HomeMoviesWhat Is The Controversy Around 'Dune: Part Two'?

    What Is The Controversy Around ‘Dune: Part Two’?

    While ‘Dune 2‘ is doing great in theatres, there are a few controversies that the movie has found itself mired into. Director Denis Villeneuve has tried his best to bring to life the expansive Dune universe to life from its expansive expansion. Though he has agreed that it was quite difficult for him to edit the movie while still trying to get the essence of the book without losing out in its nuances, he has clearly done a commendable job doing justice to the film.

    However, like every coin has two sides, the film is getting criticized for some aspects. ‘Dune: Part Two’ has sparked controversy and mixed reactions among a few of the audiences, particularly because of its portrayal of themes related to colonialism, diversity, as well as the filmmaker’s personal background. Here’s a detailed insight into what the film is being scrutinized for.

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    Dune: Part Two‘ Accused Of Cultural Inappropriation

    Dune 2 (Credit: Getty)
    Dune 2 (Credit: Getty)

    Dune: Part Two‘ is the sequel to the first part of the film adapted from the book of the same name. The film continues the story from the first installment, as it delves deeper into themes of religious fanaticism and the consequences of blind faith. In the film, Timothée Chalamet’s character, Paul Atreides, rises to the Messiah status on the planet Arrakis.

    While there are several aspects that the movie is being criticized for, one point of contention is the portrayal of colonial imagery in the film. Some viewers have spoken up against the narrative’s depiction of predominantly white colonizers exploiting foreign lands and peoples. The character of Paul Atreides being positioned as a savior figure for the Fremen which is a desert-dwelling nomadic race, has drawn criticism for several colonialist tropes.

    This comes with many pointing out that the West has been spreading propaganda and exploiting nations all over the world for centuries, especially in the Middle East. There are several cultural parallels between the Middle East and Fremen, making it a more contentious point. 

    Social media is abuzz with netizens pointing out that there is enough hypocrisy in the film as it is made and led by a production team with predominantly white people. “For decades the West has attacked Islam, spread propaganda, and now they are making money from a movie inspired by it,” as user on X pointed out.

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    Netizens Claim ‘Dune: Part Two’ Is Culturally Diluted Compared To Books

    Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya (Credit: Dune: Part Two)
    Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya (Credit: Dune: Part Two)

    Some other critics argue that the adaptation has diluted the diversity and cultural richness present in Frank Herbert’s original Dune novel, particularly in its portrayal of the Fremen. They claim that the Fremen are less explicitly linked to real-world Arabic influences in the film adaptation as against in the book adaptations.

    Some other viewers have interpreted ‘Dune: Part Two‘ as an allegory for Quebecois nationalism, given Denis Villeneuve’s Quebecois background. He has also given several references to Quebec’s history of separating church and state. However, labeling the film as propaganda may be an exaggeration, as Villeneuve’s personal experiences likely influenced his approach to storytelling but do not necessarily define the film’s thematic intentions.

    The criticism around Dune: Part Two‘ reception reflects broader discussions around representation, cultural sensitivity, and the responsibilities of filmmakers when adapting some acclaimed literary works to the screen.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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