Genie or Djinn: Just Grant Me Three Wishes
George Miller's new film is quite different from his previous movies, including Mad Max: Fury Road.
Three Thousand Years of Longing is George Miller's latest film since the madness that was 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. Unlike Fury Road, this film is slower, and unashamedly quirky. The film is about a woman named Alithea, played by the great Tilda Swinton, who comes across a magical bottle in Istanbul. The bottle holds a Djinn played by Idris Elba. The Djinn requires three wishes to obtain his freedom from the bottle. Alithea struggles to find what she needs in her life and comes across revelations as Djinn and her share each other's life experiences.
When the first trailer came out, I was instantly hooked and interested in checking this one out. I recently saw Mad Max Fury Road and was very interested to see what George Miller had in mind next. The trailer made the film seem like a dark, satirical comedy with quick cutting, bizarre visuals, and quirky dialogue. It was very different from Mad Max, which is no surprise since Miller made films like Happy Feet in his filmography. But once the film's opening titles possessed this droning, almost haunting music, I knew we were in the form of something more severe and dramatic.
First off, Three Thousand Years of Longing's visuals are striking. Apart from clearly unfinished visual effects moments, the film has a vibrant color palette and impeccable attention to detail, especially in the fantastical avenues the film explores. The film's crux revolves around the art of storytelling, and fittingly the many flashback sequences to notable grand locations in ancient history are presented in an elegant manner that overwhelms the audience with scale.
Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton are marvelous in this film. I truly enjoyed their long conversations about their lives and journeys and how they struggled to find something relatable within each of them. Elba gives his best performance since Molly's Game, but that doesn't mean he isn't always awesome. Tilda Swinton also is someone I haven't had the pleasure of seeing, but I wish to seek out more of her movies.
The film's detailed message becomes more personal for the characters as we progress into the third act. But unfortunately, Miller struggles to find a cohesive manner to get that message across. The shift to the third act is somewhat jarring since the film's structure completely changes, and it's hard to get back into the movie as I struggled to resonate or get into what was going on.
This film may not be a blockbuster hit, but you won’t regret your nearly 2 hours spent watching it. The glamorous visuals and profound dialogues heavily carry this film to a point where it is somewhat enjoyable. While serious cinephiles may not find what they are looking for, Three Thousand Years Of Longing can make a good movie night.
Raving Rating: 6.7