Movie. ‘‘Dune: Part Two’ Is a Religious Experience

SAND The new movie Dune: Part Two, directed by Denis Villeneuve, adapts the second half of Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune. Science fiction author Matthew Kressel was blown away by the film’s breathtaking visuals.

“I was on the edge of my seat for the whole movie,” Kressel says in Episode 563 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen.”

TV writer Andrea Kail, a lifelong Dune fan, calls Dune: Part Two a perfect movie. “It was like a religious experience,” she says. “Genuinely. It was awe-inspiring, the way you feel in church if you’re very religious.”

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley loved Dune: Part Two, but warns that Dune purists might need to adjust their expectations. “This movie seems like basically a rewrite of the book,” he says. “So many of the scenes I don’t think are in the book—I don’t remember them. So many things are changed pretty dramatically. They’re basically 99-100 percent good changes in my opinion, but it seems like they made pretty dramatic changes to the material compared to the first movie.”

Science fiction author Rajan Khanna had mixed feelings about Dune: Part Two, but is glad that it’s helping to create more Dune fans. “It’s exciting to have certain things enter the modern vernacular that I’ve had in my head for a long time, stuff about spice and sandworms and things,” he says. “I’m happy to see stuff like this succeed. Stuff that we love finally finding an audience and being done well is always great.”

Listen to the complete interview with Matthew Kressel, Andrea Kail, and Rajan Khanna in Episode 563 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.


Rajan Khanna on Dune vs. Dune: Part Two:

The first film had to set up a lot of the language, especially if you’re not used to Dune, how the world works, how the technology works, the shields and all that. They were very careful in the first film to show how the shields worked and the red meant that something was penetrating. So I think in this film they got to be like, “You saw the first film, you know how it works, now we can just unload it on you,” and I think that worked to its benefit for sure.

Andrea Kail on Paul Atreides and Chani:

In the book it’s more like, “Oh, he dreams about her and it’s destiny,” but we don’t see them actually falling in love. I don’t feel it. In this we see the love story, we see why they fall in love, and it’s sweet and it’s quiet and it’s real. I understand why they love each other. That’s one of the parts where I was crying, that dune scene where he’s telling her about the seas on Caladan, how you swim in the water, and the scene where she teaches him how to sandwalk. It was like watching two kids dancing. It was so beautiful. I was just tearing up.

Matthew Kressel on sandworms:

The earlier adaptations, the Lynch version and the Syfy version, when they ride the worms I’m like, “OK, that looks difficult. It’s like a rock wall in a gym. It looks really hard but I could probably do it.” In this movie, I’m like, “No way.” Just the speed of it and the enormity of it. How do they even see where they’re going? There’s so much sand blowing around. I just thought that was so cool, and the final battle scene where they’re riding the worms into battle and they’re flying the Atreides banner, and you’re like, “Holy cow.” I got chills from that.

David Barr Kirtley on film audiences:

The fact that this seems to have been embraced so fervently by a mass audience just to me is such an encouraging sign that you can make a big budget, serious science fiction movie, and not have to dumb it down, and not have to make it a “crowd pleaser.” So I think people have maybe not been giving audiences enough credit, that people will go to see this sort of movie, even if it’s three hours long and has a downer ending and everything, if it’s good. So that’s just another reason I love this movie and the phenomenon of this movie.

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