Dune

Dune ★★★★½

Images of jihad. There is no destiny, just centuries of planning. The politics of faith dictates that there are followers, there are leaders, and there are those who shape the leaders. Lady Jessica has made her son all powerful, and integral to this film is the maternal relationship at its centre. While the journey belongs to Paul, it is through Jessica that we witness his transformation and will him to succeed. She loses touch with who he is, but all that she shows is love. Paul must kill and no longer be Paul, children must grow into adults, a duke's son must become a giant. One thing that this adaptation gets absolutely right is ending exactly when it does, on the precipice of destiny.

Dune is all about converging interests. Colonialism and its evils are explicitly shown in the film, another stepping stone in the grandest of plans. Religion in Dune is a fakery of science, spread amongst the people by those in the shadows who determine the future. The story is at the centre of destiny, as characters live by faith, honour, or greed, slotting into the predictable paths and travelling down them exactly as expected. This film compromises on so little, making clear and understandable all the ideas it presents. This is only the beginning.

I took my mum to see Dune. She doesn't watch many films in the cinema, but she read Dune decades ago. What I most appreciated this time was just how immersive the film is. After two watches I think Dune is one of the most immersive cinema experiences I've ever had. Both times I was completely captivated from beginning to end. The awe and spectacle, the sound and music, the depth of character and world-building, few films achieve those things. My mum said it didn't feel like two and a half hours. I have to agree. Dune makes me feel like I've sunk into sand and just closed my eyes to sleep, an hour turned into an second, but each second the most powerful of dreams.

2021 Ranked
Academy Award for Best Picture Nominees Ranked
BAFTA for Best Film Nominees Ranked

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