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The Messy, Misunderstood Glory of David Lynch's Dune


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TBH, I didn't like the article. I understand that it is primarily aimed at the readers who are not familiar with the film (and probably with the book). There's too much emphasis on the comparison with Star Wars (why not with Alien?), nothing about how the screen adaptation differs from book. Also the author seems to actually believe that the film isn't very good, but still tries to find some more or less positive points. In the concluding paragraph the author says almost openly that the film barely managed to accomplish something apart from being "a mess".

This attitude is probably understandable, because Lynch's Dune is not a film for a mass audience in the first place (unlike Star Wars). Another thing is that some of the hardcore Herbert fans rejected it as not being true to the book.

Personally I believe that Lynch's Dune should be taken on its own terms, as an artistic interpretation of the source material, rather than a direct adaptation. Because I didn't have any particular expectations when watching the film I didn't get disappointed by all the discrepancies in it. I have imagined many of the characters differently but the cast is good in my opinion. There are also excellent "deviations" from the book that I liked, especially the way how Guild representatives do not conceal the fact that they control the Emperor, and also their linguistic snobbery, manifesting in the use of a machine interpreter, as the Guildsmen don't even feel the need to speak Galach themselves. I also liked how Lynch imagined Yueh, whose more human side is shown in the scene when he is crying and completely devastated after betraying the Duke. Dean Stockwell also excellently conveyed Yueh's emotions in one of the more moving scenes - both in the book and in the film - when Yueh tells (or rather, is reluctant to tell) Jessica about his wife's fate.

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