©2021 Michael Raven
I watched the 2021 remake of Dune tonight, not expecting much at all. While the first few books enthralled me, the Lynch film was lacking (albeit a decent effort) and I’d heard mixed things about the remake.
I was pleasantly surprised by the film (except for discovering it was only the first half of the first story, which was news to me) — I think it did an awesome job of capturing the atmosphere of the book. I don’t know that it is a masterpiece, but it kept me engaged in a way that most movies these days fail to accomplish. I hope the conclusion is released sooner than later, and that it meets the same standards, but I am always skeptical of such hopes.
In other surprises, I was taken aback by my reaction to Paul’s vision sequences. I didn’t expect such a visceral response to what was not new storytelling or information. Nor was the handling of it all that spectacular. But it reminded me a lot of my own personal experiences over the years, especially lately. I don’t want to get into the specifics of my experiences, but the sequences in the film seemed to capture those kinds of experiences quite well — I suspect that if I dug into the credits at the end of the film, I’d discover they the team hired a consultant familiar with such things, or that someone of the direction team had some of their own along those lines. Without considering the possibility of future/past “sight” or “outside knowledge”, the overall feeling I experience during my own forays matched the film’s in a surprisingly close manner. Glitchy, dreamy, strange and unreliable.
It blew my mind, basically. Which might already be a lost cause, but it certainly gave it a nudge in the direction momentum has already sent my myriad ropes of grey matter.
Could I recommend it? Sure, as long as you don’t expect too much. It was decent, not spectacular. I’d rank it slightly lower than Tenant on the “this is decent” scale.
But I’m still moderately haunted by those sequences.