It’s honestly really embarrassing how long it took me to read Dune, but I’m glad I pushed myself to finish before I got the chance to go see the movie.
If you’ve somehow managed to not hear about what exactly Dune is in the past few months leading up to the premiere, then I can give you a brief little history/synopsis.
Dune is a 1965 science-fiction book by author Frank Herbert. It has been widely renowned in the sci-fi and reading community for years. Finally, it has been adapted into film in a way this masterpiece of a book deserves.
We don’t talk about the 1984 version.
Now for the book itself, I couldn’t really explain that to you in a lot of detail, which is pretty much the reason it took me so long to finish. It was very confusing at the beginning, which I guess is the usual nature of fantasy/sci-fi media, but add on top of that the excessive language that 90’s novels tend to have and you have… well you have Dune. It takes place in the far future, in a society that spans multiple planets, the most important being the desert planet of Arrakis, which produces what this society thrives off of, spice. This nearly uninhabitable planet is where the emperor sends House Atreides to rule over, and where the story starts.
Overall, the book-to-film adaptation was pretty well-paced, a feat, considering how lengthy the book itself is. Sometimes while reading, you’ll find that a lot is happening in very little time, or very little is happening in a large section, and the movie combated this (personal) issue well. There were some scenes that I noticed missing. One in particular that I am ready to argue is one of the best scenes of the novel, was cut from the movie. I realize you can’t expect every scene to make the final script, but this one in particular, was disappointing. So if you’re looking for a nearly word-for-word, scene-for-scene adaptation you might also find yourself a little disappointed.
But, the cinematography and acting in the scenes that were included might have just made up for this. No, I think they did make up for it. We have a very packed, very A-list cast here, including Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Issac, Jason Momoa, and others. They brought another layer of life to these already very complex and interesting characters, set against a beautifully shot background, of desserts and islands and stunning explosions that shook the theatre. Seriously, you could have screenshot any moment from this film and hung it in a museum. There were absolutely no throwaway shots.
Overall, I think this movie was one of 2021’s best products. I mean the time, the attention to detail that I caught as a reader of the books, the dedication to making it accurate was clear. On top of that, it set us up beautifully for the already confirmed part 2 of the franchise.
Since I already know the ride we’re in for, I just want to say if you’re not already excited to see what happens next, you definitely should be.
By Kendal Amos, Junior at Chicago school for the arts