Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic Dune premiered on Friday at the ongoing 78th Venice International Film Festival, and the first reviews have begun to trickle in.
Thus far, things look good for one of the most-awaited movies of 2021. The film, based on Frank Herbert’s celebrated sci-fi classic novel, has scored 85 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes after 33 reviews.
The critical consensus reads, “Dune occasionally struggles with its unwieldy source material, but those issues are largely overshadowed by the scope and ambition of this visually thrilling adaptation.”
The story of Dune has a humongous scale and scope as those who have read the novel would confirm. Also, a filmmaker of Villeneuve’s calibre would not adapt such a famous and influential work if he did not think it was visually feasible for that world to be portrayed on the big screen.
It also has one of the strongest casts ever assembled. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem are part of the movie.
Time Magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote in her review, “Dune is sluggish in places-my eyes glazed over during one or two or maybe three of the battle scenes-but Villeneuve’s conviction counts for a lot.”
The Wrap’s Steve Pond opined, “A formidable cinematic accomplishment, a giant mood piece that can be exhilarating in its dark beauty.”
RogerEbert.com’s Glenn Kenny noted, “[Villeneuve], working with amazing technicians including cinematographer Greig Fraser, editor Joe Walker, and production designer Patrice Vermette, manages to walk the thin line between grandeur and pomposity.
Not every review was favourable, however.
The Film Stage’s David Katz wrote in her review, “Denis Villeneuve has surmounted this slew of bad omens, by arguably–in filmmaking terms–making the most impersonal adaptation possible.”
Dune is scheduled to hit theatres on October 22.