Dune Review

Audrey White, Sandscript Author

     A science fiction tale of political intrigue and a hunt for a spice has led to the epic unfolding of Dune.

       Dune, a story based off of Frank Herbert’s novel published in 1965, is about a young man named Paul Atreides who is the son of Duke Leto Atreides I. Paul travels to a desert planet called Arrakis, which is inhabited by a race of people called “Fremens” whose defining feature is blue eyes, to overlook the collection of a priced spice, Melange. 

     Prior to watching Dune, I did not have any knowledge of the story, so seeing this brilliant world with fresh eyes was refreshing but also mysterious. Though the movie’s run time is a grand total of 2 hours and 35 minutes, I felt immersed in the sense that everything happening was new and adventurous. After the movie ended, I was mildly distressed because I craved to know more of this fantastical universe. Because of my curiosity, I have begun to read the first book of the Dune series.

     The film had a gentle way of easing viewers into the engrossing and complex world. In my opinion, Dune holds the depth and visual beauty that is seen in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Dune is one of the greater films of our time because it is a saga of originality and intricacy.

     It is my hope that a series of films will be made to further the Dune storyline. I expect that this film will ignite a significant change in pop culture and will create a lasting impact of sci-fi entertainment. I was in absolute awe of the aesthetics and visuals that Dune produced. Shimmering golds and muted beiges supported the desert-landscape of the planet Arrakis. Dune is an artistic and attractive motion picture.

     I enjoyed the take on expressing certain cultural and linguistic traits in Dune which I did not anticipate. The music composed by Hans Zimmer is so expressive, but also haunting. A female vocalization sung throughout the film is reminiscent of eastern music which added a fierceness and vigor to the events. I admired the use of American Sign Language and Mandarin Chinese in the film, including several terms used in the movie which have roots in different languages.

   As much as I enjoyed this film, Dune felt somewhat incomplete and unfinished. Understandably so, as the Dune book series stretches over 15 books! The film progresses slowly for viewers to grasp what is occurring on screen amidst political tension and conflict. I did not feel much of a connection to the characters, though I feel that as the story unfolds over time in other films, a better understanding and connection will form.

     I think that Dune would be best produced as a mini-series similar to the Netflix series Dark Crystal. I think that by using a mini-series for a broad plot, more information can be covered and more world-building can be explored in manageable chunks.

     Notable actors who starred in Dune include: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, and Stellan Skarsgård. The acting in Dune was introspective and convincing. The acting played in the movie’s overall solemn tone.

     It was a great pleasure of mine viewing this film: the visuals were simply touching and the story is compelling.  I would give this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only reason I did not give this film 5 stars is because I felt that the story left a lot of information out, but also did not fully confirm the release of a sequel. For those interested in viewing the film, Dune is available to watch in theaters or on HBO Max.