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Dune: Part Two–Charting The Course of Contemporary Cinema

by Sebastian Arritola

Movie poster for Dune: Part Two

“Dune: Part One” was a breathtaking interpretation of the cult-classic series in itself. Its long-awaited sequel, fittingly labeled “Dune: Part Two,” however, is superior in almost every regard, whilst being a catalyst for the precedent that all films nowadays should adhere to.

Credit where credit is due, firstly, exemplary cinematographer Greig Fraser has solidified himself as a cameraman capable of producing some of the most mesmerizing, awe-inducing visuals, and his outing within ‘Dune: Part Two” is very much indicative of that: with large, barren wastelands, glistening utopias contrasted via monotone, black-and-white setpieces, he never ceases to captivate the audience.

No film is ever whole without its share of actors, and the ensemble assembled here is nothing short of marvelous. Kudos to Timothee Chalamet’s “Paul Atreides,” whose character arc is altered greatly from an individual of indecision to an individual of certitude and assertiveness, and Chalamet excels in his conveying of him; furthermore, Austin Butler, who recently gained traction for his part as a certain musician (Elvis), adopts the role of the titular villain, “Feyd-Rautha,” a presence that, from the get-go, instills intimidation onto viewers, and serves as an antagonizing force to Chalamet’s “Paul."

The narrative, which goes without saying, is taken up a notch with regards to scale, as Paul navigates the customs of Arrakis’ Fremen, who claim he is the Lisan-al-Gaib, or “Voice from the Outer World," and the galactic feud with the Harkonnens continually progresses.

The film has obviously resonated well among fans and casual movie-goers alike, accruing within its opening box office weekend alone a total of $81.5 million, currently approaching $400 million overall.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the movies holds a 93% critic rating and 95% audience rating.

Despite its ongoing success, “Dune: Part Two” is a testament to what passionate directors such as Denis Villeneuve may bring to the table, and what the standard for modern cinema should be–from now and onward. 

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