Dune -2 – Review By Team RasaGrahana

Dune 2: A Must-Watch Sci-Fi Spectacle

Denis Villeneuve has absolutely nailed it as director. The story unfolds perfectly, thanks to a rock-solid screenplay. And what to say of Hans Zimmer’s score – that music is pure legend! It is a testament to the power of storytelling in film and solidifies Villeneuve’s standing as a master storyteller.

The narrative, adapted from Frank Herbert’s series, blends political intrigue, family drama, and the politics of control. The intricate web of alliances and betrayals is masterfully woven, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats as they navigate the complex interplay of power on Arrakis. A notable strength of the film is its handling of various themes such as environmentalism, power dynamics, and the resilience of the human spirit. The relevance of these themes to our own world adds a layer of thoughtfulness that transcends the sci-fi genre, making the film a visual spectacle and a catalyst for introspection.

I haven’t read the book but judging Denis Villeneuve’s cinematic version, the Fremen are heavily based on Islam/Arab and North African cultures. Be it their religious practices (spitting, praying), dialect (words like Fedaykin, Shai Hulud), holy war, attire, and faith in a prophet (Muad’Dib) are heavily influenced Islam and the culture of the deserts. There is a smattering of practices from other cultures, but they are very scant. The depiction of the Fremen culture is intrinsic to the story and plays an important part in our understanding of the ‘Dune verse’.

Symbolism of black and white, planet geography, exaggerated physical appearances and colour change cannot be missed. The greed of the Harkonnens makes them lack diversity and lead a colourless life as depicted a B&W imagery. The rule under a dictator, reminiscent of North Korea, renders all the Harkonnens seem alike in appearance. The arid geography of Arrakis showcasing a planet emptied of its resources alien powers reminds us of the colonial era. The emperor’s planet, Shaddam, which is lush with greenery and water, symbolises wealth and means of control. Not sure if the books have the same intention.

Denis Villeneuve’s rendering of the Dune isn’t just a film, it’s an experience. The stunning visuals – the graphics, camerawork, and the incredible attention to detail all come together to create this believable and immersive world. The use of jump cuts to great effect, keeps the story dynamic. The background music perfectly complements everything that’s happening on screen, heightening the tension and emotions.

It genuinely felt like we were stepping into Frank Herbert’s book and witnessing it come alive. The cinematography Greig Fraser is nothing short of a visual feast. The vast, unforgiving landscapes of Arrakis are captured with an immersive grandeur that not only transports audiences but envelops them in the harsh beauty of the desert planet. The sweeping dunes and towering sandworms are not mere set pieces; they become characters in their own right, breathing life into the arid expanse. It’s got that magic that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to another world, and it’s the kind of film that lingers in your thoughts well after you’ve left the cinema.

Even though Dune 2 is a long movie, it never drags. Villeneuve keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Every character, from Paul Atreides (played brilliantly Timothée Chalamet) to the villainous Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (Austin Butler absolutely steals the show!), is brought to life with incredible performances. Javier Bardem, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson are brilliant too. The pacing, at times, feels deliberate, sacrificing a swifter narrative for a more immersive experience. This deliberate pacing also allows for a deeper exploration of the characters and the intricate plot, making it a subjective trade-off.

If you have the chance, definitely see Dune 2 on an IMAX screen. It’s the ultimate way to experience this visually stunning masterpiece.