Dune Movie Review


Anna Ferranti '24, Writer

Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve, came out on October 22, 2021. The movie generated a lot of press prior to release due to its star studded cast, including Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Jessica Chastain. Many were anxiously awaiting the release, even reading the 412 page novel that was the source material for the movie. However, once it came out, there were many mixed reactions. Some thought Dune was too long, too confusing, or too boring. Others enthusiastically praised it, even calling it the new Star Wars.

Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, the young son of his father, Leto. Leto is the head of House Atreides, one of the main houses of the universe. The story is kicked into action when the Atreides family is asked to take up residence on the planet of Dune, or Arrakis. Dune is the home of a profitable spice that is highly valuable due to its addictive properties and the fact that it helps power space travel. However, House Atreides moving to Dune replaces the previous house that lived there, House Harkonnens, a notoriously violent house. This triggers a series of events between House Atreides, House Harkonnens, and the Fremen, the people native to Dune.

The soundtrack to the movie was easily a standout after watching; it was powerful and nearly deafening at points. One of the most widely talked about moments from the soundtrack was the House Atreides theme, which employs the use of bagpipes. Many wouldn’t consider bagpipes conducive to space travel, but Dune finds a way to make it seem cool. There were echoes of screaming women used in the background of many scenes that added an edge of darkness to the movie and gave it a raw feeling. Hans Zimmer, who made the soundtrack, made it feel more like an experience than a movie.

Another standout from Dune was the visual effects. The entire movie was visually stunning and created a massive scope to emphasize the gravity of certain scenes. The giant sandworms on Arrakis had a terrifying effect because of the sheer size of them. The landscape shots were not only hugely expansive but were very appealing to look at. The whole movie was a treat for the eyes.

Dune was confusing to some audiences because of the complexity of the plot and the context needed to understand it. Looking up basic plot summaries or reading the book prior to watching the movie was necessary in some instances to fully understand the world and the story. However, the filmmaking, cinematography, and sound effects were all masterful displays of art that made a statement. Even if there was no plot or dialogue, you could still walk out of the theater feeling impressed by the artistry of the film.