Review of 'Three Thousand Years of Longing'

three_thousand_years_of_longing.jpg We meet the introverted Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) who studies myth and fantasy. While in Istanbul for a conference she visits the souk and is drawn to purchase an unusual glass jar. While cleaning the jar in her hotel room she is surprised that when a Djinn (“genie”; Idris Elba) appears, offering to grant her three wishes as long as they are her heart's desire. Unfortunately, she is happy with life and has nothing she really wants to wish for, never mind her professional understanding of how such wishes have turned out badly in the literature. The Djinn shares his experience as a Djinn over the millennium and slowly Alithea begins to open up about her own history and feelings…but there is still the matter of the wishes.

Completely caught off guard by the bizarre premise I eventually came to really like this film. The performances from Swinton and Elba (a personal favourite) are truly amazing as they breath life into these incredible characters. It is an interesting twist to focus on the life of Djinn and the unsatisfying life he has lived but, of course, it is also the point that Alithea, herself, has not lived the most satisfying of lives either. Obviously, this is the point of the story as we witness how people react to being given an unbelievable offer of wishes without really understanding themselves. All of this leads to the surprising conclusion that nicely ties everything together.

The special effects are quite incredible as we travel from the present to the fantasy of the past with vivid colours and sumptuous sets. Even modern Istanbul is looks bright and alive. Sure, it is completely fantastic and unrealistic but that is precisely the point.

An interesting melodrama-fantasy with compelling performances by Swinton and Elba backed up with an interesting story and incredible special effects. If anything it feels a bit long but this is one to be savoured and appreciated for what it is.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2024-02-18

Directed by: George Miller

Studio: Kennedy Miller Mitchell

Year: 2022

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Fantasy