Dune 2 – Villeneuve (REvIEW)

By tdf, March 10, 2024


I watched Dune 2 at the cinema earlier this week in nearby Yarraville, an old style theatre…

…lengthy, hugely anticipated, have read three of the old man Herbet books, and as weird as they shapeshift, and they do become very weird indeed, the writing remains solid, interesting, wild yet absent of any clear drop of the quality of narrative, or character and world building.

(brief mention of old man Herbert…his writing is to precise, too clear, the world he wrote too believable…he was not creating, he was echoing worlds alive, somewhere, somehow, maybe he experienced wormholes and brought back visions of future or parallel realities)

I was aware that Villeneuve had lost his main soundscape chum, to death, whatever that means…(beyond they are gone from this edition of existence, confined to our human muddle, a consciousness which refuses to accept we may be simply like the seasonal blossom of flowers)…same chap, maybe, he worked with for Sicario…and the soundscape of Dune 2 felt close to, yet well below, what was conjured in their communion for the opening chapter. Clearly Villeneuve found the next best and wanted them to continue in the same vein but it wasn’t the same body of sound…shoe-horned and a semblance, never the same.

Never mind the soundscape not quite immense, the film regardless was special, deep, amazing…so powerful, that it sent shivers down my spine many times.

Please understand that whilst I am not a visually creative chap in the slightest, when I read a book, if the writing is strong, I remember the book in the future thereafter as images…not words on a page. I have a film from Herbert’s books already in my memories, as if I saw the same thoughts the writer experienced and shared or lived the story as a sensitive observer.

Dune 2 is a masterpiece.

its not perfect, it cuddles close a great deal of the narrative and character development, changes some (Chani mainly) and cuts out much that could be important – the focus is hugely on the transformation of Paul.

It is awe inspiring.

a brutal poem of the future, past…missing the present.

It is an experience…which changed me, as the first that came before changed me also…it brings into play so many elements of our nature as humans, of space, of politics, of destiny,  of resources, of religion, of what could be possible of our species and other alien lifeforms and galaxies…

Not just Paul Atreides…its his mother also I found somehow vaguely echoes of the divine…and the divine for me, is not benign…its simply powerful and capable of so much more than we have been told is our lot.

what I enjoyed most of the Dune 2…whilst some jumps to connect and echo pure the storyline covered seem close to lacking depth, the focus on Paul…feels real, and universe changing, it made me want to be near him, under his command.

Perhaps it is Paul’s arrival and emergence at the Fremen war council in the South, which seismic moved me the deepest, so potent a shaking, uplifting to the skies of my foundations, that I knew during these scenes, I would never be the same, when any sense of foundations recovered terra firma, physically, mentally, sensually, in dream and wake…

the whole epic reaches geyser boil at this point, leaning and searing towards volcanic eruption.

The visuals, the narrative, the soundscape…everything else in the world I knew stopped and took back stage for this…reminds me of Mecca imagery I have seen before, in the early stages, no doubt that was involved in the design.

Dune 1 is closer to perfect, in fact it is probably the most powerful film art I have ever felt/experienced/lived…Dune 2 is not quite so incredibly well manufactured, for the Sardauker are perhaps too weak and easily dealt with, the guild and navigators do not feature, mentats are absent, we also lack Count Fenring…however, there is so much wild avenues that the writings cover and convey, and Villeneuve has performed more galactic class work to create Dune 2…I will not complain, nor could I suggest anything other than this as another masterpiece…I am instantly mega eager for Dune 3. Especially to meet his son.

I advise all those with an imagination, with a sensitive soul, with a beating heart, to watch both Dune 1 and 2…

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