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Movie Review, Zendaya | Extremely spectacular «Dune II»

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Movie Review, Zendaya |  Extremely spectacular «Dune II»

“Dune II” is arguably the universe’s most anticipated film for an incredible number of people. Based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel – among the world‘s best-selling science fiction novels – it received its first part as a film in 2021 under the direction of Denis Villeneuve, the man who has also directed this second part. (David Lynch’s 1984 film adaptation apparently never quite convinced.)

Expectation

But the 2021 version really took off with a large audience. Hence the expectations for the one who comes now.

The future universe we are introduced into takes place around the year 10190. The duke’s son Paul is trying to win back dominion over the planet Arrakis. Arrakis is the only place in the universe where the spice Melange is found, an extremely crucial and important all-purpose substance: It extends life, makes space travel possible, brings about civilization and gives telepathic abilities to specially selected individuals. It is very valuable, as you can understand. And in the past, Paul’s father has been killed by the rival Harkonen family in a battle for this unique resource. Above the Harkonen line, again, is a maddened and cynical emperor.

But on Arrakis there are also the nomadic Fremen. And it is among them that Paul must find support and help to get back to power.

Religiously

This is the framework. But then a complicated web of connections, love, swords and atomic bombs, thoughts of revenge, willingness to sacrifice, betrayal and kindness enter the witch’s brew. So it must be said: If you are unfamiliar with the Dune universe, it is not as easy to find all the threads. In addition, a clear “spiritual” dimension comes into play. There are calls for and dreams of a Messiah figure; a savior. And blind, religious conviction definitely exists. Thoughts and elements have been taken from both Christian and Muslim worlds of imagination.

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But the film is long, almost three hours, so things mostly fall into place over time.

Visually

The film’s enormous strength is the visuals. Arrakis is extremely desolate, a desert whose primary and most lacking element is water. The Norwegian novel translations are then also called “Sand”. (All corpses are drained of water to increase reservoirs, for example.)

Also, a present nightmare are the site’s underground snakes, ranging in size from the manageable in principle up to aircraft carrier dimensions. Life-threatening, of course. But the locals can also, rather cheerfully, use them for wild surf trips and useful transport.

All this is conveyed in dizzying scenes, insane battles and fights, meaningful oasis sojourns, grassy storms and absolutely gorgeous backlit scenes. Because there must be some kissing here, of course!

Motives

All the characters are people (more or less). It makes it easier to follow. But few are only good or only evil; it makes it more difficult – one has good reason to doubt many people’s motives.

There was some expectation that this film would conclude the Dune universe. It clearly does not; the ending is open. And director Villeneuve has also stated that he believes a third film must come, based on a sequel novel by Frank Herbert from 1968.

It will probably come, yes.

«DUNE II»

American sci-fi. Premiere 28.2.2024

Regi: Denis Villeneuve. Med Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem

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