“Dune” Is A Great Watch

"Dune" Movie Poster./Warner Bros.
“Dune” Movie Poster./Warner Bros.

By Alexandria Woolfe 

 

Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead.

 

   After a long-anticipated wait, the world finally got to experience Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” With an original release date for Nov. 20, 2020, pandemic filmmaking forced a delay twice: first to Dec. 20, 2020, and then again to this past October.

   The remake of the 1984 cult classic, released both on HBO Max and theaters across the country on Oct. 21, stars Timothée Chalamet playing the lead character, Paul Atreides, and Zendaya as the girl in his visions, Chani.

   “Dune” is a science-fiction film with a coming-of-age storyline about Paul Atreides, a young heir to the next Baron of planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. He is raised by Duke Leto Atreides and his mother, born to the womanhood of witch-like women known as the Bene Gesserit. The Bene Gesserit request that Lady Jessica birth a daughter for the duke who will in the future give birth to a son who will become the Kwisatz Haderach, leader of the Fremen and savior of the world. However, Lady Jessica disobeys the sisterhood out of love for Duke Leto, and in turn, Paul is plagued with visions, alluding to him being “the one.”

  “Dune” is set to be broken into a two-part film event with “Dune: Part Two,” also directed by Villeneuve, arriving in theaters on Oct. 20, 2023. Upon finding this out, it was clear to me that the first part was solely for introductions and world-building.

   You hear the crisis at hand and meet the cruel and current rulers in the world of Arrakis, the Harkonnens and the Fremen, who are the native people to Arrakis. Additionally, you learn the background of Paul and why he is important for not only Duke Leto but to Lady Jessica and the Bene Gesserit.

   A lot of the film’s marketing felt false to me even though I enjoyed the movie. It was advertised that Zendaya’s presence would be extremely prevalent, with her name announced second in credits. Yet, she only had about ten minutes of screen time. While the visions of Chani helped Paul come into his own as the eventual savior, here’s to hoping she will have a more important role in “Dune: Part Two.” 

   The true female lead is Lady Jessica, portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson. Ferguson’s portrayal shines throughout the film as she reveals the history of the Bene Gesserit and prepares Paul to be the Kwisatz Haderach.

   A stand-out moment in the film for me, personally, is the scene after the murder of House Atreides and their armies. Lady Jessica and Paul are being flown away into captivity by Baron Harkonnen’s minions and to free themselves, Paul has to perfect “The Voice.” It stood out to me because of the writing and the authenticity of watching Paul come into his own to save his life and his mother’s.

      Another overall standout factor is the cinematography. The scenes in the sand, where the ships land from Caladan to Arrakis, display wonderful color grading. The vivid oranges, yellows, and blue sky distract the viewer from the progression of the plot as Paul’s life changes as he knows it.

   “Dune” is a great watch for people who love science-fiction but also haven’t seen the 1984 version nor read the novels. The plot and terminology were not hard to follow along, and the ending left audiences hooked with more anticipation for the second part. “Dune” is available on HBO Max until Nov. 21 and is currently in theaters.

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