Fifth about The Seventh

Dune: Part One

Dune: Part One: Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the science-fiction classic doesn’t cover the whole journey of the protagonist, and even if that is a known quantity going in, it can be a bit frustrating. However, what this film does, and does so superbly, is world-building. The universe is filled with opposing factions, operating in the shadows, of political and religious natures; it is a rich and appealing universe. Also helping a lot are the aesthetics: the structures are cavernous and enormous, the vehicles are different from the usual sci-fi visual tropes, the technology is palpably old-school. So, kudos to the artisans (production designer Patrice Vermette, costume designers Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan) and to the choice of locations, all beautifully captured by cinematographer Greig Fraser. It is a very fine (and large) cast at work: Timothée Chalamet seems the perfect choice to play the unlikely hero, a moody and broody kid, and he gives a fine performance; Rebecca Ferguson is quite good as his mother, a woman with much under the surface; likewise Oscar Isaac, as his noble father. Composer Hans Zimmer presents a musical score that is far from bombastic, instead resembling more religious music, which is an interesting choice that matches the story quite well. In spite of the large size of everything, the action is limited and small-scale, a welcome decision.

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