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Why you should watch ‘Dune’

The start of a new great epic

Electronically published December 8, 2021 by Mia Gesinger

Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson as Paul Atredis and Lady Jessica in “Dune” (New York Times)

When watching Hollywood’s newest sci-fi film “Dune,” my mind kept coming back to one word, over and over: scale. Everything from the costumes, to the world building, to the soundtrack held this tangible feeling of scale. Every scene felt as though it was leading to something else, perfectly in place among the huge scale of this movie. “Dune” met all expectations. 

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, who worked on famous science fiction movies such as “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049”, “Dune” delves into the expansive world building of Frank Herbert’s novel by the same name. A story long praised for its complicated characters and world, many fans were worried that this newest movie would fall flat; the 1984 movie certainly did. 

However, from start to finish, this movie draws viewers into its world and characters, bringing them on a journey that will leave audiences wanting more. 

The 2021 science fiction epic follows main character Paul of House Atreides as his family is ordered by the emperor to travel to the merciless desert planet of Arrakis, where they will gather and outsource “spice,” a special substance found on Arrakis that is crucial for space travel. 

This harsh desert planet is almost unlivable for Paul and his family. To survive they must avoid the high heat of the day and wear special suits to aid with breathing and hydration. However, this planet is not completely uninhabitable. A race of people called the Fremen lived on Arrakis long before House Atrides arrived. Throughout the movie, Paul’s family house is met with building tension from the Freman, who lost trust in outsiders long ago.

 The greatest complaint surrounding “Dune” has been the plot, or rather the lack thereof. And while there certainly is a slow build to the final climatic fights, I would argue that the world building itself is engaging enough to make up for this. 

The story takes place in an expansive world, with an entire history to learn. Throughout the movie, I found myself only wanting to learn more about the world Frank Herbert created. From the unique tech to the incredible locations, the movie did a fantastic job of making every concept and plot point feel full of history. 

You can really feel the expansiveness of this movie. Each part seems to fit together, and an incredible soundtrack backs everything up expertly. As the movie progresses we switch from the beautiful rainy mountains Paul grows up on, to the harsh pale desert of Arrakis, beautiful in its own right. Each and every set piece leaves a lasting impression. 

Along with the jaw dropping scenery, the fantastical costumes were particularly intriguing.  The flowing capes and extravagant outfits of Paul’s wealthy family clash perfectly with the attire of the Fremen, and of the outfits that Paul and his family must don to survive in the brutal desert. 

The final piece of world building that I found really stood out within “Dune” was the unique technology present throughout.  From the story’s unique twist on a helicopter which flies with wings that mimic a bug, to high tech shields that made fights fluid and mobile, I found that even when the plot slowed I was glued to the screen. 

While the story did feel confusing at times, the writers did an exceptional job of slowly feeding the audience exposition. As with any big epic, there’s a learning curve as audiences are thrown head first into wild fantasy concepts. 

 “Dune” may have been slow at times, but I don’t believe it was due to any pacing issues. Instead, the writers simply took their time in setting up this expansive world, so that in the next installment “Dune” may reach its full potential.With the way things are shaping up, it seems that the second movie is going to be something you aren’t going to want to miss.  

So should you watch “Dune?” I would say yes, especially if you’re someone who loves strong world building, and the excitement of watching a new epic begin to unfold. 

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Why you should watch ‘Dune’