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Film: Dune: Part Two
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, & Javier Bardem.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: 3.5/5
Runtime: 166 min.

 
The second part of Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious attempt to re-create Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel, this sci-fi/fantasy epic delayed by two years because of the Pandemic and then the Hollywood dual strike, finally comes to the theaters in IMAX and it’s an experience like we’ve never seen before. With Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) uniting with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen to seek revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family, the movie is specially primed to juice up the box office with a much-needed injection of testosterone. 

Denis Villeneuve continues to graph himself on a higher career path than most biggie Hollywood directors, mainly because of his exceptionally exacting vision and superior accomplishments. With this two-part (so far) epic he proves himself as the go-to director for the high-budget epic experience and there’s no two ways about that.

Dune Part Two goes bigger and better than the first part in pretty much every aspect. Villeneuve serves up the epic with a style and imagination that is uniquely compelling. He and his team have taken a few minor liberties deviating from the book. But these are changes for the better. They make the movie experience of it far more intense and engaging.

This narrative locates itself for significantly higher stakes on Arrakis, going beyond the spice wars and tending towards Bible-referenced themes of power, fanaticism, tradition, rituals, beliefs and survival. It is old-fashioned story-telling at its best. The film is a robust broad-scaled spectacle enjoined by spiritualism, artistry and flair.

Though it`s not necessary to re-watch the first movie, it would only aid the enjoyment better if you keyed yourself into the subtleties inherent there. This film picks up from where the first part left off. The Fremen are seen transporting the body of Jamis (Babs Olusanmokun) home, after he was bested in the fight with Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet). The pre-interval half is near operatic in its highs and lows, replete with astonishingly vivid battle sequences that counter the firepower of the Harkonnen military with the Fremen tribal opponents literally emerging from the sandy earth to destroy them. We see bodies fall from the sky and enormous futuristic ships burst into flames.

Amidst the chaos, Rabban Harkonnen (Dave Bautista) heir apparent to the Harkonnen leadership finds himself way over his head while The Baron (a grotesquely fitted Stellan Skarsgard) checks out his sociopathic nephew Feyd Rautha (Austin Butler in accommodatingly evil form) for a position of power in the hierarchy. As the story progresses we see Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) ingratiate herself into becoming the revered Mother of the Fremen. The exceptional costuming and makeup combined with the sweeping awe-inducing cinematography make it all look so believable and the scale is simply breathtaking.

This part is embedded with a coming-of-age arc for Paul. We see Paul growing before our very eyes, the character develops grit, gumption, maturity and holistic understanding as he progresses from being a mere participant to one who is revered, and commands respect and attention. The performance is the most accomplished yet from Chalamet. He is totally captivating and commands attention every time the camera gets close up and uncomfortable. The character development, visuals, music, action sequences are all top-notch. The script is brilliantly conceptualised and structured and the casting is so accurate that the performances cannot be faulted.

Hans Zimmer’s score is even more entreating and masterful than the Oscar winning, Grammy nominated score of Part. 1. Action choreography is brilliantly executed with high-end tech support from the VFX team, Production Design, Sound and Editing. Villeneuve  appears to have complete control of every aspect of the film and it shows. This movie has standalone splendour and can even be seen as a neat wrap-up for the story. Given the size of the box office pie this movie is expected to generate, the chances are that a ‘Messiah’ will emerge soon enough!



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