THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING – Review by Gadi Elkon

Director George Miller dives into the fantastical realm of storytelling in his latest work, THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING.  Is this quirky and visually-stunning tale worth your time?  Here is my full review of the film.

Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic…a creature of reason. While in Istanbul, she happens to encounter a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. At first, she doubts that he is real and she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. But the Djinn pleads his case, and eventually she is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both!

George Miller is most famous for his dystopian Mad Max/Road Warrior films and he is now working on a look into Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.  So it is a bit confusing at where this three thousand story fits into what we think of George Miller.  Well outside of the Max Max material Miller’s directing has taken him to Happy Feet animation films, a Babe the pig film but Three Thousand seems closer to George’s heartfelt work.  In fact, take his Lorenzo’s Oil and his Witches of Eastwick and mold them together and you have a similar beast to Three Thousand.  This film is a beautiful back and forth between the intelligent Alithea Binnie and her tricky Djinn.

Cinematographer John Seale, Production Designer Roger Ford, Set Designer Lisa Thompson, costuming by Kym Barrett and George’s famed Editor wife Margaret Sixel complete the fantastic team that have created the whimsical and exotic feel of this movie.  Idris’ Djinn telling of his existence to author Binnie amplifies the film’s outlandish sequences that touch on historical figures.  The film is both a vibrant visual journey and a comforting story of finding love in weird places.  Certainly not a typical romance and what would you think of George Miller telling a ROMANCE anyway?!?!

Three Thousand Years of Longing is a film that will surprise you at how fluid it is and how easily impacted you are by it.  It really mesmerizes you into a happy state of belief in this wild tale.  Miller and his fantastic team allow this two-header to feel so much bigger and larger.  In the end, this intimate discussion of happiness is the summer-ending treat we desperately need.

Not only worth your time and money but something deserving of praise and even award recognition.

THREE THOUSAND YEAR OF LONGING

4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Directed by: George Miller

Written by: George Miller & Augusta Gore based on a short story by A.S. Byatt, “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye”.

Rated: R

Running Time: 1h 48min

Drama / Fantasy / Romance

Release: August 26th

Starring: Tilda Swinton & Idris Elba

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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