Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Film Review: Dune (2021)

In 10191, the desert planet Arrakis gets colonized when the Emperor assigns the ruler of the ocean planet Caladan, Duke Leto of Atreides to rule Arrakis. As Leto wishes his son Paul to succeed him, their rivals Harkonnens return to claim the land.

Dune is Frank Herbert‘s gift to the sci-fi readers in the literary history that was published more than 50 years ago. It was adapted more than once with time. But Denis Villeneuve‘s one is the highly awaited film with a budget of $165m as a lot of expectations from the sci-fi can be built thanks to a friendly heavy-productional budget that can justify the demands of the true sci-fi content now.

Although this is the first part and we wait for the announcement of its sequel, the 156-minute film held a strong promise to keep its soul pure and close to the book. I haven’t read but in the picture, I must say there was a blend of praiseworthy artistry and sharp criticism at the same time.

Many viewers complained about the film being very slow. It is true but those who have watched Denis Villeneuve’s previous works will understand that it is in his artistry. He keeps the picture slow and grows on the viewers.

I felt that Dune was easily the case of two eggs in the same basket. As much as the first hour maintained the superior quality of sci-fi epic, the second hour visibly began to fade in its pace. As much of the story moved in the first half, the other half took way too many minutes in setting the dust and reaching towards the mark.

The biggest plus of the film is undoubtedly the stunning visuals, the camera work, and the very detailed presentation of the fictional planets. Honestly, the sandworm should not have been revealed in the first trailer. Forget the nomination, the film deserves to win in either VFX or sound recording/mixing. I was expecting a lot from Hans Zimmer but I feel he did just a decent work but not as much worthy as we remember his past scores.

The presence of ensemble casting is another reason for the film’s magnitude of visual presentation. Timothee Chalamet has risen to fame in just four years and at age 25, he is one exceptional talent we will see building his acting career on the advanced level, all depending on the choices he will make while playing his part.

Denis Villeneuve was the right man for this job. If he was not hired, I would have picked Guillermo del Toro for this epic. The wait for the next part begins with the first part’s conclusion. Watching this film is a necessary exercise for the peers and pupils of science fiction.

Ratings: 8/10

Book Review: The Maze Runner (2009)

Although I am not a keen viewer nor do I prefer watching films of the science-fiction genre despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones top the list of my favourite film franchises and TV shows. One day, my brother suggested watching a film of the same genre and that was The Maze Runner which I never heard before. My only piece of knowledge about the film was that Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones, was the part of this film. That wasn’t enough but somehow I made my mind to watch even without any of its stills or a trailer.

It took some time to understand the happenings inside a dystopian state where all young kids are stuck at some place in The Maze called The Glade. The Glade has four large walls and each wall has The Door which opens every morning and closes every evening before the dark. To reveal the mystery and dig the existence of the outside world from those Doors, few of the captives run and return before evening to collect the info. The runners then reveal that there are many creatures towards the path which has appendages such as spikes and shears. Those creatures are called The Grievers.

The last two individuals who arrive at this sorry place are the main characters of the film, Thomas, and Teresa. Together they dig the mystery how they ended here and what is the reason behind dropping at this place. Later on, they discover the purpose that all the individuals in The Maze are kept on trials to survive this place.

The fittest will survive and return back to The Creators who sent them on trials in The Maze. The Creators are a group of agents of the organisation called WICKED (World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department). This organisation was formed to find the cure for The Flare, a virus that eats away the brain of the human and turns them into cannibals. The humans who suffer this disease are called The Cranks.

As a viewer, I found the plot of the film very interesting enough to make my mind to read the book with the same title. And when I read, I found a lot of changes but those changes were made in the film for dramatic impact which often happens with almost every book-inspired film.

The book, written by James Dashner, obviously is more open to defining the major characters and the places mentioned. What is more of an interest is how the pages are making Thomas build for a certain cause. How he is grabbing the attention of everyone in the book is very natural. Teresa has a more onscreen appearance in the film as compared to the book as she is in a coma for more than half of the reading since her arrival in The Maze. Also, both Thomas and Teresa are telepathic in the book. Why not in the film? Well, I believe it does make sense.

The best thing about reading a novel is that the reader visits the universe of the author whose subconscious mind creates a powerful fictional story. When I was reading, I felt the existence of Thomas passing through The Doors of The Walls and facing The Grievers and that is the beauty of writing a novel that sends the reader to the universe of those pages.

One factor what I certainly liked about James’ creativity of the plot was the brain behind the construction of the maze and the purpose of sending humans. That is very very human and close to reality. James re-wrote the concept of evolution and theory of survival under his creativity. We all humans are sent to earth for some reason. Our brain doesn’t develop in the earlier phase but with time, it grows and we even memorise some portions of our earliest of living phase. And we have to survive. God send us humans on trials, we are put to test. God is The Creator, I am Thomas, the rest are fellow Gladers, my partner in crime is Teresa, my obstacles are The Grievers, and Satan is The Flare. Marvellous job James!

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