Dune The Newest Oscar Worthy Sci-Fi Movie

Dune is the newest movie by producer and 2017 academy award nominee Denis Villeneuve. This film is an epic adaptation of the 1965 sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert and stars Timothy Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson and features Zendaya.

This motion picture truly encapsulates the fictional world of Arrakis, a desert wasteland with native people called the Fremen fighting against the reigning Houses in power to harvest the “spice” that fuels intergalactic travel. At first glance, the film sounds pretty stagnant and is reminiscent of many other galactic travel movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek, however, what makes this picture stand out is the cinematography and the drawn-out plot. 

Villeneuve’s artistic style when it comes to production is having darker shots which set up the desolate feeling of the movie as seen in Arrival, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2017. He continues this idea in Dune following the story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his mysterious dreams, slowly adding more and more complexity to the dreams of what the women in the desert mean. By using shots of Chani (Zendaya) in the desert holding a knife, Villeneuve tactically uses the technique of showing instead of telling with minimal dialogue in the beginning. As the movie continues though, it keeps twisting and turning in an artistic way, making the viewer question what will happen next. 

The actual plot is very simple and follows the basic hero’s journey- Paul goes to a new planet facing political and cultural challenges, leaving him to grow as a character by overcoming such barriers. The plot spans two and a half hours and this is only the first part of Dune. It feels as if the movie stopped in the middle of the climax when the visions start to make sense. This is a flaw of the movie from an audience standpoint; because of this, the sequel will start in the thick of the plot, meaning that the movie will keep the audience engaged from the start. This is a give-and-take kind of situation, and as much as this is a downside from a storytelling and sales perspective, it is genius. Still, for a setup without a real conclusion being two and a half hours long is too long.

The acting by Paul’s mother Lady Jessica played by Jessica Ferguson pours the emotions of what is happening in the movie. Paul is relatively emotionless along with many of the other characters. Ferguson makes up for this downside by giving an Oscar-worthy performance, which hasn’t been talked about as much as it deserves. 

Dune is a cinematic masterpiece. It brings alive a desolate world, and for a few hours, it feels as if you are living on Arrakis. To sum this review up in one sentence I would say: Dune is the best sci-fi movie I have seen.