“Dune”: Denis Villeneuve finally returns its letters of nobility to the cult novel by Frank Herbert

Dune is a literary phenomenon in the tradition of Lord of the Rings, of Shining Where Harry potter. A failed attempt by Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1975, the David Lynch fiasco in 1984, and two TV mini-series did not come to an end. After First contact and Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve, who dreamed of adapting the novel, released the first part of the diptych he devoted to it on Wednesday September 15. A great movie.

In a distant galactic empire, a drug – “the spice” – allows time to bend to facilitate interstellar travel. It only exists on the planet Arrakis, and is a source of immense profits. The Atreides family has just been appointed manager at the expense of the Harkonnen who declare war on it. Paul, the last son of the Atreides, is revealed to be endowed with powers that could defeat hostile powers on a planet that is no less so.

If it is based on a very American Manichean scheme, Dune reveals its complexity in the universe it describes. From an ecological, climatic and geopolitical point of view, some would say philosophical. Published in 1965, Frank Herbert’s novel resonates with all the more power today as these themes have never been so topical. Coincidentally, Denis Villeneuve gives today the most accomplished cinema version and the most faithful to the novel ever made.

With spice, Dune is a source of energy (like oil nowadays), its exceptional temperatures reflect current global warming, and its inhabitants – the Fremens – only live thanks to vital water management, a concern current major. Finally the war, described as “Jihad” in the novel and the film, on a planet of sands, recalls contemporary Afghanistan. If the anticipation of Herbert is strangely premonitory of our time, the staging of Denis Villeneuve finally reaches the ambitions of the novel. The Quebecer is faithful to the hyperrealistic aesthetic of his two previous science fiction films, First contact and Blade Runner 2049. The director draws all the substance from the sobriety of the design, the frame and the light, while giving them an unprecedented scale. The spectacle is splendid.

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Timothée Chalamet and Charlotte Rampling in "Dune" by Denis Villeneuve (2021).  (WARNER BROS. FRANCE)

The key scenes of the novel are enhanced by this subtle and spectacular style. The actors are in their place with a special mention to Charlotte Rampling, in impressive Reverend-Mother Ben Gesserit. An imbalance points, however, in a first part which would lend itself to more development, while the second stretches in certain scenes. It will still be necessary to judge on the length and on part, when the sequel will be released in 2023-24. Don’t you have a little “spice” to bend the time before then?

Poster of "Dune" by Denis Villeneuve (2021).  (WARNER BROS. FRANCE)

Kind : Science-Fiction
Director : Denis Villeneuve
Country : United States
Actors: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Josh Brolin, Xavier Bardem
Duration : 2h36
Exit : 15 September 2021

Synopsis : The story of Paul Atreides, a young man as gifted as he was brilliant, destined to meet an extraordinary destiny that totally surpasses him. Because if he wants to preserve the future of his family and his people, he will have to go to the most dangerous planet in the universe – the only one able to provide the most precious resource in the world, capable of multiplying tenfold. power of mankind. As evil forces vie for control of this planet, only those who manage to overcome their fear will be able to survive …

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