Dune is the first film in this challenge that I had not previously seen and this somewhat excited me as it also a film I have heard a lot about. There are several versions of Dune in circulation (some of them under the name Alan Smithee rather than Lynch) and it took some time to decide which version I should watch. Eventually I decided upon the original theatrical release as this is according to a majority of my sources (not all of them) the only edit in which Lynch himself was involved.

I should also point out before reading that I am not a ‘fan’ of science-fiction and had no previous knowledge of Dune and its universe (other than it was set years in the future) prior to watching the film.

THE PLOT

A young man (Kyle Maclachlan) trains an army of desert warriors and pitches them in battle against the controlling government in an attempt to free their world.

THE GOOD

The special effects in this film where pulled off perfectly particularly for a film made in 1984. The giant worms look incredibly stylistic whilst even the photographic effects look amazing particularly in an early fight scene when two characters are fighting inside giant magical cubes (it sounds stupid and kind of is but looks good).

Cube

The performances of the cast and crew are all very good with Kyle Maclachlan taking the starring role and doing an excellent job in his first collobaration with Lynch. It was also interesting to see a young Patrick Stewart as well as a short-haired ginger Jack Nance.

Nance

The most Lynchian segments of the film come in several dream sequences in which Maclachlan’s character sees across the universe. These sequences make use of symbology to explain what is happening and are rather interesting particularly in showing the magic that exists in the universe.

Sand

THE BAD

Having no knowledge of the characters, locations or story going into the film was something I found a huge problem as right from the outset the audience is thrown into several deep conversations in which places and names are constantly name-dropped. Some of the elements are explained in a voiceover at the start which felt (and was) hastily added, however the majority of the film was spent attempting to figure out who was who and exactly what was going on. This became rather annoying and made the film seem long and tedious, perhaps more so than it was as in reflection there are many action sequences in the midst of the story.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Dune is an interesting film to rate as I feel that if I knew the background of Dune (had read the book) and its characters I would have thoroughly enjoyed the film, as I would not have been so concerned by its mess of a plot.

There is however very little that I could describe as Lynchian in this film and therefore I can only award it two Lycnh’s.

david-lynch david-lynch