Warning: This article may contain spoilers to “Dune” (2021)
After a drought of film showings inside an actual theater, movie-going is back. Theaters have had its comeback in Metro Manila, and they’ve cracked it open with a big sandy sci-fi epic: “Dune.”
For the initiated, you’d know the basics: 1) “Dune” is set in a future where noble houses fight over fiefs and magical spice à la interstellar feudalism, and it basically revolves around 15-year-old Paul from House Atreides who could be a messiah—what with his mental powers and all; 2) its original 1965 Frank Herbert novel pretty much shaped space operas and sci-fi to come; 3) it was already made into a film in 1984 written and directed by no less than David Lynch; 4) its history of filmmaking is a bit cursed; and… 5) the new film stars zillennial icons Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya.
But for non-hardcore fans, things might get a li’l confusing, which some critics completely understand. It’s packed with info, the world is rich and complex, and you might hyper-fixate on things like giant sandworms and the universe’s choice of names. At least, that’s the case for folks like me—so, here’s a preview of that thought process.
- Okay, fine, let’s get this out of the way: Black-leathered Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides looks like a mini Kylo Ren. (Which, of course, means I automatically like him.)
- House Harkonnen is what happens if you pile up clones of Darth Vader sans mask and then deprive them of sleep. Also, they can get really big and float.
- Behold, the rich mystic world of “Dune,” made up of grand houses commandeered by characters named “Paul,” “Jessica,” and my personal favorite, “Duncan Idaho.”
- When I say I like villains, I’m specifically talking about the sandworm.
- This is basically World Building: The Movie.
- And somehow, this is also Colonialism: The Movie: It’s the Darn Spices Again.
- Are the sacred trees some of the greatest casualties during the attack on Arrakeen? (Answer: Yes.)
- Uh oh, I’ve gotten too attached to Mr. Idaho over here.
- Will the real, non-vision Zendaya please come out? Because it’s been almost an hour and a half.
- Oh, sweet, the story’s picking up! …Oh, wait, it’s done.
- “This is only the beginning.” Now that’s meta.
Still from “Dune”