Dune ★★★★

Probably Villeneuve's best work after Arrival (not fan of BR). Dune is filled with truly immersive world-building where you can really lose yourself to those deserts and labyrinthine temples full of dark corners and strange characters.

An effective sense of doom is achieved through recurring prophecies and dreams, and the film drifts between different realities quite effortlessly. Because these dreams are shot as fragmented sights and many of them might follow each other before big things happen that take the story forward, one might think that nothing happens, and then when we are suddenly in the real reality, its events might move so quickly that it's hard to trace their development to the culmination where the chaos started. The chaos started already in the dreams but it strikes the reality with a force that is unprecedented - we might see dreams that predict the future but the future happens at its own pace.

Could be also that the trance-like state where I ended up while watching has affected the way I observe these events of the film's real reality as well because it's so easy to get lost in the dreams and walks where nothing seems to really happen - and this hypnotized mood stays partly when we stare at these gigantic explosions and witness things falling apart. (In addition, the dreams are so integral part of the real reality as well so separation might be stupid - maybe we are not meant to sharply divide the different levels of reality into dreams and real reality but to embrace them as part of the same whole; those who have read the books probably know better.)

The action in the real reality itself is shot quite relentlessly - the events move in chain reactions whereas dreams are followed by a reaction and perhaps a moment of reflection. Even though Villeneuve shoots war scenes with the discipline of a director who doesn't favor seeming chaos achieved through a bunch of Bay-esque two-second cuts, the war scenes are ultimately just chaos. To me, Villeneuve strikes as a director who is far more concerned about the whole than the individual details although I can't by any means claim that Dune is a film that doesn't pay attention to details.

Can't wait to see the second part and the solutions to challenges Villeneuve is forced to solve there.