starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem
screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve, based on the novel by Frank Herbert
directed by Denis Villeneuve
by Walter Chaw
"And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of they life:"
Fanaticism is a closed circle, maddening because it's impregnable, maddening because it destroys everything in the process of building itself. It's a riddle without a solution, and once you've drunk deep the plasma spring, it's a long way back--if you ever get there. There are people who "deprogram" cult members, but I don't buy it, you guys. I'm of the belief that when you're gone, you're gone. You went by choice, after all. You denied your ears the beeswax but didn't tie yourself to the mast. My mom bought into a cult for the last several years of her life. She held on to it tightly, and it gripped her right back. I suppose that's one of the appealing things about cults: when you find the right one, you join the company of a great many people who agree with you. If you're broken in some way, if your awareness of that has made you lonesome and alone, that must feel good. I take a little bit of the blame for her susceptibility to such things. I was a terrible son to her. Maybe she needed something to hold that would hold her back; I did, too. I found it in a wonderful wife and kids. She found it, some of it, in a cult that finally accepted her. I don't know if I believe that. I don't know what I believe. Maybe this is just narcissism--mine or hers, I don't know either. But she's dead now, and I'm the only one left to wonder about what happened between us.