Adapted from Frank Herbert’s legendary science fiction novel, Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” was highly anticipated, with many wondering if even an accomplished director like Villeneuve could adapt the notoriously dense story for the screen. He quickly proved the naysayers wrong, delivering a haunting and arresting epic that did incredibly well both critically and commercially.
With “Euphoria” and “Spider-Man,” Zendaya established herself as one of today’s hottest young actresses, and her casting as Chani caused quite a stir before the film’s release. Then, “Dune” came out, revealing that Zendaya has barely seven minutes of screen time, mostly as part of Paul Atreides’ (Timothée Chalamet) daydreams. However, while Zendaya’s contribution to the first film is disappointingly small, fans of the book know that Chani’s role in the series is significantly expanded.
Still, Zendaya shines every moment she’s on screen. Even in her shortness, her acting is incredibly powerful. Chani narrates the last moments of the film, telling Paul that this is only the beginning of the journey. Her presence looms over the film as she looms over Paul, her haunting and captivating aura about her making quite an impression. As Paul learns the ways of Arrakis and her place in her future, Chani guides and captivates him, and Zendaya manages to convey her importance despite her limited presence.