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Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets



Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets

Warning: this article contains spoilers!

After 37 years of David Lynch’s theatrical version of Dune, the dystopian sci-fi flick makes a successful reboot. Thanks to the fine casting of every top actor imaginable, from Timothy Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Fergusson, Dave Bautista, and more. The skin-chilling musical score composed by Hans Zimmer, aesthetic costumes inspired by Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan, flawless cinematography overseen by Dennis Villeneuve and all-around engrossing story material places it ahead in the 2022 Oscar race.

Considering its two-hour-plus run time, one may assume all the stages of plot progression will be checked. But, instead, Dune ends with the audience demanding more as the story is halfway told, inevitably setting the stage for a sequel.

Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets
Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets

The plot follows Paul Atreides(Timothy Chalamet), the sole heir to the planet (Atreides), part of a multiverse Arrakis united under the cold rule of ‘The emperor’. Paul is being groomed by his father (the king) and two of the most skilled fighters in Atreides Gurney Halleck(Josh Brolin) and Duncan Idaho(Jason Momoa). Asides from that, Paul is enlightened in the mystic ways of his mother’s sisterhood called the ‘Bene Gesserit’. So he can become the Lisan al-gaib, meaning ‘off-world prophet’.

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For Paul to achieve his political and spiritual destiny, he must fully master a rare ability to manipulate people’s thoughts into serving his will and interpret his dreams about the past, present and future of his people.

Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets
Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets

The origin of Paul’s rare supernatural ability, referred to as ‘the voice’, is explained briefly in a dialogue between his mother and the head of the Bene Gesserit coven. The two discuss how difficult it was to breed an offspring that could wield a power capable enough to aid the success of their concealed agenda that, in their words, “Will guide the world into a golden path of utopia”, a better future.

Paul’s campaign becomes apparent after a series of visions propels him to encounter the ‘Fremens’, the inhabitants of the Arrakis desert. In the confrontation between Paul and Jamis, a voice whispers, stating a prophecy that foreshadows the transition from the naive prince to ‘Kwisatz Haderach’. As the two men duel to the death, Paul’s mother confesses, her son has never taken a life. This could justify the theory that the death referred to in the prophecy is a symbolic one. That by staining his hands with blood, he becomes someone else; The Kwisatz Haderach, one who wages wars across planets to get to ‘the emperor’, who is the principal antagonist in Dune’s multiverse.

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Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets
Dune’s cinematic excellence deserves every credit it gets

One significant element capable of throwing the audience off amidst the fights, flights, and inter-planetary politics is the constant use of visions to clarify the broad plot. Notwithstanding, these visions are not entirely reliable. In the 1984 version, Paul is questioned about this, and he confirms it. Another figure that constantly appears in Paul’s cryptic visions is a mysterious girl Chany(Zendaya), from Arrakis, who will eventually become his lover or killer. The romantic or murderous arc is also foreseen in a vision of the two youths kissing before Channy plunges a knife into Paul’s chest. There are also the images of blood dripping from Channy’s hands while holding the sword she gave Paul while he was about to duel Jamis. Again this is Dune; the visions could be symbolic.

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Despite hesitation from his mother that they both be smuggled to safety off-planet, Paul, or should I say Kwisatz Haderach chooses to stay instead and fight back against the emperor’s crusade in defense for the people of the desert and to avenge the assassination of his father, who the Harkonnens killed.

The theories for part two could entail any or all of these; An all-out civil war, Paul’s actions as the Kwisatz Haderach, he and Channys love story, as he and the fremans fight to prevent a horrible yet inevitable future, he has witnessed.

Owning its broad storyline and visual appeal, Dune will get a sequel. Still, before then, it’s strongly recommended to re-watch it any desired number of times because this movie deserves every second it demands.

Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.


Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.


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