Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya give us plenty of reasons to look forward to second part of sci-fi classic Dune
FILM REVIEW: Dune (12A): Out now at The Light Cinema, Cromwell Road, Wisbech.
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin.
Director: Denis Villeneuve Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes.
For those of us who aren’t mega science fiction film fans, let’s get this straight – Dune did come before Star Wars.
Yes, if you’ve watched most of George Lucas’ space opera without being obsessed, Dune does seem to be run along similar lines.
But Frank Herbert’s book was published in 1965, 12 years before the 1977 eponymous Star Wars film, so if anyone was influenced...
Anyway, I’ve not read the book and neither did I see the critically-panned 1984 movie starring, among others, Kyle MacLachlan and Sting.
So I went into the first instalment of this two-parter open minded and enthusiastic – and mostly I wasn’t disappointed.
To summarise briefly, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a talented young man born into a noble family, who must travel to one of the universe’s most inhospitable and dangerous planets to ensure the future of his family and protect the land’s valuable commodity, spice.
Paul is played with depth and feeling by Timothée Chalamet and it’s enjoyable to watch his relationships with his family and tutors, while his confidence in himself increases as the film develops.
That he travels to Arrakis with his parents and faces adversity while with his own mother is a refreshing change for a ‘young hero’ plot too (there is an acceptance throughout that he’s a gifted but naive young man with much to learn).
It’s also good to see the importance of woman in the plot, from his mother Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson) to Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) and Dr Liet Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster).
And Paul’s visions of the enigmatic Chani (Zendaya) are so spellbinding that it’s almost an anti-climax when we do meet her... although their burgeoning relationship gives us reason alone to look forward to the next part, set to be filmed next year.
The two-and-a-half hours fly by and there’s an exciting ending that leaves the viewer wanting more. And, as a stand-alone film, it’s great.
By Jeremy Ransome