17 September 2021.
The word for this futuristic film is grandiose. It is a blockbuster that is serious and somber, yet incredibly thrilling. You know you have landed in exceptional territory as the music begins to soar and throb, but then who else could move you as well as the multi award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, famous for evocative scores for such films as “Gladiator”, “The Thin Red Line” and “The Lion King”.
This is the complicated story (based on the 1965 science-fiction book by Frank Herbert) of a young nobleman who may be a sort of saviour in a cruel and treacherous universe with a host of outlying planets. His father is a Duke (Oscar Isaacs) and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) is from a line of powerful witches. He and his family are sent to appease a dangerous and hostile planet which is a land of native dwellers in undulating dunes that give off a highly precious spice. The Duke and his son are to bring peace to that land while creating a secure future for their own people. But with many violent factions vying for control of the lucrative spice trade, their task will not to be easy.
With state-of-the-art special effects, breathtaking cinematography, the overpowering score and fine acting by all – especially the fragile but impassioned Timothee Chalamet as the young, at first reluctant, ‘saviour’ – this film transports one to another time and space. The famed Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has managed to keep the intimate moments between the individuals human and intense, and each of the characters completely memorable, including those played by Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem. Unlike the trashy, almost cartoonish David Lynch version of ‘Dune’ from 1984, this adaptation is a momentous metaphor for much that is going on in our troubled world today. Reflect upon that.
With a huge budget of more than 165 million dollars and more of the saga to work out, this is only the beginning, for there is more to divulge in this gripping tale during its second episode. I can see this going proudly to the Oscars in multiple categories.
LES AMOURS D’ANAIS **1/2 (vo French)
Now here is the exact opposite – a little French film about a charming, completely irresponsible young woman who has no boundaries in her life and desires.
Perfectly portrayed by the lovely Anais Demoustier as this irresistible whirlwind of a girl who can’t decide whom she loves or what career will work for her, this film is an amusing breath of fresh air in the typically French style of anything goes in life and love.
POURRIS GÂTÉ * (vo French)
No, you really don’t need to spend your money or time on this so predictable and silly film about terribly spoiled rich offspring who are going to be taught a lesson by their concerned industrialist father, played by Gérard Jugnot.
Pity, it could have been fun with a better script.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.