George Miller, Augusta Gore, A.S. Byatt
Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba
Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Rated: R for some sexual content, graphic nudity and brief violence.
All media used courtesy of MGM
Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic that is experiencing hot flashes and seeing mythological creatures. After having an incident after presenting in Istanbul at a conference, she accidentally releases a Djinn, or for the Aladdin crowd “Geanie” (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes. Alithea doubts that he is real and knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. This causes Djinn to explain his story and what brought him to be in her hotel room, but is it enough for Alithea to grant him his freedom?
George Miller is a master of his craft, and his visual storytelling and imagination is in full force here. It’s amazing how well he is able to properly build and immerse you into worlds. Having seen the trailers promoting the film, I would say there could’ve been a more faithful representation of the film audiences are going to walk into this weekend. Three Thousand Years of Longing is much more of a romantic fiction hearkening to “Big Fish” than “Mad Max” tone that we’re given in the trailers.
The creature design, sets, and costumes are beautiful. The editing while quick is a little hard to follow. You’re taken into multiple stories narrated and starring Djinn but in how they are cut within the present day and Tilda Swinton just feels off for this type of story. The chemistry between Elba and Swinton feels surface level from beginning to end, even though their performances and characters are well fleshed out.
Overall, Three Thousand Years of Longing is a grand scale romance that fails to capture the emotional connection to the two leads. Miler gives an immersive and visionary story that works in some ways, but overall still feels like it’s missing something.