Dune has been adapted into movie format about 3 times. It’s a very sci-fi themed story, giving a very Star Wars, Luke Skywalker and Yoda, galactic empire vs resistance vibe. There are certainly a lot of similarities between the two.
One thing that raised one of the highest red flag though, was how closely it reminds one of the Star Wars saga. The main character Paul (played by Timothee Chalamet) has a sort-of awakening for the dunes, similar to Luke Skywalker’s awakening with the force. There is a ‘evil government’ figure, just like the Empire in Star Wars. Finally, there is a wise character almost fitting perfectly into the role that Yoda played, when showing Luke how to use the force. With many other similarities, it did raise eyebrows a bit.
Off the bat, it already seemed very close to the format of a book, or novel. It felt as if instead of watching a movie per-say, it was more like somebody was holding a book and simply flipping the pages as the story went along. As authors usually use figurative language for characterization and setting up a story, many scenes felt that way.
For example, the ‘girl’ that the main character dreams about often is shown in snippets at a time. Within those small glimpses we get of the girl (aka Chani, played by Zendaya), her clothes and facial features are focused on in great detail, similar to a book describing a character to set up the reader’s image of her.
Being completely truthful, the beginning was extremely slow. The main plot or events in the story occur in just about the last third of the movie, with the entire 2/3 of the film just setting up location, mood, and characterization. The movie very much felt like it was straight out of a book, which might make many viewers happy, as not much was left out. Like the comparison of the Harry Potter books to the films, many fans and Potterheads complained because quite a few details got cut from the movie adaptation.
At the same time, it could also be a negative to some viewers. The detail is great, but at some points it felt as if the director was trying a little too hard to put emphasis on things, as we are constantly reminded of that. The movie has mixed reviews, as some saw it to be too slow, and admittingly it was more serious that one would expect. Others have a more positive view on the film, as it stuck to the book’s detail closely, and felt like the right amount of sci-fi needed, due to the lack of science fiction films lately.
It definitely has potential, but should probably find a little more originality, and focus on being more of a film than a book. Besides that, Dune shows itself to be an overall 6/10.
Zoe Rivera // Staff Writer