In Review: Dune (2021)

Dune (2021) is the latest movie from Denis Villeneuve. Timothy Chalamee leads the line as Paul Atriesdes.

Synopsis: Dune (2021) is the latest movie from Denis Villeneuve. Timothy Chalamee leads the line as Paul Atriesdes. The legendary “spice” a highly valuable substance divides loyalties and begins events in the new adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel, Dune (1965).



Essentially, Dune put well-known and established elements of warfare, and associated customs, in a sci-fi setting. For example,  onscreen symbolism was reminiscent of aspects of an ancient civilization. Using that idea helped establish this was very much a dynastic affair. And, what really worked well was firmly cementing Paul Atriedes (Timothy Chalamee) as the central character, early. The action was very much set around the journey of the “would be king”. So, it meant the film began what looks to be a great character arc.

Last year, SciFiPulse ran a feature about the world of Dune. We asked whether the new film could kick-start the next big sci-fi franchise. Now, this film has given us an insight into this, it wouldn’t be surprising. Adapting this massively successful book has so far proved extremely troublesome. But this smartly told tale, a beginning chapter, was easily accessible, and able to reach those who’ve never read the seminal novel by Frank Herbert. A well-paced story played out, that didn’t have to wholly rely on spectacular effects.


Some big performances here. It’s only fair to hand it to Timothy Chalamee, first and foremost. With a truly gifted ensemble cast, including big names, he stood out. Throughout, he manages to show real development of the character. His depiction of the loss of innocence was powerful and plausible. It really made for a human story, amongst the phenomenal backdrop of aliens worlds. He wasn’t alone in delivering the goods, though. For example, Zendaya was convincing as a powerful, young Frenem warrior, Chani, too. Jason Momoa shone as the iconic Duncan Idaho. And, Javier Bardem provided his wonderful presence as Frenem chief, Stilgar.

CGI & Effects

This aspect of the film was utterly breathtaking. It’s easy to focus on things that dazzle, and huge explosions, and such. But the attention to detail was what was truly remarkable. It was evident that so much had been done to create a world for these characters, and a whole mythology. The way the ships flew, and the considerations apparent truly impressed me. They made the story-world central to things, and fans of the book will have no doubt noticed and appreciated this. An awesome cinematic experience, and beautifully created conceptualization from Denis Villeneuve. It was clear that he had a specific vision and worked tirelessly to make it a reality.


There was a lot to get right, in Dune. This was what is hopefully the first chapter. Consequently, it meant that we had to initially meet characters, be introduced to the story-world, and more. All of that was achieved with deftness and poise. The themes were more implied here than fully explored, and that worked wonderfully. Now, we have a place to go with the next chapter. What’s more, we didn’t get to see the Emperor, yet. That mattered, as holding back will only make the eventual introduction more iconic and memorable. What Dune did was set the stage and positively answered a resounding no to the question our feature asked last year: Should We Be Worried About The New Dune Adaptation? A fine mix of engaging storytelling, good acting  and truly powerful visuals.


Watch out for a Dune special, coming soon from May The Verse Be With You, a weekly fun feature, ran Fridays on SciFiPulse.


In Review: Dune (2021)
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Effects
  • Incidental Music
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