Is “Dune” worth watching?


Movie poster for “Dune”

Alin Tapia, iNews class reporter

What do Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Oscar Issac, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, and Timothée Chalamet all have in common? They were all actors in the new 2021 film for Dune. What essentially drew me to watch Dune was Zendays and Timothée Chalamet, but was the movie actually worth all the hype it got? 

After watching Dune, I was left shocked and confused about what was going on. Dune is based on a 1965 science-fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, which was initially published in Analog magazine in two parts.

The movie is set thousand years in the future, centering around Paul Atreides, our protagonist, and is played by Timothée Chalametet, who is about to move to Arrakis, also known as Dune, because  his father, Duke Leto(Oscar Issac), is ordered by the Emperor to take charge of the planet. Dune is home to monstrous sandworms, high valuable resources called spice, and the Fremen. The Fremen are a group of people in Dune that inhabit the desert and have learned to live and survive in the deep deserts of Arrakis.

 From the start of the movie, Paul has been having visions about a Fremen woman, Chani(played by Zendaya), which he doesn’t understand. We later learn that the reason for his visions is that he was suspected of being the Kwisatz Haderach early on in his life and had to undergo a brutal Gom Jobbar test to determine this possibility, but his position was not confirmed until he relocated to planet Arrakis.

Lady Jessica, Paul’s mother, is a Bene Gesserit who was obliged to have a daughter. She disobeyed the order and had Paul, causing the Kwisatz Haderach to arrive a generation ahead of schedule.  The Bene Gesserit are Female super-humans who have supernatural visions. However, their foresight is limited, as they can only see fleeting glimpses into the future. To overcome these restrictions, the Bene Gesserit focus on selective breeding to develop an all-knowing male Bene Gesserit called the Kwisatz Haderach.

At the end of the movie, he finally gets to meet Chani and is forced to have a duel with Jamis, a Fremen warrior, and after winning he is allowed to join them. The movie ends with Paul and Lady Jessica following Chani and the other Fremen tribe to Sietch Tabr.

Summarizing what happens in the movie isn’t the same as watching it or reading it. Some scenes in the movie made me want to keep watching to see what would happen next, while others made me want to stop watching and read the book to understand what was going on. I believe that reading the book is necessary to fully comprehend what happens throughout the film, as it becomes quite confusing at times if you haven’t. Even those who had already read the book had to take some time to begin to understand the movie. 

“Having read the book a hundred years ago, it took some time to begin to understand what was going on. If there is a criticism that many share, it is the pacing of the first part of the film. It needed something to set the scene for us, to show us who the strong and the weak were. I’m not much for narration (show me, don’t tell me), but it may not have been a bad idea. The scenes are magnificent with special effects off the chart. Many desert travel scenes are quite endless. How do you spruce up a desert? I thought the sandworms were a little one-dimensional. I know there is another film down the road,” said Hitchcoc, an anonymous person, on IMDb on October 22, 2021. 

According to another anonymous person, on IMDb on October 22, 2021, they also state how “I’m sure anyone that’s read the novel may have a better understanding of w** was happening, but to me, this was a long dragged-out middle episode of a series I wasn’t following.”

The second part for Dune?

The movie ended in a weird way, leaving us with many unanswered questions, such as whether Lady Jessica gives birth, what happens when they arrive at the Fremen’s hideout, what happens between Paul and Chani, does Paul end up ruling or does he stay with the Fremen, what happens to his mother, and so on. I believe a sequel is necessary so that the viewers learn more about the characters.

For example, for Chani, she was shown in a few segments of the movie and was mostly only seen in Paul’s vision until we were finally introduced to her at the end of the movie; therefore, we didn’t get to understand much about her character and only saw her for a short time. For those who haven’t read the book, the movie ended abruptly, leaving us with no idea what would happen next. A Part 2 of Dune will allow us to see how it all plays out and to learn more about how the novel Dune ends in the second film.

“I knew, when I saw this, it probably should have been better to wait for Part Two before watching it. As a result, some characters felt underdeveloped, and some simply vanished halfway through the movie. They also kept talking about Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) being ‘The One, but the one for what? This somehow reminded me of Neo from ‘The Matrix, also being ‘The One,” said an anonymous person when sharing their review on the new movie Dune.

Was it worth watching?

 While reading other people’s opinions and reviews on Dune, overall people really liked the movie and say it’s worth watching, however, it does have some negative feedback but not much. Mostly all the negative feedback is based on the characters being underdeveloped, the movie being slow, and the movie being confusing if you haven’t read the books or done research before going to see it. 

An anonymous person reviewed Dune on IMDb saying how it was, “Epic. Bold. The story may be incomplete, but the world of Dune is an immersive, fully realized wonder. Do yourself a favor – go to the theater, grab a big bucket of popcorn and prepare to be wowed.”

This review also stated that “Some parts were a bit slow, and characters murmured a lot so I couldn’t hear some lines. Also, it’s quite a bit of info into the universe. Now that’s done, I first want to say that Dune: Part I was a cinematic masterpiece. Almost every single scene was handled masterfully with cinematography that blessed my eyes. Never have I seen the desert this beautiful and dreamy. It was so breathtaking that I might suffocate.”

I think it is worth watching Dune when you have some background knowledge on what Dune is about and understand the concept. It’s also a great movie if you want to see some amazing scenes or just support your favorite actress.

Final score: 7.9/10