‘Dune’ review part 2: new movie brings Arrakis to life


Ben Schneider, Editor

On Oct. 22, the long-awaited, new film adaptation of “Dune” was released in theaters and on HBO Max after years of development and filming. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, it is the most recent attempt to bring the beloved story to the big screen. 

The movie covers only the first half of the novel, while the second half is slated for 2023. The fact that the movie is able to include the major plot points without cutting too much reveals that dividing it into two parts was the correct decision. The pace is suitable, which eliminates a crucial issue with previous “Dune” films such as David Lynch’s adaptation in 1984. Villeneuve uses every minute of the movie without wasting any time, yet it never feels rushed. 

It begins relatively slow, but it does include background information that is essential to viewers who have not read the book. The movie picks up after about fifteen minutes once it reaches the events at the beginning of the novel. Opening with an explanation of “Dune’s” complex story allows for any audience to understand it. 

The ending does not feel abrupt despite cutting off the story of “Dune” at around the halfway point. It is a complete movie that leaves audiences wanting more because it emphasizes at its conclusion that there is still more to the storyline. The quality of this film adaptation of “Dune” and its early box office success led to the recent announcement of plans to release a sequel to complete the story.

Overall, the movie is well-made and a fantastic cinematic experience. One of its major strengths is that it adheres to the novel with only slight and inconsequential deviations. The acting is top-notch as well; the star-studded cast, headlined by Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani, does not disappoint. The visuals are absolutely stunning and bring the universe of “Dune” to life for its audiences to enjoy. In addition, Hans Zimmer’s score for the film is exceptional because it captures the feeling of the story and adds to the viewing experience. This is the “Dune” adaptation that was finally able to get it right after several previous attempts fell flat. 

However, the movie lacks the substance that makes the book special. The movie is necessarily plot-driven, but “Dune” is so much more. This is a problem that is not specific to this movie but rather a limiting factor on the enormous task of making a film adaptation as a whole. It is impossible for a movie to capture all the layers and intrigue that Frank Herbert worked into his novel. For this reason, the book is essential to a true understanding of “Dune”, but viewers will enjoy the movie regardless of whether or not they have read it. 

With “Dune”, Denis Villeneuve utilized modern technology to produce a movie that was once considered impossible due to the complexity and scale of the novel. This movie is absolutely worth watching because it is the “Dune” adaptation that audiences have been waiting for since the book’s publication over five decades ago.

‘Dune’ immerses readers into unique sci-fi world