Dune: Part Two

I loved the previous Dune movie. It had a unique and detailed atmosphere that transported me far away and absorbed my attention completely. Dune: Part Two is more of the same, which is what I was hoping.

The soundtrack and sound effects are, like in the first movie, out of this world and my favorite part. The combination of instruments that you don’t frequently hear in movies, like bagpipes, in an alien world adds so much to the feeling of distance.

Feyd-Rautha sizing his opponents up at the colosseum.
Feyd-Rautha sizing his opponents up at the colosseum.

In terms of characters, the only one I connected with was Gurney, the “war master” of House Atreides. The rest, both from the good guys and the bad guys sides, came across as sadistic, arrogant, distrusting, manipulative, and scheming.

The world where most of the movie takes place, Arrakis, is a desert planet where water is incredibly scarce and nature is out to get you (sandworms, heat). The planet is important to civilization because it has a resource, spice, a byproduct of the planet’s sandworms that brings mental powers like precognition or the ability to fly ships very fast without crashing into stars.

What does the movie say about life?

  • Life is full of violence, and a constant struggle to survive, the law of the jungle.
  • People are either rulers or ruled. Rulers are mostly power-hungry predators who use entertainment, religion, and violence to control others, and ruled are mostly manipulable prey.

Harkonnen military parade.
Harkonnen military parade.

Observations and details

  • No heroes: the good guy wants to kill the bad guys to avenge his father, but he tells his army that he wants to free them.
  • Riding the sandworms: spectacular, the most memorable scenes.
  • Reverence to water.
  • Embarrasment whenever Stilgar refered to Paul as “the chosen one.”
  • Interesting masks worn by Southern women at the temple.
  • I confused Princess Irulan with Lady Margot. Both were pretty, but I guess too similar.

Riding the sandworms.
Riding the sandworms.

About to drink sandworm poison.
About to drink sandworm poison.

The book

When I read the book I remember feeling I had went through an intense adventure, but in the years since then my brain condensed the experience into a fuzzy mix of sensations: heat, sand, worms, power, visions, the Baron, with most details stripped out. I do remember connecting more with the good guys, I guess the mind made them look more similar to what I admire.

Connections

Lot of symbols, here are some that came up for me:

  • Movie “Arrival”: atmosphere.
  • Main driving forces of history: power, politics, religion, resource control (colonialism).
  • The Lord of the Rings: “the Chosen One”.
  • Roman empire.
  • The Selfish Gene: a lot of characters seem worried about passing their genes on (bloodlines).
  • Diablo IV: my threshold for how much gore is too much. Both Dune 2 and Diablo IV are past it.
  • Risk management: Paul’s tactical decisions in the final fight.

The Harkonnen headquarters with the emperor’s docked on it.
The Harkonnen headquarters with the emperor’s docked on it.