By Ariana Meyer and Riley Koenig
Thrilling sci-fi movies are something of a vast genre, but Dune makes a statement in its new 2021 adaption. Starring the young and record breaking actor Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Dune creates a platform for a beautiful performance delivered by countless other award winning actors. The legend Oscar Issac co-stars as Duke Leto, a fundamental supporting character to the story. Dune had high expectations placed on its shoulders as a fresh adaptation to a classic tale and proceeded to surpass expectations. They did a great job at bringing to life what we had all imagined for so long.
As many people know, the movie Dune is the second film adaptation of the award winning, 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. Dune is considered to be a landmark of science fiction, because it was one of the first science fiction books that successfully discussed the politics and actions of its fantasy world, instead of focusing on advanced technology, aliens, and galaxies, though it did have a bit of that as well. This was something new and radical in the 1960’s. Frank Herbert did a wonderful job at creating a futuristic fantasy world with an entertaining story that was interwoven with real world problems and important themes. This book has been more popular amongst the older population, but recently has gotten more attention following the new movie adaptation. Now, a younger audience has gotten interested in reading the book and it has expanded its popularity.
After the movie was announced we quickly dove into reading the book. As movie lovers ourselves, we know that the only true way to enjoy a book-based movie is to read the book first. We think that the movie beautifully presented the true tale of the book, and it was something we never expected we’d love.
The book is separated into three parts; Dune, Muad’dib, and The Prophet. The movie is only the first part of the book, Dune. It has already been announced that Dune: Pt II is set to come out in 2023, but it is unknown if the movies will become a trilogy, or perhaps even more. Because the book was so long, it had more time to explain Herbert’s complex fantasy world as well as introduce characters. Because of that, the movie had to cut some of the story short in order to include the most important features of it. It ultimately did not have time to delve deep into some of the personalities and depth of some of the characters that the book had explained. However, one of the most iconic lines from the book made it into this movie, which many people thought was an amazing touch. It exemplified the movie’s message by adding Frank Herbert’s wise and lyrical words verbatim,
“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see it’s path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Though the entirety of the quote wasn’t completely said during the movie, the writers and director made a wise choice in letting the actors interpret and repeat the words of the legendary Frank Herbert himself. We have both read Dune, and highly recommend you read it too. Especially if you are planning on watching the movie.
The cast list for this movie was one to remember. Names ranged from A-list to up-and-coming actors. With these experienced and loved actors, this movie truly delivered in terms of acting. They made a sci-fi movie feel like a major emotional journey. Some of the most memorable performances were from Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isacc, Zendaya, Jason Mamoa, Josh Brolin, and, of course, Timothée Chalamet. The acting was breathtaking and continuously kept us on the edge of our seats. This movie in particular was a truly spectacular performance by the main actor, Timothée Chalamet. We were astounded by the amount of talent in such a young person. During the limited time that Zendaya appeared, she showed us that she is continuously an extraordinary actress and portrays her emotions to the deepest level.
The movie goes deeper than that, and has many important faces that aren’t featured on screen. Hans Zimmer has released, yet again, a fantastic soundtrack. Following the worldwide success of his “Interstellar” soundtrack, his familiar style is a refreshing difference from the common music we hear in most movies today. The deep notes, as well as the extraordinary vocals we hear throughout the movie convey the deeper cultural aspect of the story. The CGI in this movie as well has improved greatly since the 1984 version of Dune. A notable part of this is the great sandworms who are a deadly enemy of Arrakis’ inhabitants. The advanced technology brings these beasts to life and exposes how truly large and terrifying they are. The excellent CGI really makes you think about how we as a society have progressed majorly from a technological standpoint. Another perspective that was added to the movie was the extraordinary costumes. The small details from the book really came together in the movie. The “stillsuits” that they wore when journeying through the desert tied in the earthy and warm tones of the movie, and the craftsmanship was amazing. It felt like the outfits were truly from another planet.
Although this movie has a lot of fantastic components, with every good thing there comes some bad ones. Zendaya is an amazing actress, and we felt that the movie would have been better if they utilized her more, or at least didn’t dupe everyone with the amazing trailer, pretending she would be a major character. On the released movie poster advertising Dune, Zendaya’s face is fairly large, even bigger than people who have more screen time than she does, as she is in this movie for only seven of the ninety-five minutes. We also believe the movie ended extremely abruptly, preparing for Dune, Part II. It would’ve made all the difference if they left the movie on a part that completes the movie as a whole, rather than ending on a semi-cliffhanger to force audiences into wanting to see the next one. They could’ve done that many other ways, and not just ended the movie with an empty ending. Not to mention that the second movie will not be released until 2023. However with the second part of the movie there are many things to look forward to including Zendaya becoming a more major character.
Some viewers decided that the movie was too “confusing” for them, and they didn’t quite understand it. Although Dune is a complex and intricate series, as long as you take note of important events and find the deeper meanings, it truly is a positive experience. Some complained that they didn’t want to read the books before seeing the movie. We thought it was very helpful to read it before viewing, but not completely necessary if you would have preferred. Despite these critiques, Dune was a beautiful and awe-inspiring movie. This movie has become so successful that the movie even inspired a pair of Fortnite characters. It was, by far, the best and most accurate film adaptation of Dune, and our favorite new movie of 2021. The acting was incredible, and the effects were terrific. We hope to see Dune: Part II yield the same results, if not even better.