Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Originally a novel written in 1965 by Frank Herbert, director Denis Villeneuve delivers an epic adaptation of Dune. Dune is the first part of a highly anticipated two-part science fiction film that premiered on September 15 internationally and is now streaming on HBO Max.
This film gives a gripping story of the battles between family bloodlines, and the consequences they can have on family members. Taking place in a futuristic new world, this film prepares you and excites you for the second part. Overall, Dune gives us futuristic aircraft, terrifying sandworms, and almost magiclike technology, all while composer Hans Zimmer gives us one of the best soundtracks in a new movie I’ve personally ever heard.
Dune takes place in the year 10191 where Paul, son of the Duke of the house of the Atreides, learns he is replacing the house of Harkonnen’s control over the planet Arrakis with his father. Arrakis is a harsh desert planet and the only source of “spice.” Spice is priceless in this world. The natives of Arrakis, the Fremen, use spice as an “awareness spectrum narcotic,” but others use it as a primary resource for space and interstellar travel, which is why it is so important. Throughout the plot, Paul dreams of one certain Fremen, whose name is unknown, and starts to question what his path is in life. It is to become head of the Atreides family, or pursue meeting the Freman, and befriending the people he is forced to enslave for spice. As the story goes on we see Paul face his fears and learn all kinds of new information about himself, his family, and the world he lives in.
There are so many elements to this movie that can be analyzed, but there are two points that I would like to cover. First of all, composer Hans Zimmerman really let it all out with the soundtrack for this film. Combining a blend of Arabic and futuristic sounds that play perfectly with each scene, the music connects the audience with the setting and the different characters’ emotions. For instance, when a character is in combat, Zimmer escalates the pace of the music, while providing tones that sync with what you are watching on the screen. Zimmer has composed soundtracks for almost every major movie franchise. From Pirates of the Caribbean to The Lion King, Zimmer never fails to impress. I watched it on HBO Max, but I can only imagine what it would sound like in theaters.
Second, the locations and settings chosen for this film were picked with perfection in mind. With the outside of Arrakis taking place in a desert, we see sand build up in every crack possible, and the dunes that are hundreds of feet high. One of the characters says, “You know what they say about the sand on Arrakis? You can’t get rid of it.” The interior design of the bedrooms and living quarters gives a futuristic vibe with components that remind us of the past. Instead of using special effects for most of the scenes, the film’s directors chose to build as much of the set as possible to give the actors a feel for where they are, and how they would respond and act if they were actually living the life in the year 10191.
Overall, this movie’s credit goes to the stacked cast the writers chose. From, Timothee Chalamet to Zendaya to Josh Brolin, a lot of these cast members are starring in their own franchises. Bringing them together in this film is what really made the movie the way it is. Seeing these different characters interact was very interesting. I could see some of the old characters these actors used to play, but I also saw a whole new character being made and developed over time. I personally only watched the movie after I saw who the cast was, and I am glad I decided to watch it. All in all, Dune gives us a sci-fi movie with engaging action and storyline that captures your attention, while leaving you with a satisfying ending that hypes you up for part two.