‘Dune’ lives up to the hype, but lacks closure

Luka Turanjanin

“Dune” adapts Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel of the same name and brings it to the big screen — or small screen — in such a visually beautiful way.

However, I feel the good majority of the film is rather mild, and for adapting only the first half of the book, “Dune” seems to not have much more to do then just create buildup.

Sure, director Denis Villeneuve pristinely captures the landscapes and the scenery of the different planets, and every location has its own ambience. The transitions for each different location on their own help viewers develop a greater sense of the world of “Dune.”

Despite that beauty, there is a bleakness to the ambiance. It’s like this for a majority of the film, and does nothing but make moments feel unnecessarily dark.

The story is a tale of an imperial conflict centered around the royal House Atreides and their struggle of trying to hold power over one of the most dangerous planets in the universe. The lore and world-building are clearly adding up to foreshadowed events that are expected to be insane, and costly toward our main cast.

As for the acting, I feel that most of the actors do their part. Timothée Chalamet plays the main character, Paul Atreides, and it’s made clear that he holds inherited power at heights so grand that not even Paul himself understands them. 

Throughout most of the film, Chamalet’s acting just seems like it’s missing something. It’s more like watching a silent emo kid just going about his day. Eventually, his role partakes in more dramatic and expressive moments, especially at the film’s climax and end of the movie, but it’s kind of inevitable and predictable that at that point he’d try to be more serious.

For other characters, I can understand the sense of pressure they must feel. I have a feeling understanding all the characters’ mentalities and development is better explained in the book and the second movie, but they aren’t easy to express on the big screen. Just like Paul, most of the characters take a backseat to world-building and aesthetics. 

At least actors like Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa had notable moments to heighten their characters’ personalities. However, due to plot events we won’t get into, we don’t get to see much of these two. 

By the end of the movie, we are left to understand that much more is to come in Part No. 2.  Hopefully there’s a bigger chunk of “Dune” that gets adapted, and here’s to hoping that the future sequel will generate more drama and closure.