Film Review: Dune (2021)


Hannah Gebert

The newest sci-fi hit is out. Dune 2021 offers a vast world to get lost in. It should be said that Dune originated as a space sci-fi novel written in 1965, and people who fell in love with the deep lore of the book have been striving to make a worthy film ever since. 


The movie begins with our main character, Paul,  dreaming of a desert planet before waking up to his secluded life as the son of a ruling class man. It is introduced in the next few minutes that Paul and his mother possess at least one superhuman ability, which Paul has yet to hone. The main conflict swoops in when Paul’s family is sent to govern the underdeveloped desert planet Arrakis, in order to cultivate spice, a precious natural resource. Every part of the movie refers to “houses’ ‘; ruling class families and their species, it is important to keep track of the humanoid species like the Harkenen, who make up a brutal center to an empire. Dune comes, unsurprisingly, with a consuming desert, industrial, and larger-than-life aesthetic. If that sounds familiar, you wouldn’t be wrong, but don’t be too quick to judge.  


Dune is plot-heavy and filled with small details, even though many of the overarching ideas (i.e. space flight, industrial-looking technology, hierarchy-) are not new.  However, the world of Dune is still unique. Dune is darker, more somber than its closest comparison, Star Wars, and features more defined superhuman abilities than ‘the force’. Dune also has recognizable ties to earth’s world cultures rather than embedding smaller, less noticeable references. 


The technical design of Dune was incredible. The sound was top tier, featuring clear whispers, loud but undisturbing rumbles, and different sounds based on character viewpoints. The CGI was some of the clearest detail I have seen in recent years and flowed well with the characters and real backgrounds. In terms of adaptive writing, our main character Paul, unlike many action movies, has a toned personality by the end of the movie and draws in questions as to what he will do next. Paul’s actor, Timothee Chalamet, begins the story by showing us little character definition, but later in more emotional scenes he truly shines. The other actors also brought out the harsh tone even though there were relatively few major characters to focus on. Overall, the cinematics and writing were on point for a modern movie. 


If you are thinking of seeing Dune, go for it, out of all the releases so far this year, I would easily choose Dune. Dune is for anyone searching for their next Sci-fi fix and demonstrates what a 2021 release should look like. Dune is set up to become a series and is available on HBOMax as well as in theatres. Please leave a comment and tell us what you think of the movie, or what movies you are looking forward to!