Three Thousand Years of Longing

George Miller’s latest film is a romantic fantasy featuring a djinn revealing his life story to the most recent person to take possession of his bottle.

The Djinn (Idris Elba) and the scholar Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) find one another after Alithea purchases an antique bottle and discovers that it contained a djinn who had been alive for many years. However, Alithea was not intending for things to go awry as she tells the djinn that in every story about wishes being granted, it turns into a cautionary tale. Because of that, and because of not wanting for anything, Alithea refuses to make any wishes.

To try and convince her to make the wishes, the Djinn tells her three stories of his life and how he came to be trapped within the bottle that she had purchased.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is a beautifully shot and wonderfully looking film, but the center of the film, the relationship between Alithea and the Djinn, lacks a little oomph for me.

The three different stories, as narrated by Idris Elba, are fine and they are interesting, but I did not find them necessarily engaging enough to sway the mind of Alithea into making the wishes that she eventually makes. Because of this, the sacrifice made at the end of the movie ends up to be fairly lacking in emotional power.

Elba and Swinton are their usually excellent selves here as both do everything they can to make the lacking script work and they nearly pull it off.

There is no denying that the film is beautiful to look at and that the film takes some real swings. It is original and does keep the attention of the viewer. The issue I have is that the story does not truly come together. It is a decent watch, but not to the level that one would expect from George Miller.

3.3 stars

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