Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

‘Dune: Part Two’: A Sci Fi Titan

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

I was tickled with anticipation in the days, weeks even, leading up to the late night showing of “Dune: Part Two.” 20 years of stargazing and sci-fi dorkery has led me to this moment, awkwardly wedged into a seat just slightly too small next to someone that was breathing just slightly too loud; (he was choking on popcorn, so I let it slide).

Just like a thousand times before, the lights began to fade, the phones went into their homes, and everyone waited in silence, saving the anxious pre-movie chatter.

I took a deep breath in, my fingernails digging into the sticky, calcified residue of someone’s soda that had become one with the armrest.

I was in the captain’s seat, my space vessel stretching and squeezing as reality itself began to rocket by – going faster and faster – lightspeed, ridiculous, ludicrous, and plaid.

In a blaze of light and the bellow of a thousand drums, I was warped out of my seat into a far off universe millions of light years away, one of war and peace, of political intrigue and betrayal, of prophets and false prophets, of mystery and magic, and of a plan hundreds of years in the making. It was here.

Considering “Dune: Part Two” to be director Denis Villeneuve’s slam dunk to the alley-oop of his first adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” is an even more stunning experience. A testament to the awesome power of science fiction, Villeneuve gave his audiences so much more than just a movie to watch; they felt the story itself as it unfolded right before their eyes. The oppressive dueling suns. The sparking granules of sand flitting across the desolate desert. The absurd enormity of the sand worms. The gaze of the Fremen. The vastness of Arrakis.

Having multiple awesome flicks under his belt, such as “Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” and of course, “Dune,” Villeneuve once again demonstrates his visionary prowess, skillfully weaving together stunning visuals, haunting score, and compelling performances to create an atmosphere with a dedication to the source material.

While making necessary adaptations, as it is 2 hours, 46 minutes long, rather than the back 450 pages of a book, Villeneuve remains faithful to the themes and narrative arcs that have captivated readers across generations.

Villeneuve orchestrated the all-star cast of Timothée Chalamet as the catalyst character Paul Atreides; Zendaya as Chani, the only one to truly see Paul, to show him to love her desert planet; Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, her web of influence always expanding; Stelan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a hedonist warmonger atop a throne of bodies, and his successor, played by Austin Butler; Feyd Rautha, an utterly ruthless sadist whose hunger knows no end. The performances of the cast bring depth and nuance to their characters, perfectly capturing the essence of their original literary counterparts.

If we are to give Villeneuve his credit for painting a picture, then we must give credit to the legendary composer Hans Zimmer for creating the soundtrack of all soundtracks for the film. A true tour de force, infusing the film with a blend of sweeping orchestral grandeur and haunting melodies, Zimmer went all out, snagging his second Oscar for best original score.

Zimmer employed a wide variety of influences. He also used countless experimental techniques, such as an entirely metal house to serve as a percussive instrument, working with linguists to adapt the fictional Fremen language into lyric form, but most importantly, the human voice.

Female voices played a large part in Zimmer’s score. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Zimmer said, “The one thing that I thought was more important than anything else in the world – the human voice. The one thing that would not age, the one thing that in the future would still be valid.”

Zimmer’s music resonates with powerful emotional depth, transcending far beyond Arrakis.
One criticism I will bring to light is that I would’ve enjoyed seeing the emperor’s elite personal army; the Sardaukar taking a more equal role to the Fremen in regards to their fighting ability. Known as “The Emperor’s blades,” the Sardaukar were merciless warriors born and raised into the inhospitable gray thunderstorms of their homeworld Salusa Secundus. Much like the Greek city-state of Sparta, the Sardaukar lived in a dog-eat-dog society where the strong ate the weak. The Sardaukar were stated to be on par with the Fremen on numerous occasions throughout the books while their movie counterparts occupied more of a stormtrooper-ish, foot soldier space to be thrown at in mass at the Fremen. While this may be the case, it has little impact on the progression of the movie, still leaving plenty of room for spectacular battles on a gargantuan scale.

In comparison to the source material, “Dune: Part Two” not only maintains the truly alien identity of Herbert’s vision but also elevates it to new heights, reaching far beyond our stars. Only a masterpiece such as this could pull me to the edge of my seat, ready to pledge my allegiance to Chalamet (much like Stilgar over and over and over and over again). Only a godsend such as this could silence me for the entire twenty minute drive back home, still processing what I just experienced.

With its stunning visuals, planet-shattering score, and riveting plot, this film is without a doubt a triumph of not just science fiction but of all cinema — one that will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on the mind of fans, both old and new, while its competitors are lost to the sands.

5/5 stars

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About the Contributor
Zach Cesarini
Zach Cesarini, Design Chief
Zach Cesarini is The Maroon’s Design Chief. Zach is a sophomore design major and lives for connecting art and education. In his free time you can catch Zach drawing, exercising, or reading (rarely all at once). Zach can be reached at [email protected].

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