• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
Clarion Reveiws: Dune 2

“Dune: Part 2″, released on March 1, 2024, does not dissapoint. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothee Chalamet, recounts the ascension – or descension depending on one’s own perception – of Paul Atreides to messianic status and Emperor of the interplanetary universe. 

The initial release date, in November of 2023, was delayed due to strikes from the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild as they demanded better compensation in the era of streaming. Despite the wait, the film did not disappoint. 

“As Elijah Wood is Frodo Baggins and Mark Hamill is Luke Skywalker, so Timothee Chalamet has become Paul Atreides.”

– Davis Miller

Whether recency bias or true amazement, the widespread public reaction placed the film on par with legendary sci-fi sequels like “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” 

Some might think it a simple task to render a film from pre-existing source material, especially given the acclaim of the novels. Villenueve walks the line between honoring Frank Herbert’s story and splicing his own vision. The breadth of characters like Chani, played by Zendaya, and Feyd-Rautha, played by Austin Butler, is enhanced by Villeneuve and masterfully portrayed by their actors. 

Chalamet plays his character wonderfully. His emotion and tone throughout the film portrays the director’s intended feeling of the story, especially during his dramatic, awesome monologue at the movie’s climax. As Elijah Wood is Frodo Baggins and Mark Hamill is Luke Skywalker, so Timothee Chalamet has become Paul Atreides. 

Photo from IMBD

The supporting cast is filled out with stars like, Stellan Skarsgard as the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, Christopher Walken as Shaddam IV Corrino, and Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan. 

The only noticeable negative in the film is some lackluster, on-the-nose dialogue. These moments remove a degree of profundity of the characters and diminishes their connection with the audience. However, when introducing a story with such vastness, there doesn’t seem to be much room for mysticism and subtlety. 

The cinematography is a masterclass performed by Greig Fraser, who worked on beautiful films such as “Vice”, “The Batman (2022)”, and “Zero Dark Thirty”. Hans Zimmer’s score brings an aural accompaniment that perfectly complements Fraser’s grandiose and intimate shots, lifting and dropping the tone of the movie in synchrony with the visual enthrallment. 

Photo from Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

The story itself is a tragedy. The tale of a boy whose destiny is corrupted by the scheming powerful. Strange and terrifying abilities of prescience are willed upon him until he is corrupted by the inevitable. Paul desperately tries to avoid his fate, but succumbs to the pressure of the future laid before him. It’s a warning against religious fanaticism and untempered faith in heroes.

This is a film for sci-fi lovers; for movie lovers and story lovers. It tells a profound chronicle in a spectacular manner. It has imposing and modest moments. Themes of romanticism, ecology, the cost of political power, religious optimism and the purpose of war, all on the backdrop of an epic sci-fi universe. Nearly three hours pass in a moment. Dune: Part 2 sets a new standard for the genre science fiction and for the entire art of filmmaking.

Written by Davis Miller, Intern