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Dune 2021 Part 1 Review

by Hawke published Oct 23, 2021 08:55 AM, last modified Nov 06, 2021 04:35 PM
As the promos states, "a visually stunning" adaptation by Denis Villeneuve, it is very visually epic, though consistently weirdly much darker in visual tone without respite. No internal monologue. Unfortunately it appears to have apparently been written, directed, edited, and produced by people with no understanding of the Dune books, plot, politics, history, internal physics, setting, or apparently even the English language. Unfortunately all of the acting, even from the actors with historically good acting, was weak, wooden, and mostly monotone. And for canon-lovers, beware, your head will explode. :) Also really broken sound mix.

Unfortunately the 2021 Dune movie (part 1) appears to have been created by people that only read a bullet list of characters and events, or at most a readers' digest version. They show the characters and many of the key events, but the script writing clearly illustrates a completely lack of understanding of the books, and indeed the English language.

If you set your expectations low enough, you will be able to get through this film without feeling like a complete waste of time (and money), but Dune canon-lovers beware! If you cannot set aside gross canon issues, your head will explode. This would be redeemable as artistic license if it had internal consistency, decent acting, comprehension of the English language in the script writing, and wasn't quite to relentlessly dark all the time.

Even the soundtrack is lackluster. Hans Zimmer usually does a great job, but here the soundtrack is monotonous, fits the unrelenting darkness of the visuals, and overall musically uninspired.

There is so much more, but those are the highlights.



Now for the Pagentry of Pendantry


This section I'm reserving to fill in the issues with the English language and other specifics of the film that really stood out, albeit some of it may be rather pedantic to some.


Lack of Comprehension of the English Language



The Definitive Article - Shadout  Mapes - Important Title Not Name

From new 2021 Dune Movie: 
[Thufir] "Candidates for a housekeeper, my lady."
[Jessica] looking over a single row of women. "What is your name?"
[Shadout Mapes] "Shadout Mapes, my lady."
[Lady Jessica] "The rest of you may go. Thank you."... "Shadout. It's an old Chakobsa word. 'Well-dipper.; You're a Fremen."...



From Dune the Book: "Anyone  who hates Harkonnens. You may even want to keep the head housekeeper: the Shadout Mapes."

"Shadout," Jessica said. "A Fremen title?"
"I'm told it means 'well-dipper,' a meaning with rather important overtones here."...
The woman gave a stiff-necked nod, said: "I am called the Shadout Mapes, Noble Born. What are your orders?"
"You may refer to me as 'my Lady,'"  Jessica said. "I'm not noble born. I'm the bound concubine of the Duke Leto."
"My husband told me of your title, Shadout," Jessica said. "I recognized that word. it's a very ancient word."
1984 Movie: [Paul] "Who are you?"
[Shadout] "I am the Shadout Mapes, the housekeeper."
2000 Miniseries [Thufir[ "The Shadout Mapes, My lady. Head of household staff"
Notice that the book, 1984 movie, and 2000 Syfy miniseries all use the definite article "the" in front of Shadout Mapes" indicating a title name not an individual's name.
Only the 2021 movie seems to be completely ignorant of this important linguistic distinction, and indeed the importance of the title and its many nuances implied for those residing on Arrakis. Instead the 2021 movie treats it as a person's actual name.
In fact the whole scene appears to indicate complete ignorance about the role, the character, the culture, the setting, the scene, the English language and more. <sigh>
Perhaps it just another sign of the globally lowering IQ of the past several decades:  which appears to be further exacerbated in the tech industry:
Anyhow, there is your dose of pedantry for today. Though maybe not just a small detailed pedantry after all, considering the huge significance indicated in understanding Dune, and indeed just the English language ("the"), versus cluelessness. :)



 Mentat's and red-stained lips... (versus 2021 "tatoo?").


Complete lack of internal monologue.


Jessica's lack of bearing, and too out of control of her emotions for Benegeserit trained.


The Duke's death scene and the Baron.


The Harkonnen's made into pale orc-looking creatures.


long list to be added when I have time...






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