Isy Mac’s review published on Letterboxd:
Appreciated some of the Lynchian dashes of surrealism (especially in the dream sequences), and the Toto/Brian Eno score honestly slaps, but in the end this was just excruciating. And utterly incomprehensible. Dune drowns in proper nouns and mind-numbing exposition to the point that I felt like the movie should come pre-packaged with a glossary, or maybe even a walkthrough. I basically had no idea what was going on at any point, though in the film’s (meagre) defence, part of that is thanks to me being bored to tears by what I did understand.
Can’t say I blame David Lynch for refusing to talk about this one!
I don’t have the energy/don’t care enough about the movie to actually write out a proper review beyond this, so here are some of my in-the-moment notes (aka me bitching about being very confused for 2 hours):
- Who are these people?? It’s great that you’re proud of Paul, but who are you again?? Why is his mum the same age as him??
- Very coherent sleep babble from Paul. Usually when I sleep talk it’s more random, stupid and inexplicable (much like this shit storm of a movie lmao)
- Only 30 minutes in but oh wow it feels like it’s been two hours
- The amount of times I’ve said, “What??!!” = too many to count. Far too many.
- So many dramatic internal monologues! All of them having a full-on Hamlet-level soliloquy inside their heads, Jesus Christ.
- Starting to feel like I might not read “Dune” after all, based on this. Not fair to the admittedly legendary source material, sure, but this is BRUTAL
- Messianic narratives (at least, central ones) are honestly only interesting in the ways they subvert the archetype, and Paul as Spice Jesus might be one of the most by-the-book, conventional examples I’ve ever seen
- Look, I’m not usually one to bitch about exposition. But … here I am bitching about exposition. Incoherent telling + characteristically confusing Lynchian showing = I have no idea what’s going on!!
- Am I missing something? Was this made for people with higher IQs than me? Maybe I’m the fool missing out on a masterpiece …
- Kyle McLachlan with the worst of the worst 80s hair, no one will shut the fuck up inside their heads, I want this to end so bad
- I haven’t read the book, but based on these internal monologues I have to assume that “Dune” has a third person omniscient narrator, and this was a choice made in adaptation to preserve the idea of seeing through many eyes and understanding a complex situation from multiple points of view. However, this type of POV is just appallingly out of place in film as a medium – what is fascinating and adding in complexity in a novel becomes frustrating in a movie, disrupting the flow and (at least for me) taking the audience out of the experience completely. Just ‘cause it worked in the book doesn’t mean it’ll work in the movie!
- Well. That was brutal! Thank God it’s finally over, and I never need to see this again – apart from the day a few decades in the future when I’ll inevitably feel bad for hating it and try watching this again, at least.
Anywho. Sorry for the dot point review (generous to call this a review at all), but I’ve been taking a bit of a break from movies this past week or so thanks to some fatigue and catching up on some TV. Suffice to say Dune was not the best choice to get back in the groove!