Dune is slowly stunning

Aleasha Hintz—Staff Writer

With space travel, politics, secret societies, and corruption, Dune encapsulates everything we love about science fiction films. 

The film provides audiences with an eerily-familiar plot line: a powerful and corrupt government ravages a planet for the universe’s most valuable substance: spice. This commodity allows for interstellar travel, but the planet Arrakis is the only source of this good. The indigenous people, the Fremen, use spice as a powerful hallucinogen in religious contexts. 

The will of the Imperium directly contrasts the Fremen’s desires, and as a result, the planet Arrakis has watched many colonists come and go.

The Imperium replaces the House Harkonnen with House Atreides, making Duke Leto Atreides Arraki’s newest colonizer. At the same time, Paul Atreides, Leto Atreide’s son, has had strange reoccurring dreams, with a Fremen woman present in almost all of them. Clearly, his arrival on Arrakis is important. 

Even the Fremen are anticipatory. They expect Paul to become a Messianic figure.

In addition to being part of the House of Atreides, Paul is the son of a woman from a powerful clan called the Bene Gesserit. Thus, he has two birthrights – one from space nuns and the other from a colonial superpower. 

The film follows Paul, following the plot of the book Dune, written by Frank Herbert in 1965. It’s a slow-moving film, only getting through the first half of the original book’s content. This is a popular critique of this otherwise fantastic film.

The movie is an introduction to a larger universe. If more movie-goers understand that Dune is part one of a larger story, the movie may not feel as slow moving. That being said, I consider this to be one of the best films I have seen in a long time.

Dune shows incredible promise for a future series. The film itself felt unfinished, but made up for this lack with a highly immersive experience. 

The film is visually stunning. The set designs, costumes, and overall aesthetic is surprisingly clean. That is, it isn’t particularly gaudy. 

While the CGI seems, at times, difficult to track, it hardly distracts from the film. After all, I was not overly worried about a shot’s frame rate when I was staring down the gullet of a giant sand worm.

The music is ominous and fills the theater with foreboding synthesizers. It is highly suspenseful, with rhythmic, primitive drums and deafening vocals. Essentially, composer Hans Zimmer has done it again. 

My one qualm with this film is the clarity of some politically heavy scenes. Two viewings are needed to fully understand what is going on. With that said, the movie is definitely worth it.

Whether or not you are interested in sci-fi films, Dune is certainly a must see. If Warner Brothers keep the same standards for the next few films, Dune could be comparable to Star Trek in terms of influence. It has the capability to move and shake the sci-fi world. At the same time, if writers aren’t careful, the general public may lose interest because of overly-complicated politics and long-running plots. 

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