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MAGNIFICENT! Here is a film of such overwhelming beauty, strength, majesty nothing short of envy resonates for the mind behind the vision; director Denis Villeneuve focuses, with glorious acuity, on the science fiction novels of Frank Herbert (1920-1986), generating a reverence rarely visited upon the screen.

As a neophyte and poorly schooled (by choice) in the realm of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, I found the “Dune” scenarios mesmerizingly seductive; it wasn’t bothersome being ill-informed, ignorant of the fantasy of the House of Atriedes, the hallucinogenic “Spice”, the Bene Gesserit, Fremen; one can always distinguish the pernicious from the beneficial. Timothee Chalamet, a Byron bombshell, is the heroic “Paul Atreides”, ultimate savior of the familial “House”; Zendaya, as the rebel warrior “Chani” is his love interest (without chemistry, a problematic pairing);  Javier Barden soars as Fremen leader “Stilgar”;  pop-up performances by Rebecca Ferguson, Christopher Walken, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgard, Florence Pugh legitimize the reverie, but hairless Austin Butler (“Elvis”) dominates the film in his deliciously, devilish, evil portrait of  psychotic “Feyd-Rautha”. Outstanding costuming, reminiscent of artist Nick Cave’s, “Soundsuits” separates the “good, bad and ugly”.

The film’s hierarchy lies in the musical score of Bobby Prince in partnership with cinematographer Greig Fraser (winner of Academy Award for “Dune”), resulting in a visual, symphonic, paean of wonderment. 

“Dune: Part Two’s” soul is the ever-pulverizing, undulating, impenetrable, grainy, gritty, sustainable substance: sand (Abu Dhabi); nature’s whim, defying categorization, its personality, forever mystifying, perspicaciously hammers at the core of this contemporary blockbuster.

FOUR & ½ STARS!!!!


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