Before today I knew next to nothing about Dune. I vaguely remember, when I was very little, a VHS video marked Dune on the family video shelf next to the Disney ones. It was Dad’s: I think he put it on for me and my brother’s once, and I remember finding it scary and not liking it at all. However, a few days ago I came across Mark Kermode’s review of the new Dune adaptation: Kermode seemed so enthusiastic about it, saying it was the type of film which simply has to be viewed in a cinema, that I resolved to go watch it as soon as I could.
Kermode wasn’t wrong by any means. I just got back from my local cinema, and I was simply blown away. Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel is incredible. As I say, I know nothing about the original text, but this is the type of film which really draws you in. I couldn’t help becoming engrossed in the politics and drama of what was going on, even from the start. And, as Kermode says, the film looks incredible, from it’s desert landscapes to it’s huge, majestic space ships. It really felt as if there was a totally new fictional universe before me all of a sudden, waiting for me to explore. I left the cinema thinking ”Giant worms and mechanical insects which people fly around in rule!”
I don’t wan’t to say much more: I want to get on with exploring this fictional universe I just came across, so fresh and enticing. I can’t wait for the next instalment of this trilogy. I will say, though, that now I know where George Lucas got so many of his ideas from, including the idea for the Force. Seriously, watching Dune this afternoon, I could see so much Lucas blatantly ripped off: galactic empires, imperial politics, rebellions, controlling people with your voice. Frankly, Dune makes Star Wars look like a cheap, childish rip-off. What I saw this afternoon was far more engrossing, textured and enticing.