Dennis Villinueve’s Dune hits theaters as a huge success


Eva Franchettii, Contributing Writer

On Sept. 3, 2021, Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson, premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a six-minute standing ovation.  This science-fiction and adventure-packed movie, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is set to be released to theaters on Oct. 22. Reviews of this film have been outstanding so far.  

“It’s startling, and gratifying, you see one´s mind´s-eye images from the novel up there on the big screen, courtesy of Director Villeneuve and his creative filmmaking team” said Film Critic Soren Andersan in the Seattle Times.

The movie is an adaptation of the first half of the Dune book, written by American novelist Frank Herbert.  The story takes place in the far-off future, in a time where the universe has been divided into a feudalistic system.  The main character, Paul Atreides, stumbles upon information about his destiny, his duty to save his family and his people. His father, Duke Leto Atreides, accepts his relocation to the planet Arrkais, also known as Dune.  Melange, an important drug that is said to extend life, heighten mental abilities, and necessary to travel through space, can only be mined there.  However, the process of mining is extremely dangerous due to the planet’s native population of giant, carnivorous sandworms.  The Duke is soon betrayed by a fellow emperor of House Harkonnen, setting off a major war.  

“Every part of the plot is explained with depth and gradually builds layers,” said Film Critic Julian Roman in MovieWeb.  

Although the 1984 adaptation of the movie received an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, the opposite can be said for the newest version

Dune’s plot was very detailed and well thought out in Frank Herbert’s novel. I am very excited to see Villeneuve’s movie”  said senior Aiden Yeung.

From comments complimenting the cast, the acting, the soundtrack, or the overall production, the reactions have been mostly positive.  

I kept saying to my crew, ‘I want the people who love the book to feel that we put a camera in their mind as if they were reading,’”said director Villeneuve. 

Despite this, there are still a few key differences from the book. One of the most prominent is the appearance of Chani, played by Zendaya, a character who does not appear until the second half of the book.  At the same time, characters Thufir Hawat and Piter De Vries had a significantly smaller role than they were written in the movie, while Feyd-Rautha Harkonner, nephew of Baron Vladamir, was cut all together. Lastly, the character of Liet Kynes, a paleontologist in the story, was changed from male to female.  

Dune will be available in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22.   However, Villeneuve and other reviewers suggest seeing it in theaters opposed to on a streaming service.   

“I loved the novel Dune, and I am so excited to see how Villenuve has adapted it into a movie.  I have high expectations and hopefully will not be disappointed.” said freshman Emma Goldberg.