I was wrong about DUNE

I was wrong about DUNE

Dune Timothee Chalomet Oscar Isaac

Ok, so expectations can be a funny old thing.

Unfortunately because of the way that the internet is it’s almost impossible to go into a movie these days without having some preconceived notion of what one should be and how you should feel about it.

Just in the same way that I was told Venom Let There Be Carnage was terrible and came out thinking it was a lot of fun, I was told DUNE was an action-packed Sci-Fi masterpiece that was gonna be the next Lord Of The Rings.

This kinda guided my perception of how I thought that the movie should be and thus when I went to see it I ended up leaving the film feeling a bit disappointed.

The same thing happened with TENET and though I initially came out of the theatre thinking ‘meh,’ after revisiting it, it’s come to be a film I absolutely love. Tenet feels like a puzzle box with an almost infinite amount of things to unpack from it but going in with the mindset that it would be INCEPTION with Time Travel in it, it was difficult to think that it didn’t miss the mark.

Now, this mark was of course set by me and this preconceived notion was the scoreboard that I judged not only TENET off but also DUNE.

In my original review for the film, I praised the cinematography and world-building but I also said that I felt let down by the movie feeling like it was just set up to a movie that we may or may not get.

Now at the time of making that review, a sequel hadn’t been announced but, honestly, knowing that one is coming is great news even if I feel that it was a bit misguided by Warner Bros to not film things back to back.

I criticised it and said that though STAR WARS clearly took elements from it that it actually adapted things better to a movie and the typical three-act structure.

I didn’t even end up giving the movie a score in my review because I just didn’t really know how I felt about the entire thing and because of this you can kinda see where my head sat in terms of the film.

Because of the above, I left the cinema feeling like this was a big misstep but after revisiting the movie I have to admit something.

I was wrong.

(you were what).

I said…I said I was wrong


dune movie denis villeneuve sand people javier bardem zendaya
Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Javier Bardem and Timothee Chalamet.

Details Revealed in 1984

Now, strangely enough, the thing that made me appreciate this movie, even more, was actually the 1984 version by David Lynch. Over the weekend I picked up the brand new 4k release of it and if you enjoyed Denis adaptation then I definitely recommend that you pick that up too.

It’s got a lot of the same scenes in it but also some alternate ones and its own style that I think will make you appreciate this one even more due to how it adapts the material in its own way.

I really like the 1984 film and though some elements are a bit dated, I think it acts as a great companion to this movie and it helps to clear up certain things that I was either lost on or didn’t understand.

Now why I think the two are worth viewing is because that movie feels like your typical 1980s Sci-Fi film with heavy exposition whereas the 2021 version is an experience.

A lot of the story beats and character motivations are very much laid in the subtext and DUNE isn’t here to spell things out. It’s here to engross you and give you somewhat of a sensory experience so that you feel you’re lost in a space opera much like the characters.

It really must be said that you should go and see this film in IMAX as the sound stage and giant image definitely suck you into the movie and it makes the visuals even more breathtaking. You really get sucked into the world and seeing the vast sunsets, towering monuments and baron halls become all the more atmospheric upon seeing it the way that it was intended to be viewed.

Now I kinda wanna revisit that Star Wars comparison as it’s one of the things that I got the most heat for and though I told people not to get sand in their vagina…I think they kinda have a point.

However, in order to discuss it, I need to talk spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie then you should shield yourself from the next part. I will be hinting at minor book developments too so if you’re someone who yeah, just be warned.

Now one thing that I got slammed for in my review was comparing the film to A New Hope.

Even though I clearly said that Lucas took from DUNE I still had people complaining that I’d even mentioned it in the same breath and that I was stupid for even comparing the two.

I obviously know DUNE came first as I said it in my review and as Lucas admitted to basing Star Wars upon it I thought that it was a fine comparison but I guess not.

Now what I caught spice for is that I said though there are similar plot elements across both pieces, A New Hope adapted said material to a three-act structure.

It had a hero whose family was taken away from him and he trained to become adept in the ways of a mystical magic whilst fighting against a dark force in the universe. However what I slammed DUNE for is that its final act didn’t feel like a triumphant one and instead of the hero defeating the dark side in a blaze of glory, Paul very much had to retreat into the desert to gather his strength and numbers.

I felt this was a bit of a dour note to end a movie on and though the book takes this exact same path I did say that I think they could’ve changed up the novel. Several books that have been adapted to film tend to take what works about the novel, fit it to a three-act structure in which we’re introduced to the characters, we watch them go on an adventure and then there’s a big blowout between the forces of good and evil.

Storyline Similarities

Though lots of people said that The Fellowship Of The Rings is similar to Dune I have to disagree as I think the latter is a lot more understated whereas the former isn’t. Though both are very close to their literary counterparts they are doing different things and I actually think that DUNE is closer to Season One of Game Of Thrones than it is to any of Tolkien’s work.

In the first season, we watched as the houses all came together in order to seemingly strengthen the Empire…or well…Kingdoms.

However Game Of Thrones Season One was very much about betrayal and it culminated in Ned Stark being killed which put his children on a path of retreat before they enacted their revenge.

That’s very much what DUNE is about and in it we see the fall of an empire, watch the death of a father and then are teased with the idea that the family will get its revenge after rebuilding in the wilderness.

Much like Ned was called into a position to be the king’s hand away from his home, the Atreides are called to Arrakis. Much like how Yoo-ay betrays the family, Ned is betrayed as well and both the father figures are killed.

Sadly both Ned and Leto know that something is up with the so-called promotion that they’ve been given but they’re bound by their duty to stay in the place they’ve been summoned to and this ultimately leads to their death.

DUNE thematically is meant to be a tragedy and not going into the movie with this mindstate made me believe that it should be a certain way when it was really meant to be the opposite. Now before you start, I have read DUNE but it was a good 15 years ago and I think that it’s had so many movies that have taken things from it that I’d forgotten what made Dune, Dune.

Now not to spoil too much of what’s to come but Paul Atreides isn’t really the stereotypical hero that you might think if you’ve only seen this movie.

He’s painted out as somewhat of a saviour but there’s far more complexity to his character than just being the next messiah. As we progress in the story I think we’ll very much question what it means to be a hero and this is actually hinted at with the movie’s ending.

Throughout the film, we watch as he has visions of training with Jammis and come to the end of the movie he kills the character before they can ever come to fruition. Now I have seen people say that they think he’s simply seeing things through the eyes of Chani but either way, it shows he’s a different kind of hero to what we’ve seen in other movies. Most heroes would’ve found a way to cheat the rules and have spared Jammis but Paul kills him because he knows that it’ll provide him with access to an army so that he can get revenge.

It’s a really complicated ending and though it’s seen as a victory, Paul does somewhat lose himself in carrying out the actions that he does.

Now, this is kinda why I got DUNE wrong. I went in with different expectations, some of the wrong interpretations and overall just misjudged what the movie was trying to do. This is an epic space opera that is laced with a lot of subtext and outstanding visuals that make it a completely immersive experience.

The film is meant to be viewed as a tragedy and it’s also a warning to not only the idea of hero worship but also the downfall that blind duty can lead to.

dune movie part one sandworm

Let’s Ride a Sandworm

After rewatching DUNE I’ve gained a new appreciation for it and if you’re someone who went in disappointed then I recommend that you check out the movie and also give the 1984 version a watch.

I am really hyped for the sequel and it’s great to see the movie-making money at the box office, especially with all the factors riding against it.

The movie not only dropped on HBO Max but it also leaked with HD copies online everywhere the week before it was available on the streaming service so it’s pretty impressive that it’s still doing as well as it is.

It’s definitely gonna be a film I revisit and if this video does well then I’ve made money from saying I didn’t like it and then money from saying I did. So I got you you sucker.

I’m just kidding and there have been several films that have changed in my mind over time the more I’ve watched them. I didn’t actually like Casino Royale or Batman Begins the first time that I saw them and I think looking back on things they’re some of the best interpretations of those classic characters ever.

Also, I’d love to know if you hated the movie and now like it, liked it and now hate it and if you liked it and still like it and so on and so forth. All opinions are valid and as someone who’s done a 180 on it I’m more than happy to have people disagree with me, just try keep the conversation civil ey kids.

We’re running a competition right now and giving away 3 copies of the phase 3 MCU Box set on the 30th Of October. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is like the video, make sure you subscribe with notifications on and drop a comment below with your thoughts on the episode. We pick the comments at random at the end of the month and the winners of the last one are on screen right now so message me @heavySpoilers if that’s you.

If you want something else to watch then make sure you check out our breakdown of the perfect scene in Spider-Man Homecoming. We break down the entire thing so it’s definitely worth checking out if you wanna know more.

With that out the way thank you for sitting through the video, I’ve been Paul and I’ll see you next time. Take care, Peace

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