be corrected in the sequel (if she's confirmed).

Weaknesses? Obviously, for the transposition from one medium to another, certain adaptations are necessary, some of which can be uncomfortable for those who know the original work as well as for newcomers. For the former, the emphasis on action and the suppression of some information about certain plot points (which is abundant in the original work) can bring some disappointment.

For others, this same lack of explanation can leave some confused, not knowing who certain characters are or how they got to that role in the story. For both, this same emphasis that gives this frenetic pace to the film can be seen as making the plot somewhat linear, rushed and less complex than it could be (as it is in the books). Also, an additional danger lies in how the film ends (which is appropriate for those who know the original work, but may seem strange to those who don't).

As Warner has not yet confirmed the production of the sequel, the impression of “unfinished story” may remain for those who are unaware that even the first book was adapted in its entirety. Even more, it may give a wrong idea about the tone of the story and what it wants to convey, since much of what was portrayed there is profoundly inverted in the second part of the story.

However, the final balance is much more positive than negative. Few of the pointed out will be taken into account by most of the public, who will certainly be dazzled by the gigantic scale of the work, its engaging characters, the development of the setting, the beauty of the photograph, its great twists, the progress of the plot, and its spectacular scenes.

sharply Dune was made for that. His screenplay retains the essentials of the original work, and that, too, is enough to be praiseworthy. What was omitted will certainly leave that taste of “I want more” for those who miss it, but the books are there for that. For the part of the public that has read Frank Herbert's original, perhaps the lack of some details and explanations bothers a little more, but there is no denying that this is the best adaptation that Dune received until today. And I sincerely hope that the continuation will see the light of day soon.



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