Not Just a Film About Love For Another, But Love For Storytelling
George Miller is back and this time with a mysterious Romantic Drama. Three Thousand Years of Longing stars Tilda Swinton (The French Dispatch, The Souvenir: Part II) as the detached Dr. Alithea Binnie alongside Idris Elba (Beast, The Suicide Squad) as the powerful Djinn. While in Istanbul for an academic conference, Dr. Binnie happens upon a bottle and releases The Djinn who then grants her three wishes. However, having heard all the cautionary tales involving Djinn and genies, she finds herself troubled in the decision on what to do with her newfound gift. In order to persuade her to use her wishes, he builds his case through the means of storytelling.
Love Is In The Air
I’m going to be honest, when I saw that this was a romance story between Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, I was pretty skeptical, and from those I asked online, others seemed on the fence about it too. I think it’s probably because I usually associate Swinton with more mellow, Wes Anderson type vibes whereas I see Idris Elba as the superhero/mercenary vibes. But, my god do they have some insane chemistry together! They have this wonderful energy that’s slow at first but soon grows into this intense and irresistible longing where you just need them to end up together. But it’s not just their love that sells this film, no. Both Dr. Binnie and The Djinn have such a passion for storytelling, clearly something Miller wanted to share about himself and this movie. The way the stories of the Djinn are presented are these epic and magnificent legends on screen.
Intense and Magical Visuals
This film is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The scale in which these stories are shown makes me want an epic period piece from George Miller sometime in the future. We see these beautiful kingdoms and palaces filled with people in just amazing costumes and make up. Every aspect of this production comes together excellently to deliver such a sweeping, emotional and bittersweet story. The design for the Elba’s Djinn is such a fun and elegant look, the costuming for Queen Sheeba and her empire are immaculate, and the look of all the mythical creatures are scary and layered with their own personal stories. And that’s just the look of the costuming and make up, what about the visual effects?
With the magic of the Djinn and other sorcerers, this movie was meant to be see on the big screen. The magic that unfolds on screen is so wonderful and stunning that you really get swept up in the stories. It all feels new and fresh, especially since stories with genies and wishes have been done so many times in so many different ways. It’s not just the effects and the look of this film that differentiates itself from other films with similar plots. The film really shines in it’s dialogue.
The Stories Within Stories
The love and respect for stories and those who tell them is something greatly needed and Miller nails that message on the head with the excellent dialogue throughout this movie. Following Miller’s previous film, Mad Max: Fury Road, he felt challenged to do a film that was almost exclusively set in one location and dependent almost entirely on dialogue and narration. The way both actors deliver their lines, their stories, just whisk you away to these far off places in another time. Miller’s cast and crew have been working on this film for years trying to get specifically the narrative just right and the time and passion is evident. Accompanying the rich dialogue is the fantastic energy that both Swinton and Elba bring to their characters. Like I had mentioned earlier, I wasn’t sold on the idea that they could pull off a convincing romance. However, after seeing their chemistry unfold I couldn’t see anyone else play these enchanting characters.
When the credits began to roll, I didn’t really get it. Sure, the movie was extremely well made, and objectively good, but I didn’t feel moved by it. But as time went by I found myself unable to stop thinking about it. Throughout the night I was becoming more and more excited by what I had watched earlier that day. Soon it hit me just how amazing the film really was. Really it was the idea that stories are what drive mankind and how these stories connect us all. Narratives have patterns that we can see repeated over and over from one story to the other. It makes us realize that we as people are and have always been the same. Three Thousand Years of Longing brings audiences together not just to show them the importance of storytelling, but how we are all connected and alike, a message that we could really use in times like these.
Three Thousand Years of Longing is a film with stunning visuals, fantastic leads with great slow-burn chemistry, and an epic story that make for a wonderfully bittersweet and lasting impact on the audience.
Three Thousand Years of Longing will be available exclusively in theaters beginning Friday, August 26th courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Stunning visuals, fantastic leads with great slow-burn chemistry, and an epic story that make for a wonderfully bittersweet and lasting impact on the audience.
Ever since I was young, I had always been fascinated in film and the work that goes into them. I love animation, blockbuster hits, indie films and everything in between. Some day I’ll have the privilege of being apart of the filmmaking process.