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Sandstorms of existentialism: Dune Part 2


‘Dune Part Two’ was the closest to a perfect movie that I’ve seen with impeccably crafted fight scenes, gorgeous cinematography, incredible performances, and a hauntingly beautiful score. Previously considered unadaptable Villeneuve’s adaptation is almost a miracle of filmmaking and nothing short of pure cinema. 

But beyond its flashy spectacle and incredible visuals lies an introspective look into where we fit into this vast system of stars. 

Dune at its core is a story about power, what we do in the pursuit of it, and how it affects the people in our lives. In the movie, the faction in power is ever-changing on the sand planet of Arrakis, especially amidst the political conflict between the houses of power. 

Amidst this conflict, innocent groups are caught in the crossfire. Mainly there is the Fremen, the natives of Arrakis who have long been under the brutal control of the Harkonnen. The Fremen have a prophecy that foretells an outer-worlder who will arrive on Arrakis and lead them to paradise free from the controlled grip of the houses. 

It just so happens that Paul, prince of House Atreides, fits the characteristics described in the prophecy. The plot follows Paul and his mother Jessica as they take on new roles as they assimilate into Fremen society and lay the cards out in their favor so that they can get revenge on the Harkonnen. The only problem is the prophecy was made up by a facet of the emperor’s house and spread among the population to encourage compliance and keep the Femen under control.  

Jessica, who takes on the role of a spiritual mother, plants seeds of deception to make it seem like Paul is fulfilling the prophecy. Characters like them who would normally be the charismatic leads now take on antagonistic roles in the film. The common trope in fiction tells of someone who attempts to avoid their fate only to seal it while ‘Dune’ tells a story of someone seeking their fate and sealing the fates of those around them. 

The movie sees Paul and Jessica use the superstitions of the Fremen to gain support and use them as an army against the Harkonnen and the Emperor. With his new role, Paul eventually declares war on the other houses. Nothing changed for the Fremen, there was just someone else in power. 

‘Dune Part 2’ asks the age-old question of what you should do when your fate is at the whim of some galactic emperor light years away and when someone who seems to be your prophesied messiah becomes a crazed lunatic and goes to war with multiple political factions. An issue that many of us face throughout our lives.   

The film acts as a warning against charismatic leaders because often they are unfit to rule and usually don’t hold you as their main interest. An authoritarian ruler can be taken down only to be replaced by a different one but freedom is still worth fighting for because it is one of the only things that we can hold on to. 

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Charlie Richards
Charlie Richards, Staff Writer
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