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Movie Review: “Dune”

By Dhruv Anish Dec. 8, 2021

Rating: (5/5) Pros: excellent production design, masterful score. Cons: complicated narrative.

The film opens with a black screen, the throat gurgling noise of the menacing Sardukar reverberating over the drone of Hans Zimmer’s masterful score. This premiere is an introduction to the world of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” a visionary film with its expansive set pieces and ornately designed costumes creating a rich and immersive atmosphere.

Based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel of the same name, “Dune” stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul, the heir to the Atreides empire and the prophesied “Kwisatz Haderach,” or the all-knowing being that can travel through memories, space and time. Still young, Paul has not yet unlocked his full powers; he trains with his mother, a member of the superhuman sisterhood “Bene Gesserits” and played by Rebecca Ferguson, and weapons master Gurney Halleck, played by Josh Brolin. The plot follows Paul and the House of Atreides as they feud with the rival Harkonnen family in their search to uncover spice deposits—the key to intergalactic travel.

Villeneuve refuses to waste time providing the audience with exposition, untangling the complexity of the plot as the story continues.

Story-wise, the movie spares no effort in complexity. Villeneuve refuses to waste time providing the audience with exposition, untangling the complexity of the plot as the story continues. While this may be disorienting for some viewers, Villeneuve’s use of showing rather than telling managed to entertain audiences already familiar with the “Dune” franchise and slowly guide new viewers into the world through subtle visual cues and referential dialogue. The visuals in “Dune” are breathtaking, with each shot making the viewer feel the film’s massive scale and appreciate the ornate set and costume designs. The score and sound design of the film are also stellar; Hans Zimmer’s intense and powerful soundtrack amplifies the gorgeous cinematography from Greig Fraser. Performances from the cast were exceptional, most notably Stellan Skarsgård as the menacing Baron Harkonnen and Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides. The plot is further layered with intricate storylines that reveal necessary plot points and character insights, all assembling to narrate Paul’s quest to fulfill his destiny. Despite the two-and-a-half-hour runtime, “Dune” seemed to fly by due to excellent pacing and an ending that left me wanting more.

Combining an engaging plot and rich performances with impressive technical aspects, “Dune” is one of the best films of 2021, leaving viewers in anticipation of its sequel.


About the Contributor

Dhruv Anish

Staff Writer

Dhruv Anish is a senior at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. He likes to watch movies and listen to music in his spare time. His favorite actor is Robert Deniro and his favorite movie is The Godfather: Part 2.

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