Dune 2021: A Comprehensive Analysis and Review

Dune 2021: A Comprehensive Analysis and Review
Dune 2021: A Comprehensive Analysis and Review

Denis Villeneuve’s film, Dune was one of the most successful films of 2021. Villeneuve was able to accurately bring Frank Herbert’s book to life, a feat that had been previously attempted but was not as successful. The success of this epic science fiction film can be credited to the brilliance of each part of the film coming together to create what is now one of the best science fiction films.

The first attempt at making Dune was Alejandro Jodorowsky’s in 1974; however, the film could not be made at the time due to a number of reasons. The second time was David Lynch’s and while the film was made, it was not a success with critics or even at the box office. Lynch himself hates the film and has spoken about his animosity towards his creation. 

Dune Tells the Tragic Tale of the House of Atreides

Denis Villeneuve's Dune

The book the films were adapted from was written in 1965 and it is the first entry in a series that has continued even after the death of Herbert. It is set in 10191 where the planet Arrakis is home to the important Melange which is also known as Spice. Melange aids planetary travel and the enhancement of mental capacity giving its users psychic ability. 

When Dune begins, House Atriedes is tasked with controlling the planet but all of this is a trap. The emperor Shaddam IV worries that the Atriedes would rise to overthrow their government and set them up to be massacred by the brutal House Harkonnen. The rest of the book follows Paul Atriedes, the heir of House Atriedes, his fulfilment of an age-long prophecy on the planet and the vengeance of his family. In Villeneuve’s Dune, the story is split into two, stopping at Paul’s introduction to Arrakis locals, the Fremen. An upcoming sequel is supposed to complete the story of the first book. 

The Two Dune Films Share Very Few Similarities

Dune 2021: A Comprehensive Analysis and Review

As already stated, the first produced Dune film was the work of David Lynch in 1984. The film was met with negative reviews and is an outlier in Lynch’s very successful career. The two existing Dune films have the same source material, but they differ in a number of ways.  The biggest difference between the two films is that Lynch decided to adapt the entire book as one film. This led to clunky storytelling and the skipping of important elements of the novel. Villeneuve’s decision to separate them into two epics has given the story the chance to breathe and build into a more wholesome production. There is also the fact that the design for Villenueve’s Dune is much more minimalist, as opposed to Lynch which was more resplendent.

Also, in the novel, women had very strong roles to play, an example of this is the Bene Gesserit Order which has ties to the government. Their presence is very prominent in the latest version of this film and this is not the case in Lynch’s telling of the story. There are many more ways these films differ and some of these differences are the reason why Villeneuve’s film performed significantly better than Lynch’s. 

When Will The Film’s Sequel Be Released

Princess Irulan in Dune: Part Two

Earlier this year, it was announced that the second part of the Dune film would be released in early November. However, this has been moved to a later date – March 15, 2024. This change in schedule is a result of the ongoing strikes. The second part of Dune is supposed to end Paul Atriedes’ story, where he fulfils the prophecy by becoming the Lisan al-Gaib, liberates Arrakis and avenges his father’s death. This new film features some characters from the first Dune and new actors such as Florence Pugh and Austin Butler.

In spite of the delays, there have been talks of a third part of the Dune film. This is supposed to adapt the second book in the Dune series Dune Messiah. Villeneuve had spoken about portraying Paul Atriedes in the way that Frank Herbert intended but failed to do. By the end of “Dune Messiah,” Atriedes is regarded as a hero but this was not Herbert’s goal and Villeneuve wants to bring his vision to life. He spoke about already working on the script and just like the creation of the second film was dependent on the success of the first film, the same may also apply to the proposed third film. 

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