‘Dune’ didn’t disappoint: characterization, plot and effects all stand out


Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Dune” was released Oct. 22, 2021, and is now available on HBO Max. The sci-fi movie was delayed for a year.

The newly released sci-fi movie “Dune” has finally hit theaters and HBO Max after being delayed for the past year. Based on the 1965 science fiction novel by the same name, “Dune” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, with screenplay written by Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth. The cast is star-studded with a plethora of notable actors and actresses — including Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Issac, Stellan Skarsgård and Zendaya.

“Dune” is set in the year 10191 in a different galaxy. The story revolves around the royal Atreides household, mainly Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Paul is the heir to the family and son to Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Issac) and Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebbeca Ferguson). Paul is a remarkable and talented individual who has special abilities given to him by his mother, Lady Jessica, who belongs to a group of so-called witches.

Duke Leto Atreides is set to lead a voyage to the planet of Arrakis to obtain the galaxy’s most valuable asset, called “Spice.” The spice gives people special powers that are desired by all. However, this voyage does not go without conflict, as Arrakis is a dangerous, desert-covered planet occupied by giant sandworms and the Harkonnen.

The sandworms in this film were truly incredible to see. Massive in size, they were truly a disruptive force within the film, moving around massive amounts of sand with ease. It was a viewing experience unlike anything else.

The Harkonnen household are the antagonists of the film. These people are evil, pale, grotesque and murderous individuals. I immediately disliked these characters as they had an aura of darkness surrounding them from the start. They go to great lengths to establish their dominance over the people of Arrakis and the spice bestowed upon the planet. So when word comes that the Atreides family are coming to take over the earth, the Harkonnens devise a plan to eliminate them. This family immediately reminded me of your typical power-hungry leader who is terrified to fall to the forces of good.

Sci-fi films have never been my go-to choice for movies, but this film changed my perspective. The visual and auditory aspects of this film are simply remarkable. “Dune” portrays intense sand storms, massive explosions, alien-like spaceships and skillful fighting scenes that will keep audiences intrigued throughout. In addition, the characters always wear innovative wardrobe designs — especially the soldiers who wear armored suits that look something out of the video game. The musical components, which only intensify the scenes they are used in, sound similar to religious and sacred music that audiences might commonly hear in a church.

A prominent theme throughout the film is the character and leadership development of Paul Atreides. While Paul is the heir of the family, he is also inexperienced in battle. Paul has no desire to be the leader of the family. His father, Duke Leto, recognizes and states a memorable quote: “A great man doesn’t seek to lead. He is called to it, and he answers.” We see Paul, who was once a sheltered and naive young man, turn into the person he was destined to be. It was refreshing to see Paul’s character development throughout this film. I have always loved films such as “Dune” that show characters overcoming fear to reach their true potential.

There are also many other notable aspects of characters that are represented throughout “Dune.” Themes of courage, honor, sacrifice, betrayal and destiny make the film’s impact even more significant.

“Dune” is a two-part story, and the film ends in the middle of the plotline. I look forward to seeing how the entire story pans out.