Dune Review

Conner Garrity, Staff Writer

After years of development and delays due to COVID-19, the grand sci-fi epic “Dune” has finally been released in Theatres and HBO MAX. The film was directed by Denis Villeneuve, famous for his work on “Blade Runner 2049”, “Arrival”, and “Sicario”, and stars Timothee Chalamet as the lead Paul Atreides. The plot follows him as his family goes to a desert planet with a valuable resource known as “Spice”, but certain events transpire that force Paul into conflict when an enemy family returns to acquire the Spice as well.

For starters, the story is well written and very true to the original story. Villeneuve pays respect to the source material and remains true to Frank Herbert’s original story. The roster of characters is large and the actors they brought on are all well known. Aside from Chalamet as the lead, there is Rebecca Ferguson as Paul’s mother Lady Jessica, Oscar Isaac as his father, Leto Atreides, and a small but stand-out performance by Jason Momoa, and Duncan Idaho, who acts as a big brother to Chalamet’s Paul. Even though she was on the poster and in the advertisements, the famous actress Zendaya’s role is very minuscule in the first half of the story and her character won’t become a lead until the sequel. The main antagonist for this film is Baron Harkonnen, played by Stellan Skarsgard, who has great presence every time he is on screen. Even though some of their performances may be minor, all leave their mark in the two and half-hour-long run time. 

The film is visually pleasing and from the opening shot, we get a sense of scale from the ever-looming threat of the antagonistic threat in the film. The most stand-out shots of the film are when our heroes encounter the infamous sandworms, and they are a sight to behold. Cinematographer Greig Fraser shot this film beautifully and helped capture a sense of size and scale throughout the duration of the movie.  

The original story written by Frank Herbert was a popular novel when it was originally released, and the film either had to cut a lot out or split the story in two. Villeneuve took the smart approach and split the story in two, with the film ending about halfway through the second act. While this might be an issue for some, those who are eager to see more will have to wait until Oct. 2023 for the second half.

In summary, the film begins to tell an epic and grand story about royalty, family, politics, and destiny. With solid performances all around from the actors and actresses and amazing work behind the scenes to have everything come together, the film tells an interesting tale while building to something larger. The film has earned itself four out of five stars.