Rob Reviews "Three Thousand Years of Longing"
What if I told you that George Miller did a film based on a short story about an expert on mythology and storytelling that discovers a genie who of course grants her three wishes and it’s not really graphic? If this confuses you, I may need to remind you that he directed both of the “Happy Feet” films. So… let’s talk “Three Thousand Years of Longing”.
Idris Elba plays “The Djinn” to Tilda Swinton’s Alithea here, and in her hotel room where she has freed him is where a chunk of this film takes place. As she uses her knowledge of history and legend to navigate where her wishes from the desires of her heart, the Djinn tells her the story of his previous incarcerations in the hopes that he can help her figure out what she is to wish for so he can be free forever.
I would be very interested to see this particular script used as a stage play since most of its main narrative takes place in Alithea’s hotel room in Istanbul outside of the flashbacks to his stories and some further “now” footage towards the end. The downside to this is to find two actors that could pull off these roles on the level of Swinton and Elba because their chemistry is so spot-on that even in scenes where there is a greater-than-zero chance that the other is not in the room for coverage or CGI purposes, they don’t miss a beat of the entire spectrum of emotions this film took me on.
Speaking of CGI, the visuals here are nothing short of stunning. When Miller himself showed up on the screen to give a short message of thanks to the people watching his latest film and made it a point to reference how this was the kind of film that needed to be seen in a theater, he wasn’t lying. Seeing this on a big screen is almost required viewing to take in all of the spectacle that exists as the Djinn regales his tales of wonder to Alithea. Although it would still look pretty great in my living room, there is so much detail to admire here that even in a small auditorium the experience would be that much more awesome.
If there is a downside here it would be that I feel that the ending seemed a bit rushed. It’s not like “Three Thousand Years of Longing” carries an epic run time by clocking in at just under one hundred ten minutes; I honestly believe another ten to twenty minutes to flesh everything out just a bit more (especially in the third act) would have bumped this up a bit higher on my “Films of 2022” list.
It IS possible that this could drop out of my Top Ten before the end of the year with just over a quarter of said year left, but with the amazing films that have come so far, it’s gonna take something pretty stout to knock this one completely out. Go see it!