Film Review: Long-awaited “Dune” hits theaters

Grace Sherban, The Carroll News

After many delays, Denis Villeneuve’s newest film Duneis ready to hit theaters on Oct. 22 and will be available on HBO Max. Villeneuve, the acclaimed director of 2016’s “Arrival” and 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049”, is known for his visual style and his newest film does not disappoint. 

Duneis adapted from Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 novel of the same name. The story revolves around Paul Atreides, played by the internet’s favorite softboy Timothée Chalamet. Paul is a member of The House of Atreides noble family who is given control of the planet of Arrakis. Arrakis is the home of the Fremen, a tribe of indigenous warriors, and the most valuable substance in the galaxy, spice. House Harkonnen, Atreides’s biggest rival, was the former steward of Arrakis and chaos ensues in this power struggle for control of the planet’s resources. 

Timothée Chalamet gives a grounded performance that is able to carry the weight of this multimillion-dollar blockbuster.

Throughout the over 2 hour and 35 minute runtime, fans of science fiction will find this film extremely engaging while those looking for an easy watch will have to look elsewhere. People who are not familiar with the story’s plot may have to read a brief synopsis since the film provides little exposition and does not coddle the audience. Once the viewer becomes familiar with the customs and rules of this society, the film does a great job in keeping the audience captivated by the events unfolding on screen. 

Timothée Chalamet gives a grounded performance that is able to carry the weight of this multimillion-dollar blockbuster. Advertising suggested Zendaya plays a major role when in reality she was only in a few scenes and had very little dialogue. Other notable actors include Oscar Issac, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin and Dave Bautista. With the material being as dense as it is, they were given very little screen time when considering the length of the movie. On the technical side, Dune’svisual effects convincingly portray an advanced society and at no time did the events on screen seem implausible. The world of the film was further developed and enhanced by Hans Zimmer’s score which effectively set the tone for every scene. 

The biggest fault with “Dune’s” story was its unsatisfying cliffhanger, the resolution of which solely relies on a sequel being greenlit. Hollywood is no stranger to blockbuster, franchise films which are able to draw in millions of viewers and, more importantly, dollars. With the way the film industry currently operates, “Dune” could have been an epic, standalone film that proved that not every IP needs to have a franchise behind it. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that Frank Herbert’s novel was the first book in a series of six that spans thousands of years with multiple main characters. When the film began and the title card said “Dune” (Part 1), it was made clear that this film’s purpose was to launch yet another multimillion-dollar franchise. Only time will tell if this newest endeavor will be viewed as a success, and luckily fans of “Dune”  have become accustomed to waiting. “Dune” will be in theaters on Oct. 22, and will be available to stream on HBO Max Oct. 21.