Yesterday, as part of Veteran’s Day (since a buddy had the day off) I went and saw the new Dune flick.
Here’s the short of it: This is hands down the best adaptation of Dune put to film by a long shot. While there were adaptational changes (there always are) they to me felt minor, while there were many scenes that were spot on to the book to the point of capturing exactly what I remembered most from it, while the other changes—at least personally—captured the spirit of things while fitting the adaptation to film a bit better.
Basically? I was enthralled from start to finish, and I am happy to say that the film exceeded my expectations. This film captured the visuals and setting of Dune and made it look like a place that could actually exist.
Now, it is a bit of a slow film. Go in expecting something more Lord of the Rings in scale and scope than Star Wars. This is a film that knows the audience is okay naval-gazing at a shot of shimmering, spice-laden Dunes for ten to fifteen seconds. This is a film that’s okay letting everyone watch ornithropters zip around for ten-fifteen seconds so that they can appropriately marvel at the world. This is a film that is okay using slow-mo to give the audience time to think about what has just happened so that you just don’t jump into the next scene without time to consider the ramifications of what went down.
I’m keeping this post short, partially because it’s Dune, so you likely already suspected you wanted to see it, or you already did see it. But yes, if you’re one of those people on the fence who loves the book and setting but held off because well … Dune doesn’t have the strongest track record with adaptations? This is the one you’ve been waiting for. This one gets it.
Side note before I wind down: Yes, this is Part One, something that all the marketing noticeably omitted. Rumor has it that the director even blindsided the studio with that one by being told to make a full-adaptation and then deciding on his own to split it into two and gambling that they would let him make the second half of the story.
I don’t know how true that is. But the movie is far better for it. If you know nothing about Dune but like epic movies with grand scope, then go see it. If you’ve been waiting for a good adaptation for forever … well, I’d say this is it.
And with that, I’ve got writing to do. Have a good weekend everyone, and I’ll see you Monday for another installment of Being a Better Writer.