George Miller is a man not bound by any genre. He first creates the Mad Max franchise, then a supernatural black comedy The Witches of Eastwick topping it all off with an animated comedy Happy Feet. His next movie is the best movie he ever made, Mad Max: Fury Road, a movie which convinced me to keep writing about movies. So, no Mad Max: Fury Road, no Rabbit Reviews. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about his latest movie. Three Thousand Years of Longing is a charming and visually stunning fairy tale for adults.
Do not expect some action-packed extravaganza with a lot of blood and gore. This is a movie about the power that stories have over us, humans. We will be following Alithea, a content scholar who finds a genie in the bottle. I’m sorry, a djinn in the bottle, but I’m guessing you’re already singing that Christina Aguilera song. You have to be in the right mood to enjoy Three Thousand Years of Longing. It took me about a month to check it out and I watch movies almost every night. So, wait until you’re in the mood for such a magical adventure and you should be fine.
This might be a great Sunday afternoon or date night movie. Or you could just have a hankering for something different. And this movie is quite different from anything on offer these days. You see, Three Thousand Years of Longing has that childish curiosity and timeless approach to storytelling. It doesn’t have an agenda or anything else in mind other than its reader, pardon me, the viewer. I say reader because you will feel like you’re reading one of the tales from the Arabian Nights. However, you should know that this movie is indeed based on a story, a short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A. S. Byatt.
Alithea Binnie studies stories for a living and this job has led her to the beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey. She loses herself while strolling down the biggest indoor market in the world and finds an odd trinket she wants to keep as a memento of her trip here. However, once she tries to clean this old flask, something magical happens.
There’s something so ethereal and profound in the stories told by the Djinn that three days later I still can’t shake the feeling that I need to watch this movie again. It’s like I completely forgot about the things that really mattered in life, caught in this vicious urban cycle. As youngins would say these days, I need to touch the grass. However, there was also something soothing about these stories. They reminded me that I’m part of humanity in some cool, old-school way. Perhaps because they were so immersive complete with the narration.
In the end, Three Thousand Years of Longing may not be the movie you expect it to be but it’s definitely a movie worth watching. With a short running time of just an hour and forty minutes, it’s just the right size to fit any spare time you might have. It has a very authentic visual style, thanks to cinematographer John Seale who came out of his retirement to do this movie as a favor to George Miller. He did the same thing seven years earlier with Mad Max: Fury Road and we all know how that turned out. If you’re looking for more of his movies, do check out Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Augusta Gore, A.S. Byatt
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba, Erdil Yasaroglu, Ece Yüksel, Megan Gale, Zerrin Tekindor
Fun Facts: The leg hair you see on many women in this movie is an accurate period representation. Especially when it comes to the The Queen of Sheba’s leg hair.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9198364/