A short review of Dune (2021)

The most anticipated sci-fi movie of 2021, Dune, is finally out in the theatres and will soon hit the global market. After being postponed so many times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the movie finally got its release date and is also being released on HBO Max. So what is special about this movie? Why is the movie getting so much hype? Today we bring you a short review of the biggest sci-fi movie of the year, Dune.

Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve, who is known for directing other successful and critically acclaimed movies like Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049, Sicario, Arrival, etc, brings the most amazing and mesmerizing world of Dune, which is truly like the elixir for eyes. Based on the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, Dune is set in the future and explores the world of Arrakis, a harsh desert planet.

The movie stars an ensemble cast that consists of Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, etc.

Let us see the plot of the movie. We warn you that there are spoilers ahead, so if you are not comfortable, you may leave.

A short summary of the movie:

The story is set in the year 10191, when humans have not only conquered the planets of our solar system, but have almost conquered the whole universe and the planets inside it. Duke Leto Atreides of House Atreides is the ruler of Caladan, an ocean planet, who lives with his wife or concubine Jessica, and has a son Paul. Leto Atreides is assigned to serve as a fief ruler of Arrakis by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV.

Arrakis is a harsh desert planet but it is the only source of melange or spice, as mentioned in the movie. It is a priceless substance that extends human vitality and is essential for all space travel, making it a very valuable substance for economy.

The movie begins with Paul seeing the dreams about a blue-eyed girl on a desert planet and also having visions of a lot of miserable things. He tries to warn the people around him, but thinking it as just a dream, he is ignored.

However, Jessica has some sort of feelings regarding her son’s dreams as she is an acolyte of the Bene Gesserit, which is an exclusive female group who wield advanced physical and mental abilities.

Jessica escorts Paul to her superior, the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, who subjects him to a gom jabbar, which is a deadly test that causes blinding pain in order to assess its subject’s humanity. He passes the test despite being exposed to more pain.

Paul was trained by Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck throughout his life, who are Leto’s aides, and was politically trained by the Menat Thufir Hawat. Although Jessica was supposed to give birth to a daughter as a part of their breeding program to create the Kwisatz Haderach, a superhuman, but instead out of love for Leto, gave birth to a son Paul. Jessica trained Paul in some Bene Gesserit disciplines.

When Leto and his family were assigned to Arrakis, Duke Leto knew the fact that it was some sort of trap, but he was unable to refuse the emperor’s offer. The trap was set by House Harkonnen, who are long standing enemies of House Atreides. Also the Emperor Shaddam sees House Atreides as a threat, so teamed up with the House Harkonnen, who had withdrawn the spice operation on Arrakis by the order of Emperor Shaddam.

Seeing how powerful and special Paul is, Helen Mohiam travels to Giedi Prime, which is the home planet of the House Harkonnens and instructs the head of the house Vladimir Harkonnen to spare Paul and Jessica’s life, to which he agrees.

Upon reaching Arrakis, Paul takes an interest in learning about the planet, while Duncan Idaho had already traveled there to learn about the native people of the planet called Fremen, who he considers to be valuable allies. While Leto negotiates with Fremen’s chieftain Stilgar and planetologist Dr. Liet-Kynes, and learns the dangers involved in harvesting the spice, which is protected by giant sandworms, it also attacks them once but at a right time escapes from it.

Paul suspects that there is a traitor in their house, who turns out to be Suk Doctor Wellington Yueh, who had actually allowed the Harkonnen army to attack. He captures Leto and delivers him to Baron to free his wife Wanna, but is killed by Baron as he has killed Wanna too. But before capturing Leto, he had made plans to escape Paul and Jessica, and also replaced one of Leto;s teeth with a poison gas capsule, in a hope that it would kill Baron. But Baron survives using his anti-gravity devices to float to the room’s ceiling as the heavy gas stays lower to the floor and kills everyone else present there.

Paul and Jessica are kidnapped by the soldiers of Baron, but using a Bene Gesserit skill called the “Voice”, they escape from there and wander around the desert using a survival kit and Leto’s ring as they watch Arrakeen burn down. Paul tells Jessica about the visions of the Holy War that he had, which would disrupt the empire.

The Baron hands over command of Arrakis to his nephew Rabban and orders him to maximize the spice production in order to make up for the enormous expenses. As Paul and Jessica escape with Duncan and Liet-Kynes in one of the stolen ornithopters, they are tracked down by the Sardaukar, where Duncan loses his life. Also when Liet-Kynes leaves to inform the other houses about the Emperor’s betrayal, she is surrounded by the Sarduakar, but she sacrifices herself by calling the desert sandworm who ends up swallowing her and her captors too.

During the escape, Paul and Jessica meet the Fremen, and also Paul sees Chani, the blue-eyed girl who appears in his dream. One of the tribe members, Jamis, protests that Paul should not be involved with them and battles with him, and he dies from the hands of Paul. Although Paul never wanted to kill anyone, he must go to the death according to the Fremen laws. Now their only motive is to bring peace to the planet of Arrakis.

The goods:

If you look at the cinematography and the set designs, everything is very well constructed. Even the scenes are so well executed that they closely resemble the novel, and it can be visualized very beautifully.

All the actors gave an outstanding performance and did justice to their character. Rebecca Ferguson as Jessica was amazing and she definitely had the most powerful performance in the movie.

While Timothee Chalamet, who plays the lead role Paul, also delivered some of the most powerful expressions and his innocence really parallelled to the character that he played. Jason Momoa always has very good action scenes and he left no stones unturned in maintaining the charm in this movie too.

Although Zendaya has a very small role in the movie, she definitely left her mark as Chania and it will be really exciting to see her character develop in the future of the movie. Sharon Duncan-Brewster is someone that we should talk about. The way she played the character of Liet-Kynes deserves a standing ovation, and personally she was our favorite in the movie.

The movie really transferred us into the world of Dune like we were living in it. The sand flying here and there, the futuristic gadgets and technology, everything was so on point that it never felt off and overdone even for a second. The costumes were very nicely made and it clearly has that futuristic vibe. Also the background music gives us chills everytime it is played on the screen.

The bads:

The story execution was done well, but it could have been done better as the story continuously moves here and there without a smooth pattern. Also the length of the movie was very long and it could have been reduced if some of the unnecessary scenes were cut off. For the people who have not read the novel, will find it hard to know what some of the terms said in the movie are.

Our Opinion:

Overall Dune is a fantastic and larger than life masterpiece that you should definitely watch. We hope the sequels will come out in the near future and we will get to experience more about the world of Dune.

We rate the movie 4/5 and a grade of A.


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