Fear is the mind killer!

I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. And where the fear is gone…..only I will remain!

Before Luke Skywalker there was Paul Atreides. Star Wars was heavily inspired from Dune novels. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Dune is an ambitious attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s novel on the big screen. Many called the novel to be unfilmable but Villeneuve was upto the challenge. And the result is a jaw dropping sci-fi cinematic spectacle that is not only thoughtful & thrilling but also humanizes it’s epic story.

Dune: Part One is set in the far future. It chronicles the rivalries between rival noble families- House Atreides & House Harkonnen as they fight for the control of desert planet Arrakis. This planet is the source of Spice, a mysterious drug which is vital for interstellar space travel making it the most essential & valuable commodity in the universe. In middle of all this is a young man Paul Atreides whose reluctant inheritance of House Atreides led him to be the saviour of the indigenous people of Arrakis  known as the Fremen from those malevolent forces (House Harkonnen, Sardaukar army) that threatens to change the fate of an interstellar empire known as the Imperium.

Director Denis Villeneuve is a master of his craft. He stuns us in each & every frame with meticulous detailing. There are dragon fly shaped copters, mosquito shaped drones, giant sandworms, otherworldly planets, magnificent cities etc. The cinematography by Greg Fraiser is awe-inspiring as he juxtaposes science fantasy with medieval architecture making it a modern war movie. The scope is vast, the world-building is God-tier but the majestic soundtrack by the legendary Hans Zimmer completely immerses us in it. Even though the novel is complicated & psychedelic, Villeneuve & his team did a great job of making the plot easy to follow & understand. But there was another competition. The movie shouldn’t feel like  it’s genre contemporaries-Star Wars & Star Trek; & filmmakers succeeded in it by giving Dune a completely different feel by keeping the visuals fresh.

The cast is star-studded. Timothee Chamolet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebeca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Batista, Stellan Skarsgard etc… Each character has an intricate role in the storyline. Villeneuve allows every character to breathe & grow in this comprehensive coming of age tale. The movie is all about capitalsm, colonisation in space  interweaving man’s control over religion, society, ecosystem, destiny, exploitative greed & conquest for the ultimate supremacy.

My reason for watching Dune? Well I know who the director is- Denis Villeneuve. Those who have watched his previous films- Arrival, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, Incendies must be familiar with his slow-burning & voyeuristic directing style combining blockbuster scale with arthouse sentiments. But Dune: Part One feels incomplete as this is just the beginning. All eyes on sequel now & if they get it right then WB have got a killer franchise in their hands!

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