Daniel Stipanovic ’25
Movies nowadays have a bad habit of extending their runtime in an attempt to capture the aesthetic of depth. Dune, however, is long but for a good reason. It takes its time to introduce the world and focuses on story and character development, rather than chocking the movie full of baseless action scenes or unnecessary plot devices. This focus on worldbuilding helps to set the stage for the upcoming sequel, as the movie does not necessarily. Dune is based on the book written by Frank Herbert of the same name, which is widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi books ever written.
Dune is about a young boy named Paul Atriedes, played by Timothée Chalamet. He is of Royal descent from the ancient house of Atriedes. The Emperor gives the Atriedes family dominion over a spice-rich but dangerous desert planet named Arrakis. “The spice” is a useful substance needed to navigate through space. Paul, his father (Oscar Isaac), and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) must endure the political struggles of managing the planet while also protecting themselves from other Houses which seek to usurp them.
Dune pays careful attention to include details that add to the world building and story development. For instance, on the desert plains of Arrakis where it is hot, people wear still suits. Still suits filter water emitted from the wearer so that it can be consumed and keep the individual hydrated. This detail adds to the portrayal of Arrakis as a desert where water is sparse, and helps immerse the audience in this universe, making it feel real and lived in.
Another strength of the movie is its cast. Dune stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård and Dave Bautista. This cast is full of popular and sought-after actors, but manages to cast accurately to the book, with the actors all fitting well in their roles.
When I sat down to watch Dune, I was worried that the film was going to be akin to the Percy Jackson films, where the books were good, but the movie does not maintain the same level of quality. As a fanatic of the original book, I had high expectations. Dune surpassed these expectations while not veering too far from the source material. For me, the original books will always be better than the movie because they provide more detail and contribute to more character development and world building, this due to the movie being constrained by a time limit and lack of easy exposition due to the restraints of the art form.
I personally loved Dune, and I am excited for Dune: Part 2 and other TV shows that are being planned in the Dune universe.
Photo Credit: IMDb