DUNE (2021) 🤩

This is just the beginning

I had high hopes for DUNE. I read the book two years ago – I had just caught up with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE after GAME OF THRONES ended, and I was looking for my next fantasy read. I’d known about DUNE for a while; my mom had read it years before after it was recommended in a topical list about drought-related books. The book itself is excellent and influential – aside from the intricate world-building, DUNE has political elements, drama, romance, fictional histories, and more. Besides my love of the book, Denis Villeneuve has done some fantastic movies in the past decade – ARRIVAL, SICARIO, and BLADE RUNNER 2045 were all amazing to watch (Note: I still haven’t seen PRISONERS, but it’s on my list).

All that said, DUNE fully lived up to my expectations. I sat in awe in the theater. First and foremost, it’s a beautiful movie visually. The scenes of Arrakis, the overhead shots of the titular dunes, and the locations of Caladan and Salusa Secundus. The film is set in a distant feudal future, and the props and sets used melded the two worlds. Most of all, on a personal level, so many shots and scenes seem like Villeneuve ripped them from my imagination. That’s partly thanks to Frank Herbert’s source material, but it was translated so well to the film. The casting was also great – you can see Timothee Chalamet’s portrayal of Paul Atreides morph throughout the movie from his body language and intonation.

Overall, I loved the movie, but I do think it has its pitfalls. Most obviously is that the film is Part One of Two, and it feels like it. There’s an anticlimactic element to it, but that makes sense given that the climax of DUNE hasn’t happened yet. The only other problem I have is that not much is explained – I don’t know if that would make it a better movie, but the DUNE universe is so perfectly complex and well thought out that it was a bit of a bummer not being able to see some of the world-building make it to the big screen.

All in all, DUNE feels like epic science fiction at its best. So here’s hoping that DUNE will turn into what LORD OF THE RINGS was 20 years ago.

DUNE is now available in theaters and on HBO Max.

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking).

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