Dune Movie Scratches the Itch but Still Falls Short

Dune Movie Scratches the Itch but Still Falls Short

Based on the 800-page novel by Frank Herbert, “Dune” has recently been released on HBO Max and theaters around the world on Oct. 22. This is the second movie adaptation of the 1965 bestselling novel.

“Dune” follows Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalamet, and his family as they are sent to Arrakis to rule over the planet after its previous rulers, the Harkonnens, are sent away by the emperor. Arrakis is a dangerous desert, populated by the blue-eyed Fremin people and killer, massive sand worms that devour anything that makes a rhythm in the sand. Arrakis is a very important planet since they have spice, which is very valuable and brings power to whoever rules over it. 

The movie contained many great homages to classic sci-fi movies.. It’s a futuristic science fiction where there is the prophecy of “Muad-Lib”, or the chosen one, a witch-like aspect with Bene Gesserits, and even a Star Wars-esque factor with “The Voice” acting the same way as the Force in Star Wars. 

I believe the casting was pretty good due to the inclusion of some very recognizable people like Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa. The casting could’ve been better in some ways, especially with Timothee Chalamet and his mother, played by Rebecca Ferguson. While Ferguson’s acting was captivating, I believe they could’ve casted another person that could’ve portrayed the original character’s strength and power as a Bene Gesserit, while also wife of a ruler and mother of the “Muad-Lib”, better. While Chalamet is a very competent actor, Paul Atreides is supposed to be a 15-year old heir to the throne of Atreides and I think Chalamet looked a little too old to play a 15-year old boy. 

One major issue among the audience is the way they advertised the movie. Zendaya plays Chani, a powerful Fremin warrior. Zendaya was seen alongside Chalamet in a lot of the previews and commercials for the movie. But she only has about 15 minutes of actual screen time in the 2 hour and 35 minute movie. A lot of the audience was upset that she got such little screen time when she was in a lot of the promotion of the movie. 

Overall, the movie is really good. The ending seemed a little abrupt but I suppose this makes sense since this movie only covers half of the book. A sequel has already been confirmed and would mean an answer for all of the questions that weren’t answered in this one, which was most of them, and more screen time for Zendaya. Many are hopeful for the next installment of the Dune series and look forward to finding out if Paul Atreides is actually “Muad-Lib” and if he can successfully lead the Atreides people against the fierce Harkonnens.