Dune II: The shifting sands of power

"Paul becomes a leader in his own mind": Timothy Chalamet plays the expected messiah in the second part of Dune, a sci-fi blockbuster that combines spectacle with a meditation on power, faith and bigotry, AFP reports.

"The most important thing about a man of power is what he keeps to himself," the French-American star ("The Daughters of Doctor March," "Wonka") summed up as he appeared before the French press in Paris, accompanied by part of the cast.

The hostile planet Dune, imagined by American writer Frank Herbert (1965 saga), allows messages about ecology to be conveyed, from the turning of water into a scarce commodity to the industrial waste of resources.

This desert world, with its fantastical bestiary of giant worms, also serves as a backdrop to the trajectory of the character played by Timothy Chalamet: Paul Atreides, the last descendant of a destroyed clan, completes his transformation into a vengeful leader.

The watershed moment when the challenger is seen as a messiah by the henchmen, who have become devout, is one of the film's most interesting moments.

Denis Villeneuve is excellent in portraying the light and shadows of the people's chosen one. The director also offers some wonderful roles for strong women.

Zendaya ("Spider-Man" franchise, "Euphoria" series), another superstar in the title role, plays Chani, who mows down Paul's compromises to get to the top despite their love affair. Her character, a rebellious desert soldier, opens the door to a possible third episode.

"Chani sees Paul as he is, not as others see him,' Villeneuve explained. "'Chani is strong in her convictions, in her point of view, and hence in her complicated feelings," the American actress and model summed up.

Lea Seydoux, a newcomer in the second act of Dune, is one of the faces of the Order of Bene Gesserit, the mystical figures who pull the strings behind the scenes.

The Frenchwoman, with a substantial international career ("Mission Impossible," "James Bond"), fits effortlessly into the five-star cast. "I had come to visit Denis (Villeneuve) on the set of the first film in Budapest - not knowing at the time that I would be in the second - because I was also shooting a film there. I had seen Timothy and some other friends," she said.

As with the first act, filming took place in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Hungary. This time, there was also a stint in Italy. / BGNES