Science-fiction film, ‘Dune,’ is an intriguing start to the franchise

Aidan Renteria

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Ayaana Pradhan

The film adaption of “Dune” left a positive impact. The storyline was unique and immersed the audience into a science fiction world.

Up to the release of “Dune,” I was not familiar with what this film would be about. I never read the original book by Frank Herbert, so I was going in blind, with no idea what world I was going to get thrown into. I knew many of the cast members from other huge blockbuster films, but the world of “Dune” is so grand, I did not know how well the story would all be pieced together. However, even though Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” only covers a portion of the book, it is an immersive adventure that is unique and beautiful from start to finish. 

“Dune” follows Paul Atreides, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet. Paul is the son of Leto Atreides I who gets thrown into an unknown world after his family has been chosen to take over control of the “spice” trade. Such “spice” is magical dust that is harvested and is key to navigating interstellar travel. During the House of Atriedes’s transition to leaving their home Caladan to Arkakis, Paul was having dreams of a Fremen girl, portrayed by Zendaya, on a desert planet. He has never met such a woman, yet she kept coming to him. Before the house of Atreides colonizes Arrakis, also known as Dune, Paul’s mother Lady Jessica, portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson, makes Paul have the Gom Jabbar test determining whether his awareness was stronger than their instincts. Paul passes, but what does that mean? Leto Atreides I the Duke of the House of Atreides, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, takes his people to Arrakis to begin a new life where they can gain power and wealth through the “spice” of this new world. 

The themes of colonization and greed with a mixture of sci-fi are what “Dune” is all about. The relevant aspects of “Dune,” such as family and power, make it such a powerful story over 50 years after the novel was released. “Dune” has so much deeper meaning within it that you get more as the film goes on. The world of “Dune” gets expanded further the more and more the further the film goes along through the well written dialogue. The audience learns about how the people of this universe are treated. How the houses are formed and what the purpose of “spice” is. “Dune” has a great value of relevant aspects, such as family and power, making it such a powerful story over 50 years after the novel was released.

The cast in this motion picture is something else. The cast is full of A-List actors from Timothée Chalamet, to Oscar Isaac, to Jason Momoa, which also includes a strong female presence with wonderful actresses Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. It is an amazing sight to see all of these actors side by side in scenes. Having such a well known cast with a great performance makes the story being presented more intriguing. They really build on each other when they are on screen together. Each one plays their role to perfection that adds to the story of “Dune.” 

Denis Villeneuve, known for his visually stunning storytelling, makes no exception with his newest film “Dune.” The cinematography is some of the best I have ever seen in any movie. The Gom Jabbar test and first encounter with the sandworm scene especially stand out with the great feat of making them look so good through computer-generated imagery (CGI). The coloring in these beautiful scenes adds that unique style Villeneuve brings to his films. The usage of coloring and CGI truly immerse you into the world of “Dune.” The choreography to the scenes with the vehicles moving in space to the fight scenes are done so well, making “Dune” a standout  film in recent years. Every aspect of the way “Dune” looks is stunning. 

Han Zimmer’s score further immerses the viewer when watching this movie. The unique sounds and themes bring it all together feeling like you are on this journey on Arrakis with the House of Atreides. Although there is no music from any artists (just original sounds), the movie  is not hindered or affected negatively in any way. If anything, it builds on that feeling of being on an unknown planet. 

“Dune” is a great film that established a well-developed universe that will be further expanded on, seen in the opening title saying part one. The impressive world-building and storytelling in this film make it so unique compared to every other film that has been released in recent years. I have not read the original novel by Frank Herbert, but I was blown away. 

Watching this movie made me understand why this book has been so influential and impactful for the last 50 years. The impact it has had on science fiction has influenced timeless stories such as “Star Wars” and “Tremors.” “Dune,” although adapted once before, brings something new to the science fiction scene movies haven’t seen in awhile. It wasn’t all about action, but the plot and world building that I love in movies. Denis Villenueve uses all his film knowledge to construct the powerful story of Paul Atreides. I rate this film an eight and a half out of 10. The overall presentation of this story is so well put together. The music, actors, cinematography, etc. works together to make “Dune” one of the best movies of the year. Every time I talk to someone or watch videos about it, I learn something new about this universe. There is so much the story has not covered, which is why the film ends with a cliffhanger, knowing more will come. I can not wait to see where Denis Villeneuve takes the story next in part two. The journey of Paul Atreides has just begun. What will “Dune” become?