‘Dune: Part Two’ is cinematic excellence

Image: imdb.com

The battle between the Fremen and the Harkonnens continues in ‘Dune: Part Two’ (2024).

Picking up after the destruction of House Atreides in ‘Dune’ (2021), director Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction spectacular finds Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides navigating prophecy and politics, as he and his mother, Lady Jessica, join forces with the Fremen of the planet Arrakis.

If you’ve seen the first instalment of Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, you know that the director’s vision of Herbert’s sprawling, spice-seeking universe is best experienced on the big screen.

From Arrakis’ gigantic sandworms, rode regally through the desert, to the action-packed raids on colonial spice harvesters and the violent black-and-white horror of the Harkonnen world, ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a feast for the eyes as cinematography by Greig Fraser stuns below a sublime score by Hans Zimmer.

In visual effects, cinematography and utter cinematic excellence, ‘Dune: Part Two’ doesn’t disappointment and is not to be missed on the biggest screen available.

But while the visuals thrill, the complex politics of ‘Dune’s’ expansive universe is less articulate, particularly if you haven’t read the books.

Though the film runs almost three hours, the drive and desires of the vicious and power-hungry Harkonnens, the manipulative and mysterious Bene Gesserit, and the scheming Emperor who sacrifice House of Atreides in their combined plot to control spice and human potential feels rushed and reduced.

More could be said about the central prophecy that gives Paul his power and renders the Fremen believers and fundamentalists who recognise Paul, an outsider, as a messiah.

Similarly, the love story between Paul and Fremen fighter Chani feels underdeveloped or lacks chemistry between the two leads, despite Chalamet and Zendaya being intense and enthralling in their own right.

Contrasting ‘Dune’ with the world we know today, one can appreciate that Herbert’s story of colonialism, occupation, resource plundering, visions of holy war and the (not so) invisible hands that manipulate world politics echoes in real life to this day, which makes the viewing of the film somewhat like gazing into a distorted mirror.

Well cast and thoroughly star-studded, ‘Dune: Part Two’s’ merits include the talents of Rebecca Ferguson as the ambitious and conniving Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as the almost comical Fremen believer Stilgar, Florence Pugh as the perceptive Princess Arleen, and Austin Butler as psychotic Harkonnen heir and fighter Feyd-Rautha.

The film also stars Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux and Anya Taylor-Joy, with Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Josh Brolin and Dave Bautista returning.

Catch this on the big screen to see this epic and almost picture perfect political tale of revenge, fanaticism, love and war at its best.

– martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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