Dune is Well-Done, but Underwhelming


Dune (2021) is a movie with prospects almost as incessant as the rolling hills of golden sand are in the movie. It gained more that 40 million dollars at the box office on opening weekend, and quickly became the most talked about movie of the week. Only a week later, the cast announced that it would be getting a sequel.

The movie does vary from the book in a few notable ways. There was less description of Paul Atreidie’s philosophies in the movie, which is understandable considering how difficult it is to fit every detail of a classic novel into a two and a half hour movie. To the film’s credit, they did pay tribute to Paul and his mother’s mantra in the book by including it in a few scenes: ‘fear is the mind killer,’ although this theme gets considerably less screen time than its counterpart gives it. The idea of Paul’s father, Leto, being paranoid about a traitor is also less explored in the film; while in the book he even suspected his own wife, Paul’s mother. Some scenes that were less important to the story were also left out, such as the garden inside the Arrakis palace, although the movie again pays homage to this forgotten detail.

Now for the movie itself. For all of the publicity it garnered during the big premiere, it was a bit underwhelming. The ending felt unfinished, mainly because it only went halfway through the book. The main climax of the movie happened mid-way through, and was largely left unresolved, which made the ending feel abrupt. Also, during the advertising Zendaya (who played Chani) was marketed as a main character in the film but in reality only got about five minutes total of screen time.

Despite these faults, the special effects were fantastically done. There were several breathtaking scenes in the desert, filmed in Jordan, and a battle scene at the Castle of Arrakis was well shot. There were many A-list celebrities in this movie, such as Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, and Jason Momoa. They all did well in their roles, personifying the characters they were given.

If you like the sci-fi/ dystopian genre Dune would be a good watch, but it might leave you wishing there was more.