Janet Christie: My Week - Silence is worth more than spice

Dune part 2 (Picture: Niko Tavernise)Dune part 2 (Picture: Niko Tavernise)
Dune part 2 (Picture: Niko Tavernise)
Face your fears then shut up and watch the film

When Eldest Child invites me to the cinema with him and his partner to see Dune: Part Two I’m in. I love a bit of sci-fi but wouldn’t it matter that I’d never seen Part One, given that it’s decades since I read the book or watched the David Lynch version?

“You watched Part One with me,” he says.

“Nope. I’ll watch it tonight,” I tell him and spend two hours and 35 minutes catching up, even though five minutes in I realise he’s right. Still a refresher’s good and I can’t resist giant worms racing across the sandhills with human riders - what a way to travel.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They’re the stars of Part Two too, acting everyone else off the screen, and after several battle scenes too many, I vow the humans can fight their impending Part Three ‘holy war’ without me.

Still the cinema trip was remarkable, not for the film, but because for the first time in my life I tell the folk sitting beside me to shut up. I put it diplomatically, mindful of the physical fight that ensued after my friend asked the people in her row to quieten down during T2 - and she can handle herself - but it had to be done.

Chat through the ads is fine, and I’m immune to munching (not for me the Tupperware Middle Child packs to the cinema, his kangaroo mouse ears hypersensitive to rustle), plus I’m someone who once lived without complaint above 24-hour party people. But 15 minutes in with one neighbour still shouting to another the entire plot of Part One - in real time - and being unable to hear the dialogue despite the film’s seat-vibrating volume, despite three Vladimir Harkonnen glares, I realise I cannot thole another two hours and 30 minutes of this ear-bleeding blether.

So taking inspiration from Frank Herbert - “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear,” I say:

“Could you stop talking please?”

In the ensuing silence I realise that: 1. I feel slightly guilty. 2. I’ve become one of those buzzkillers that tells people to shut up in the cinema. 3. I can’t speak to ask Eldest my burning question: ‘How do the riders control the direction of the sandworms?’* 4. Silence is worth more than spice.

*By throwing hooks to catch the rims of their sensitive nostrils - he told me on the way out.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.