Frank Herbert’s sci-fi book series, ‘Dune‘ is an all-time favorite and one of the pioneers of the genre. This doesn’t exclude it from the great mechanism of criticism that befalls every literary piece.
One of the major flaws of the book series and its previous adaptations has been the under-utilization of Princess Irulan’s character. The current attempt at cinematic integration of the movie might just end this once and for all with Florence Pugh as the royal princess.
Princess Irulan And Her Potential As A Character
Princess Irulan is the daughter of the current ruler of the known galaxy, Emperor Shaddam IV in the Dune universe. Yes, the same emperor who is set on destroying House Atriedes in cahoots with House Harkonnen. At the end of the first movie, we see that Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet) is in the process of integrating with Fremen (the indigenous people of the Arrakis). He has also come to terms with his father’s death by the emperors and is set on a vengeance path.
It might not be known to just the movie watchers but Princess Irulan’s script which investigates into her father’s deeds is the basis and a narrator for the Dune’s books. She is also a member of Bene Gesserit, a fully female secretive society who are revealed to be behind the universe’s major political events in the first movie. In spite of being from such reverend lineage on both sides, Irulan’s character has been sidelined throughout the books. She is showcased to be a scholar due to the structure of the book however makes the silliest decisions throughout.
The problem however might have been solved by the current director of the movie franchise, Denis Villeneuve. It can also be backed up by what Timothée Chalamet said in an interview with Variety, “Florence is really special. She’s an incredible actor. She was incredible in Dune — seriously incredible,…..She brought a gravitas to the role [of Princess Irulan].”
In Case You Missed: ‘Dune 2’: Who Is Princess Irulan Played By Florence Pugh?
Florence Pugh Might Be The Salvaging Factor
Florence Pugh has proved her mettle by acting in phenomenal movies like ‘Little Women’ ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Black Widow’. She can bring more nuance to a character as complex as Princess Irulan, given she is given proper screen time to do so. Irulan’s character is one that induces immense pathos from the audience given her limited power in her own fate even when knowing it (due to her being a part of the seer group Bene Gesserit). Florence might just be the one to balance that delicate balance between political ties and the matter of hearts.
Even devoted fans of the book series agree on the need to tap into Irulan’s potential and so will die-hard fans of Pugh expect so. This places a great responsibility on the director’s shoulder, to explore the internal condition of the characters in addition to portraying the mesmerizing universe built by Herbert.
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