Is Dune the great Sci-Fi movie saga of the new generation?
Updated: Mar 13, 2022
Dune is a book franchise that consists of six books, all released between the years 1965-1985. Acclaimed by many in the sci-fi fans community, this book series is still mostly unknown by the general public. However, its movie adaptation released October 21st of 2021 came to change this narrative.
The movie begins when the family members of the House Atreides, one of the noble houses of the intergalactic Imperium, are assigned by the emperor to take control over the planet of Arrakis, and with all its riches and spice which are extremely valuable for the imperium. But Arrakis is no easy place to live; the whole planet is mostly covered by an enormous desert that holds many secrets and dangers. The main protagonist of the movie is Paul (Timothée Chalamet), a young boy, blessed with political power and influence over the population of the planet, since his father is the duke of the House Atreides, which is one of the most powerful houses in the empire; and also an ancient and mystical power.
The greatest accomplishment of this movie is definitely its worldbuilding. From the moment that the movie starts you are immersed in this new and complex world which involves several planets, a powerful empire and well developed religion; that we can see the inspiration coming from the real world. The director does a great job introducing the audience to the characters and dynamic of the world without an explicit exposition; which makes the experience much more enjoyable.
The conflict of this movie revolves around both the political and religious aspect of the story and the setting of the desert is well developed to create a dangerous atmosphere which makes the conflict much more thrilling to watch, since it always makes the audience wonder if the characters will be able to overcome all the difficulties that are presented to them.
The acting is also one of the movie’s major wins. Thimothée Chalamet does an amazing job giving Paul an elegant yet firm and mature image. And the supporting actors do not fall short in any way: Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Paul's mother, gives us a complex performance that shows clearly the nuances of the character and the talent of the actress. Oscar Isaac also presents a complete performance that allows us to trust and connect with his character from very early in the movie, and Jason Momoa does an incredible job stealing the scene every time he appears on screen. Furthermore, all the other actors only contribute to the narrative helping to create an interesting and complex world. Shoutout to Sharon Duncan-Brewster, who plays the role of Dr. Liet Kynes, and definitely stands out by brilliantly portraying the complex duality of her character.
The cinematography and direction are beautiful, as the director Denis Villeneuve excels when showing the difference between the planets presented in this universe and it is aesthetically pleasing to watch the incredible CGI and 3D animation, because it looks so real that you have to remember that all those images, with the desert and spaceships were made in a computer.
The only criticism that Dune has been getting is regarding its pacing, since, sometimes, the movie might feel a little dragged and slow; this occurs mainly because the protagonist, Paul, often has visions and dreams that interrupt the fast pace of the action scenes. However, this does not erase the fact that Dune creates a great arc with immense potential for the future sequels.
By the end of the film, the audience is left with a feeling of ‘wanting more’ that can definitely be compared to the ending of the first movie of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. This movie is clearly inspired by other huge franchises, such as the intergalactical setting of Star wars and the political and mystical conflict of Game of Thrones; Without ever deviating too much from its original source, which are the books written by Frank Herbert.
Dune is a movie that does a wonderful job in what it intends to do: present the characters and this new world to the audience, while setting up a strong foundation for future sequels that promise to be even better than the first movie. If you are not sure whether you should watch this movie or not, you definitely should take this opportunity to see it in the theaters, because, in a few years, you’ll be able to say that you watched Dune when it was first released; just like some might brag to have watched Star wars, or Lord of the Rings for the first time in movie theaters.