Dune Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Dune 2021 movie meaning

Genre fiction
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Cast Timothée Chalamet (Paul Atreides), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica), Stellan Skarsgård (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho), Zendaya (Chani) , Javier Bardem (Stilgar), Dave Bautista (Glossu Rabban), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Sufir Hawat), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Kines), Charlotte Rampling (Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit) and others.
Студии Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Villeneuve Films
Release year 2021
Site IMDb

In fact, in the cinema, the audience is waiting for “Dune: Part I”. Denis Villeneuve prudently divided the film adaptation of the novel into two halves, avoiding the mistakes of his predecessor – in 1984, David Lynch presented his film adaptation of the book, fitting it into one full-length film. The tape was crushed by critics, who did not appreciate either the overall concept or the duel between actor Kyle MacLachlan and musician Sting (Frank Herbert’s Dune, released by the Sci Fi Channel in 2000 and received a continuation under the name Children of Dune, received more favorable reviews).

It must be emphasized that Frank Herbert’s “Dune” is a voluminous work that is difficult to adapt, covering absolutely all political and religious contexts. It is no less difficult to depict the intricacies of the grandiose universe created by a science fiction writer. However, Denis Villeneuve (who previously directed Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival), having been a fan of Herbert’s book since his teenage years, laid the right foundation for a majestic and grand production. There is no doubt that his film adaptation is worthy of viewing and praise.

The film takes place in the distant future. Duke Leto Atreides (played by Oscar Isaac) becomes ruler of the planet Arrakis by order of the Emperor. This is the only place where you can get the most valuable substance in the entire universe – spices. They are necessary for interstellar flights, besides, spices have a unique property that changes the human mind. Up to this point, the Harkonnen family had ruled over Arrakis. It was led by the cruel Baron Vladimir (Stellan Skarsgard), who showed no mercy to the Fremen, a local people who had adapted to life in the sandy desert. As Duke Leto struggles to consolidate his grip on the Fremen and counter the Harkonnen conspiracy, his son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) realizes he has a special mission on Arrakis.


Frank Herbert’s novel is filled with peculiar terminology that the writer came up with specifically for the fantasy world he created. Director Denis Villeneuve understands that it will be very difficult for an audience who has not read the book to delve into the plot, replete with unfamiliar words. Therefore, he constructs the introduction and the plot in such a way that the viewer can get in on the action as soon as possible. At the same time, there will still be no too simplified and superficial material, during the session you need to catch literally every phrase. At the same time, Villeneuve (who was personally involved in writing the script) managed to outline and emphasize important points in the course of the disclosure of the plot much earlier than Herbert does in his work.


Already, it can be assumed that devoted fans of the novel by Frank Herbert will be unhappy with the changes in the plot. However, in this situation, it is important to understand that for the film adaptation of a massive book, cuts and some juggling of events are simply inevitable. In the film, they are not so significant, besides, some missed nuances may emerge in the sequel (“Dune: Part II” will be removed if the first film does well at the world box office). As for the characters, a significant transformation happened with only one hero – the role of the environmentalist Kainz, who was a man in the book, was played by actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster.


Along with minor cuts, Denis Villeneuve places emphasis throughout on important details that viewers who have read the book will certainly appreciate: this is an excess of water on the Atreides home planet of Caladan; this is the custom of the Fremen, demonstrating the greatest respect; it is Duke Leto’s attitude towards his concubine Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson), barely perceptible in his gestures; this is a voice control skill training; it is a figurine of a bull, referring to the death of the duke’s father; these are the two moons that illuminate Arrakis at night. In fact, there are a lot of such subtleties in the tape, and it is extremely interesting to catch them on the screen.


The film “Dune” attracts not only the director’s vision, but also the attention to detail from the production designer Patrice Vermette (previously worked with Villeneuve on Arrival) and from the creative team responsible for special effects. Literally everything is thought out in the frame – the shades of the planets Caladan and Arrakis, the design of costumes and spaceships (emphasizing the difference between Atreides and Harkonnen), as well as a look at a squad of soldiers of the elite guard, frightening with their formation. It also plays a positive role that the sand dunes of the planet Arrakis were filmed not in pavilions with a green background, but on the territory of a real desert in Jordan (which goes well with sand CGI worms).


Of course, the film also has a cast, which includes Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin. Not all of these artists have a large supply of screen time, but even a few scenes are enough to make their characters well remembered. Most of all, we are watching Timothée Chalamet, who fits perfectly into the image of the duke’s heir, growing up under the weight of his destiny. By the way, the events of the book began when Paul Atreides was 15 – on the screen, Chalamet looks about this age, although the actor himself is 10 years older than his character.


It would be remiss not to say a word about the Dune soundtrack, which was written by Hans Zimmer himself (for the sake of this project, he turned down work on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet). The composer’s music literally goes hand in hand with the plot, stunning with loud sounds and captivating with intense motives. Zimmer even manages to use bagpipes to emphasize the disturbing danger of the planet where the main characters arrive. I would also like to note the work of sound designers – they work wonders by adding gloomy sounds to the film adaptation, which make you feel uncomfortable.


“Dune” lasts two and a half hours, and this time flies by in one breath. To appreciate the full scale of the film adaptation, you should go to IMAX (the film was shot using an IMAX camera equipped with wide-angle lenses). The new film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel is undeniably worth seeing on the big screen. This is confirmed by Denis Villeneuve, who joked in an interview with Total Film magazine that watching Dune on TV is “like riding a speedboat in your bathtub.”

Pros: great cast; Villeneuve’s attention to the details of the book, as well as the ability to explain the nuances of the fantasy world; the work of the production designer and special effects; soundtrack by Hans Zimmer that goes hand in hand with the story Cons: Die-hard fans of the book will find plot changes that will cause controversy Conclusion:

“Dune” is a large-scale, beautiful, majestic, gloomy and detailed adaptation of the first part of the famous novel. I would like to believe that the shooting of the second part will take place, and the result will be just as successful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top