Wednesday 7 June 2023

Movie Review: Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022)

Genre: Fantasy Drama Romance
Director: George Miller
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba
Running Time: 108 minutes

Synopsis: On a trip to Istanbul, lonely British literary scholar Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) suffers from hallucinations and blackouts. In the backroom of a market store she finds an ancient bottle, and back at her hotel room releases a Djinn (Idris Elba). He grants her three wishes, but she is aware of the pitfalls and careful about what she wants to wish for. To stimulate her imagination the Djinn recounts stories of his past loves from thousands of years past.

What Works Well: Director George Miller enlivens a two-person whimsical drama with a gorgeous visual style, the inventive cinematography playfully celebrating adult fairytales. Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba do their best with the intellectually and spatially confined material.

What Does Not Work As Well: The adaptation of mythical short stories is unsurprisingly choppy, the pacing is slow, and the narrative pathway ultimately tortuous, all to arrive at two trite conclusions: love cannot be forced, and be careful what you wish for. Along the way, the structure surrenders to meandering fragments in desperate search of a unifying soul. 

Conclusion: This Djinn should have stayed in the bottle.

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