Dune

Year: 1984

Synopsis: In the distant future, powerful families struggle to use the Spice from the planet Arrakis to control the universe. Only one being can end the madness the Spice creates.

Pros:
• All the actors played their roles with surprising ease.
• The overall story, book and film, continues to have relevance today.
• The production design was downright beautiful, as it was sometimes like watching an ever shifting landscape from the most exquisitely eccentric of artists.
• David Lynch’s surrealistic style was already in full force throughout much of the film.
• The soundtrack was fantastic, and will stick with you long after watching.
• The surrealistically escapist and rebellious feel did allow the viewer to have a very positive sense by the time the actors were visually credited after the abrupt conclusion.

Cons:
• The overall years-spanning story felt incredibly rushed, as the ending was dramatically sudden. Many key moments happened with far more ease than depicted in the novel, while other moments were missed or glazed over.
• The underlying tragedy of prescient Paul Atreides trying and failing to not become a kind of warlord was completely lost.
• Unlike the novel, the internal monologue often felt unnecessary and was sometimes kind of funny.
• Making the Wierding Way a sonic enhancement thing instead of merely a martial art was perhaps the only true blunder of Lynch’s career, but it was at least unintentionally hilarious at times.
• Special effects like the Spice-blue eyes and personal shields were almost stupidly hilarious.
• We may unfortunately never see the true three hour vision vision Lynch had for the film.

Discussion:
“He who controls the spice controls the universe!”

Yes, everyone is basically eating alien worm poo and bile to expand their minds here. Yes, that does sound completely crazy and gross. Yet, that was a major point of the story. Humans addicted themselves to this Spice when it might arguably have been unnecessary for the sake of human evolution, and became so addicted that it took someone evolving themself into a god via that Spice to break the disgusting, drug induced chain of horrible choices. In the end, perhaps, it was only ever a true dream in the novel where Paul did not have to conquer humanity to save it from itself. And perhaps, that might have been an underlying point David Lynch tried to make: Paul Atreides only ever had one path to save us all from needless addiction and interrelated factionalism. There was never a knot to find to make a future he wanted. This was only ever about creating a new future for the benefit of others.


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 54%

One thought on “Dune

Add yours

  1. I think a lot of the rushed feel comes from attempting to convey the depth of Herbert’s work — I’m not sure if it was all needed… For example, the info dump beginning—if I remember correctly—from Princess Princess Irulan. But then again, he wanted to hint at her epigrams that start each chapter…

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