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Film Reviews by Lisa Blanck
Dune: Part Two
| Friday, 03.01.2024, 09:45 PM |   (76 views)

Dune: Part Two is a feast for the senses.  Visually immersive, amazing casting, you can even feel the Arrakian Shai-Hulud rippling their immense bodies across the screen.  

The only criticism I have is that, just as in Part One, the story is told as if you're reading a book and someone has ripped out various chapters.  You have to sometimes guess at what happens between some scenes.  

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's return to the spectacle of Dune.  I'm not always a fan of Timothee Chalamet in other roles, but he's undeniably excellent as Paul Atreides, reluctant Savior of the Fremen. 

Paul and his mother, Jessica, are what remains of the House of Atreides, previously decimated in a war with the powerful Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgad) and the conniving Emporer (Christopher Walken).  Jessica is part of the powerful Bene Gesserit sisterhood, and has been keeping her pregnancy hidden from almost everyone.

Mother and son take different paths to win the hearts and minds of the Fremen, in a battle to keep themselves alive on Arrakis.  Their arrival on the planet is viewed with skepticism by some Fremen who see them as spies, while others, such as Stilgar (Javier Bardem) see Paul as their Savior.  Stilgar, the Fremen leader, is convinced that Paul will lead the Fremen to freedom.  But not everyone, including Chani (Zendaya) are convinced.

Jessica has the ability to converse with the fetus she is carrying, and gives Paul some direction on what he should do.  The fetus, a female child, is seen by Paul in his future as an adult woman, but we won't reveal her identity here. 

Jessica is challenged by the Fremen women to 'drink the water of life and undergo a painful ritual'.  If she lives, the women will honor her.  If she dies, the future of Atreides may die with her. 

Meanwhile, Baron Harkonnen has found his new champion, a psychotic lover of pain and torture named Feyd-Rautha, who happens to be the Baron's nephew and heir.  Played with extreme sadism by Austin Butler, this casting is unexpectedly delicious.   Feyd-Rautha is courted, if you will, by the Emporer's daughter, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), who realizes the danger her father is in and is seeking to shore up her future, even if it's with an openly sadistic bastard.

Paul begins his relationship with Chani, but even that is imperiled on many levels including the Savior prophecy and political plots hatched on other worlds.  He spends much of his time convincing the Fremen, through his words and heroism, that he will stand with them, even though he shuns the title of Savior.  He pledges his love to Chani, but, due to circumstances, she becomes disillusioned.
So many threads, so many plots spinning simultaneously under the direction of Director Denis Villeneuve.  

And then you have the glorious sandworms.  Though I do not want to divulge too much storyline here, I have a feeling that, in a fashion similar to the Fremen's summoning of the sandworms, many Dune fans will be summoned to the theaters to see Dune: Part Two.  And all will leave satisfied. 

Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor / Movie Reviewer for In and is a member of the Critics Association of Central Florida.  Her background includes 30+ years of digital editing for NBC and CBS News affiliates.  She also edits national promotional spots for Matter Of Fact, the #1 nationally syndicated news & information program.  For 30+ years she has covered the Florida Film Festival & the World Peace Film Festival, and has additional award-winning experience in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events with MTV Networks.  

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