A long-awaited masterpiece or another disaster in the making?
By Daria Bocicova
If you call yourself a fan of science-fiction and your eyes don't spontaneously light up whenever you hear the word 'dune', then you're obviously lying.
When Frank Herbert published Dune, the first out of the six books in the series, in 1965, it took over the hearts of the geeks worldwide by storm. Now considered one of the most celebrated and influential science-fiction novels ever written, it became the classic of the genre.
The story is set in a faraway future where human civilization is scattered throughout the cosmos, existing in a feudal society with the Padishah Emperor at its helm. The power is divided between many noble houses, one of whom happens to be House Atreides. Members of the house, led by the head of the family, Duke Leto Atreides, peacefully live on the planet, Caladan, until one day the Duke gets appointed as the new governor of a desert planet, Arrakis. The protagonist of the story is his son and heir, Paul who, at the beginning of the book, is 15 years old. While the native inhabitants of the planet praise Paul and his mother, Jessica, a dangerous conflict with a rival house over precious resources that can put his safety and the safety of his people in jeopardy is brewing. Born for a destiny he could never dream of, and with a power beyond human understanding, Paul has to conquer his greatest fears to survive.
If you're not already on the way to the nearest book store after reading this, we cannot be friends.
The first-ever movie adaptation of Dune, brought to the big screen in 1984 by David Lynch, became a marvellous example of how not to adapt a book. Completely demolished by the long-standing fans of the series, the film managed to also get below-average ratings from the critics and become a red flag on anyone's watch list.
But in the world of a genius aka Frank Herbert, "Given the right lever, you can move a planet". And, now, 37 years and a few less prominent attempts later, thankfully without David Lynch's marvelous touch, Dune gets a second chance to captivate its audience at the cinemas. A film by Denis Villeneuve, a Canadian director who has already given us Arrival, Blade Runner 2049. He admitted that has, himself, been a huge fan of the books for a while so hopefully, Villeneuve is as committed to introducing Herbert’s universe to the younger generation through a well-known to them medium as we hope. With a fellow geek at the helm, cinematography born of Greig Fraser's creative genius and a brilliant all-star cast of such famous faces as Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Issac and many others, led by Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, I have a feeling that we are in for a fun ride.
Dune premieres on October 21st. Whether you’re a die-hard sci-fi fan who has been crossing days off your calendar since you’ve heard about the film, or you got lost on the way to the store and accidentally stumbled into the cinema, you will not regret it.