George Miller’s new movie is out. Three Thousand Years of Longing stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. The story is a modern take on a well known theme:
A lonely scholar, on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.
It was written by Miller and Augusta Gore, based on a short story by A S Byatt called The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.
In a nutshell it’s a love story… well, many love stories all in one. Alithea is lonely by choice. She is happy in her own little world and happy to stay there. On a work trip to Turkey, she finds a small bottle, only to find a djinn (a genie) inside.
The rest of the story isn’t about her 3 wishes, but more about how the djinn ended up in the bottle and the stories he has to tell. In her narration she says that stories to djinn are like breath, they sustain them.
What is interesting about the movie is that it is a lot of Alithea and the djinn in one room, just talking. There are flashbacks to strange and exotic lands. In her narration she says it is a true story, but she will tell it like a fairytale so it’s more believable.
The direction is great. It is interesting and beautifully shot. Miller is an interesting director. Of course he’s the guy who gave us the Mad Max movies, but he also gave us Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, and The Witches of Eastwick. I love directors that don’t just stick to one genre.
Three Thousand Years of Longing is another genre really. It is set in a fairytale, which means some stunning visuals, and a love story at its core.
Overall, I liked the movie a lot. Both Swanson and Elba gave great performances, to be expected as they are both of them are great actors. The downside is the story, which, towards the end, gets a little more complex.
I think the end is about the modern world killing off imagination and childlike wonder in things like magic and legends, however, I might be way off. It’s one of those movies that will promote discussion and people might interpret things in different ways.
It is also one of those movies that isn’t for everyone. I did find it refreshing as it was something a little new and a little unusual. Some of the flashbacks reminded me a little of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, as they are based in real life but made more magical with a little embellishment.
I give Three Thousand Years of Longing a solid score of 3 out of 5. I did really like this, but I need to see it again to fully appreciate it.