Dune (2021): Analysis Of The Plot & Summary Of The Film, The Essence & Meaning, Which Book It Is Based On, Whether There Will Be A Continuation, Duration, Scene After The Credits.
The Harkonnen Plan, The Secret Game Of The Bene Gesserit Sisters And Other Intricacies Of The Dune.
Country: USA, Canada, Hungary
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Drama, Adventure
Year of production: 2021
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa
Movie length: 155 minutes
Age restrictions: 12+
Dune (original title Dune: Part One) is another, and according to critics, the most successful adaptation of the novel of the same name by American science fiction writer Herbert Frank. This is a really powerful film with a gripping storyline, very good visualization and deep meaning. At the same time, after viewing, a rather ambiguous aftertaste remains. To understand the sensations and understand the essence of the film “Dune”, we will make a small review.
The plot of the film Dune
The content of “Dune” is interesting in the presentation of the material. In particular, the plot develops in the distant future, but it is not clear how much time has passed since our days. It is only indicated that the action takes place in 10191, but not from the Nativity of Christ, but from the moment the Space Guild was founded.
Despite the development of interplanetary flights by mankind, the traditions of society seemed to have returned to the Middle Ages, the nobility was revived: emperors, dukes, barons. Battles take place with swords, the offspring of the nobility are taught the sciences that representatives of the upper classes should know. It is quite natural that undercover intrigues have also revived. Between the Houses there is a constant enmity, where everyone seeks not to miss their benefits and earn the favor of Emperor Shaddam IV.
It was this eccentricity that made Dune one of the most popular fantasy novels of the century. This idea captured millions of readers, and then viewers around the world. Now the most successful film adaptation of this saga has been released worldwide, which we will now begin to analyze.
So, 10191, House Atreides.
The plot of “Dune” begins with the fact that the padishah-emperor transfers to the possession of the House of Atreides one of the planets of the intergalactic feudal empire – Arrakis. It is a desolate world inhabited by giant worms that move underground, devouring everything that gets in their way. Of the people, only the Freemen live here, who have adapted to survive in this inferno.
There is nothing on Arrakis but sand, which is why this world is called Dune in the empire. At the same time, only Dune has a spice – a substance of unknown origin, which cannot be synthesized in the laboratory. The spice allows people to make intergalactic flights and has the unique property of prolonging life. It is quite natural that the substance is priceless, and its extraction promises fabulous profits.
For more than 80 years, Arrakis was ruled by the House of Harkonnen, who, by order of the emperor, should be replaced by the Atreides. There is a long-standing enmity between these Houses, so the Harkonnens did everything possible so that Duke Leto, who heads the House of Atreides, could not cope with the task of the emperor and lost the trust of the ruler.
Duke Leto Atreides played by Oscar Isaac. Frame from the film.
Young Duke Paul Atreides
Duncan Idaho, one of the duke’s closest aides, travels to Arrakis to make contact with the Freemen. Duke Leto’s son, Paul, has strange dreams about Dune, fights with swords with his mentor Gurney Halleck, and prepares to leave his home planet of Caladan to move to the desert world.
Paul is an unusual offspring of a noble family. His mother, Lady Jessica, is part of the ancient Bene Gesserit sister order, which invisibly governs all processes in the inhabited universe. The sisters of the order are called witches, and the plans of this community extend for centuries to come.
The priestesses of the order have incredible mental and physical abilities and have been conducting a large-scale genetic experiment for many years to create a superhuman. The sisters undertake to give birth only to daughters, but Jessica gave her master a son. From childhood, Paul learns the secret arts of the Bene Gesserit, and is already mastering the Voice – the mental ability to subdue the will of another person.
Just before leaving, the boy has to meet with Gaia Elena Mohiyam, the Reverend Mother of the order, who subjects the young man to a mortal test, which comes down to inhuman pain. If Paul cannot contain his emotions, he will die on the spot.
However, the young duke survives the test, and the Reverend Mother includes him among the elect. The witch travels to the Harkonnen House and orders Baron Vladimir to keep Jessica and Paul alive.
Timothée Chalamet as the main character, Paul Atreides. Frame from the film.
The Harkonnen’s Secret Plan
The head of the sister order knows how the appointment of the Atreides as governors of Arrakis will end. There should be a complete destruction of the entire House by the forces of the Harkonnen and the fighters of the personal imperial guard – the Sardaukar. These fanatical soldiers of House Corrino undergo rigorous training on the desert planet of Salusa Secunda.
Further, according to the content of the film “Dune”, the Atreides arrive on Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit sister order did some training among the planet’s indigenous population, and now the Freemen consider Paul to be the messiah, calling him Lisan al-Ghaib.
The duke begins to develop the spice deposit that he has inherited. He has obligations for large deliveries and worn-out equipment. The shift arbiter, Lieth Kainz, the Emperor’s henchman on Arrakis, takes a neutral position.
She is a Freeman, therefore she adheres to the general postulate of her people: Great Houses come and go, and only Freemen live on Dune forever.
Frame from the film.
From the first days of being on the Dune, Duke Leto shows himself to be a wise ruler. He meets with the leader of the Freemen, observes local traditions, finds a consensus on the delimitation of interests. Together with Liet Kainz and his son, he flies to a spice mining site, where he personally sees the power of a sandworm that swallows a huge spice mining machine.
However, the duke does not have time to gain a foothold in this world. His court physician, Wellington Yue, who has served the House for many years, turns out to be a traitor. The Doctor makes a deal with Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and surrenders his master in exchange for his wife’s freedom. A massive invasion of Harkonnen and Sardaukar soldiers begins on Dune.
Change of power on Arrakis
The Atreides forces have been destroyed. Remembering the promise, Vladimir saves the lives of Paul and Jessica, but only for a while. The baron is going to leave them in the desert, where the mother and son will face imminent death.
The captives are transported deep into the sands on an ornithopter, but using the Voice, mother and son force their captors to destroy each other. The duke is captured by the baron, where he commits suicide by biting through an artificial tooth with poison that Dr. Yue put on him. Summer plans to take the baron with him to the next world, but he does not receive the required portion of the poison, and using antigravs, he rises to the ceiling, where the poisonous cloud does not reach.
The plan to change power on Arrakis has been implemented. The baron is undergoing rehabilitation, instructing his nephew Rabban to resume the supply of spices in the same volumes in order to compensate for the losses caused by the destruction of House Atreides.
Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban. Frame from the film.
Saving Jessica and Paul
Jessica and Paul find themselves in the desert, where they meet Duncan, who miraculously escaped, and Leet Kynes, who decided to help the exiles. However, the Sardaukar hunt down the fugitives. To save the young duke, Duncan sacrifices himself to give Paul time to leave. Kainz goes to the Freemen, but she is overtaken by the Sardaukar.
She attracts the attention of a sandworm and goes to his mouth along with her pursuers. Jessica and Paul escape on an ornithopter and are lost to their pursuers in a massive sandstorm where no one can survive. However, the mother and son are saved, and even manage to get through the worm’s possessions.
They reach the mountains, where they meet a band of Freemen led by Stilgar. It was this chief who spoke to Paul’s father. In the detachment there is also a girl, Chani, whom the young duke saw in his dreams. Jessica reveals herself as one of the Bene Gesserit sisters, so the Freemen don’t kill the intruders to take the water, but are going to take them with them to their city.
Duel with Jamis
Only one of the Freemen, Jamis, does not agree with the leader’s decision. He challenges, and converges with Paul in a ritual duel. Chani gives the young man his sandworm tooth dagger, claiming that it is a great honor to die with such a weapon in his hands.
However, to everyone’s surprise, the boy kills an experienced warrior, which earns the respect of other Freemen. Now Paul Atreides will have to become what he was destined to be – a messiah who will bring peace to Arrakis, challenging the empire. Titles, final.
The essence of the film
There is no hidden meaning in the Dune plot, although it will not be easy for an inexperienced viewer to understand the political interests of the Great Houses. The world of Dune is quite difficult to perceive, although the director simplified the interpretation of Frank Herbert’s book as much as possible, while maintaining the overall storyline.
There is only one explanation for all the intricacies shown in the film. The House of Atreides began to increase its political influence in the vastness of the empire, and this is a direct threat to the current ruler. The Emperor simply decided to get rid of Duke Leto by doing all the dirty work by the Harkonnen. So the explanation for assigning the Atreidos to Arrakis is that they originally signed a death warrant.
However, this is not the whole solution. The box may well have a double or even triple bottom. In particular, very little attention is paid to the order of the Bene Gesserit sisters during the course of the story. At the same time, this community is a powerful political figure in the empire. It is possible that, owning the Voice, the sisters have long turned the emperor into their puppet, and are playing their game to create a superman.
At the same time, do not forget that the ending of “Dune” remained open. And in the truest sense of the word. All answers will be given in the second part of the film.
The meaning of the ending
The explanation for the ending of Dune is pretty simple. In the final, Paul embarked on his path of the messiah, which was destined for him by fate. His visions are plausible, and in them he saw himself as a prophet, in whose name the soldiers go to their deaths. This frightens the young duke, but only until he is in mortal danger.
This shows the ending very clearly. At the end of the film, Paul meets his opponent for the first time in a real fight. He is opposed by an experienced warrior, whose victory no one doubts. There should be only one winner in a fight, so the young Atreides, if not immediately, but kills his opponent.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the ending of the film “Dinah” is that Paul will turn out to be the very superman that the Bene Gesserit has been trying to bring out for centuries. All the visions of the Duke reveal the way forward, helping to make the right decisions in hopeless situations.
Is there a post-credits scene
There is another interesting moment in Dune. According to the trends of world cinema, most films have a post-credits scene that provides references to the sequel or helps to reveal the hidden meaning. In Dune, there is no end-credits scene.
Denis Villeneuve himself commented on this as follows. The director just doesn’t like post-credits scenes, he has never added them to his films and is not going to do it. In addition, according to the director, the final scene of the film sets a certain mood that does not need to be spoiled by additional episodes.
What book is Dune based on?
The plot is based on the book “Dune” by Frank Herbert. Dune World was published in Analog in 1963. Later, the second part, “Prophet of Dune”, was published in the same printed edition. A full-fledged book was published in 1965, and combined both parts under the general title “Dune”. A separate edition immediately received worldwide recognition, making Frank Herbert popular.
In the future, the novel turned into a fantastic cycle, in which other works of the author about Dune began to appear. The writer passed away in 1986 at the age of 65. Now his father’s work is continued by his son, Brian Herbert. He develops the Dune cycle in more detail, drawing on his father’s work. For example, his Legends of Dune trilogy explores the previous events described in the original book.
In order to introduce the viewer to the world of Dune as quickly as possible, Denis Villeneuve had to redo the novel somewhat. The differences from the book original are minor. For example, the author of the novel begins the story with Paul’s test, and the director shows a little background so that the audience immediately “turns on” to the plot.
In addition, the director managed to very subtly bypass the topic of politics, although in general the film is dedicated specifically to political intrigues. In the novel, this topic is revealed in great detail, and the film is not overloaded with this behind-the-scenes fuss. But at the same time, political accents are placed very precisely.
Other differences between the book and the film can be considered minor, and will only be noticed by those who are familiar not only with the original novel, but with the entire Dune universe.
What other films were made based on the novel by Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert’s book “Dune” was the only work in the writer’s work that was awarded the film incarnation. At the same time, before the 2021 film, the film adaptation of this novel was swung four times. The first attempt was made by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who wanted to create a psychedelic attraction, the viewing of which should be comparable to taking LSD. However, the decision was reversed in 1975. Despite the fact that “Dune” Jodorowsky did not see the light of day, the project is considered very ambitious.
The notorious director David Lynch continued the idea. His “Dune” was released in 1984, but despite the stellar cast, the film failed at the box office, received extremely negative reviews from viewers and film critics.
More or less successful can be called two mini-series: “Dune” and “Children of Dune”, which were released in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Despite the fact that the film adaptation had several scenes that were absent from the original work, both projects were received positively.
Frame from the film.
Will there be a sequel to Dune?
Of course, yes. This is indicated not only by the open end of the plot, but also by the very title of the film: Dune: Part One. The filming of the sequel has already been announced, and it was stated that the second part of the film “Dune” will appear in October 2023. It should be noted here that the premiere dates are still floating, so the release date is subject to change. In any case, this is not the end yet: the story will definitely continue. After all, having swung at such a grandiose project, you can not stop halfway.