As a story, ‘Dune’ has proven to be quite difficult to adapt and translate onto screen. There have been several adaptations (the most notable being David Lynch’s 1984 version) none of which were particularly well received and certainly none of which have lasted the test of time in terms of special effects but also memorability. So, when news hit that Denis Villeneuve was to direct a new version with Timothée Chalamet helming an all-star cast that was to be comprised of big names like Zendaya, Oscar Isaac and Stellan Skarsgård, there were mixed reactions. Some were excited to see the new take on the tale as other feared yet another adaptation that might just not tick the right boxes.

‘Dune’ is set in a space empire spanning many planets. This empire runs on a political system which, not too dissimilar to earth, sees its fair share of corruption and oppression. The film follows the young Paul Atreides (Chalamet), son to the Duke of House Atreides who are the inhabitants of the planet Caladan. The story begins just before House Atreides is about to move from Caladan to the planet Arakis which is renowned to be difficult to inhabit due to its hot climate and desert landscape. The film then follows Paul during the relocation to and settling on Arakis as we see the repercussions of this but as we also see Paul learn more of his importance and of the power he may hold.

One of the most notable things about ‘Dune’ was the amount of storyline they managed to fit in or rather the feeling that they didn’t as well as the impression that there’s still lots more to come. Many went into ‘Dune’ under the impression it was one full and complete storyline, only to find that it was in fact the first part of the story that is to be split into an unknown amount of sections. This was mostly down to the way the film was presented before release, with little things like it being referred to in the trailer as  ‘Dune’ rather than ‘Dune: part one’ which is what appears on the screen at the beginning of the film. This feeling that there’s still much more to come, coupled with expecting a completed storyline, may be the main contributor to the feeling that the whole film acted as one big trailer for a film which we are yet to see. The film felt like it was setting up for the actual story where much more will be revealed, and things of greater importance will begin to happen. And, whilst I’m sure many were frustrated by how little they felt was revealed to us, it does also create a sense of excitement at the concept we still have much to see, with Zendaya closing both the film but also her mere seven minutes screen time with the line “this is only the beginning,” that would have had many bubbling with anticipation at the next chapter in the story.

Denis Villeneuve is well known for his striking cinematography and creating looks for his worlds that are so individual to that world and that story and we see him continue to do this in ‘Dune’. Villeneuve has built up such a distinctive world in his take on ‘Dune’ with everything from the cinematography to the costumes working in tandem to build up an intergalactic world but also one that doesn’t seem too foreign or outer-worldly to the audience and one that has many parallels to our world. All this coupled with the to-the-point scripting helps the potentially confusing and complicated story line become much more accessible to the audience.

In a film with very few flaws, its biggest would be the sound mixing and massive contrast in sound levels. ‘Dune’ has fallen into the trap of making its loudest points too loud but making all the dialogue far too quiet and whispery. The explosions, though there are few, are louder than necessary and some key passages of dialogue are delivered in just above a whisper.

‘Dune’ is good cinema through and through – It’s full of interesting story line, beautiful cinematography, good acting and above all it’s entertaining. I recommend you see it as soon as you can because it’s an adventure not to be missed.