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Dune A film by Denis villeneuve

Among many fans, the thought of a “Dune” movie was impossible, where many of book-to-movie adaptations had an exciting action-fantasy narrative—like the “Harry Potter” or “the Lord of the Rings” series—“Dune” had a political drama in the middle of pages upon pages of lore.

“Dune,” like any great fantasy book, had to have world-building. This worked perfectly as Herbert’s original novel had nearly 200,000 words to shape extraterrestrial planets like Arrakis, the setting in which Dune takes place, and Caladan, another central location of the novel and movie.

Fitting nearly 200,000 words into a two-to-three-hour film was a seemingly impossible task among fans of the novel—but Denis Villeneuve has done it beautifully.

"Dune" follows the House Atreides, a well-respected and benevolent group within the "Dune" universe. Its main members include Paul Atreides—a young, talented teenager who has spent much of his life on the Earth-like Caladan—and his mother and father, Lady Jessica and Duke Leto Atreides.

House Atreides departs from their home of Caladan to the harsh desert planet of Arrakis. Arrakis, known as Dune, features many dangers: its extreme heat, the Fremen—the indigenous people of Arrakis who have adapted to its environment, and the sandworms—several hundred meter long worms who are attracted to any movement on the desert's surface. So why go to Arrakis at all? The desert planet is the only source of melange—a spice that is the most valuable substance in the universe. For nearly 80 years, the evil House Harkonnen has spent their time on Arrakis cultivating the spice.

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Through a turn of events, the planet is turned over to the hands of House Atreides—the enemies and contenders of House Harkonnen in a competition that had spanned centuries. House Harkonnen seemingly leaves Arrakis, though it is clear to many that the trade is a trap.

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The immense size of “Dune” leaves a few exposition scenes throughout the movie, though in a way they work as the audience is learning about Arrakis at the same time as many of the main characters. Villeneuve condenses much of the worldbuilding into its most important components, giving the audience an understanding of "Dune" and the worlds within the universe and it perfectly does what many fans thought was impossible.

Herbert’s novel also has many characters and Villeneuve tries to fit as many of the main characters as possible, however, the movie leaves some major characters within the movie without the proper depth and work so the audience doesn’t quite get to experience the victories and betrayals as in the novel.

But there is an area where Villeneuve’s “Dune” does excel: its production and craftsmanship.

Almost every shot in “Dune” gives the audience something beautiful to look at, from expansive landscapes to stunning VFX. Villeneuve seamlessly and beautifully ties together cinematography and visual effects.

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To complement the visuals is a score by Hans Zimmer, who composed the music for films like “Interstellar” and “The Dark Knight.” Zimmer crafted a stellar soundtrack that combines instruments with vocals which leaves the audience feeling the depth of "Dune." Each world gets its own style which fits perfectly: Geidi Prime—the Harkonnens' homeworld—gets a malevolent, brash score with a baritone voice beneath it; Caladan—homeworld of the Atreides—gets a softer and almost somber tone as its residents must leave to live on Arrakis.

Arrakis, the world where much of "Dune" takes place, gets several tones like amazement and wonder to fear as the characters realize they're in danger.

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"Dune" offers many great characters, many of who were played excellently. Villeneuve's film stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica and Oscar Issac as Duke Leto Atreides. Each of these actors played their roles amazingly, especially Ferguson as she gave Lady Jessica an extra layer of fear which wasn't as present within the book.

Jason Momoa stars as Duncan Idaho with Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck. Both Idaho and Halleck are teachers to Paul, but they're also both right-hand men to Duke Leto and greatly trusted allies.

Rounding out the main cast is Zendaya, who plays a Fremen girl named Chani, Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban, a member of House Harkonnen who overlooked Arrakis before House Atreides and Stallen Skarsgård as House Harkonnen's leader, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

“Dune” 2021 covers the first half of Herbert’s original novel, with much of the movie seeming to lead up to a large climax which will likely appear as a sequel. "Dune" part two has been greenlit for production, though it's likely it won't release for another couple of years.