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Three Thousand Years Of Longing                      review by Bobby Blakey

Director George Miller is most notable for his Mad Max franchise of films, but like any filmmaker he had branched out to other genres with films like The Witches of Eastwick and even the animated Happy Feet films. His latest film Three Thousand Years of Longing looks to be one of the more unique stories he has brought to life and stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. Could this film bring another unique vision to life or will it fail to live up to its magic?

Three Thousand Years Of Longing follows Dr Alithea Binnie who is an academic...a creature of reason. While in Istanbul, she happens to encounter a Djinn 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!

I am a massive fan of Miller’s Mad Max films even seeing The Road Warrior in a drive in when it came out, so I am always ready to see what else he has up his sleeve. The trailers for this film looked both strange and intriguing, but the genie thing had been done so much I was concerned to how fresh and new it might actually be. Thankfully my concerns were unfounded as this is a really great movie albeit a strange one.

The story is pretty simple following this woman and her brush with the genie’s lamp, but once he is let out of the bottle it becomes something more than just the three wishes. It takes them both on a journey of him telling her his story through a series of flashbacks as we see it all play out. Its this element that turned this genre on its head getting to see the history of this genie and journey to being trapped in that specific bottle.

This sets things on a compelling journey of life, loneliness, acceptance and loss as we learn of his story and how it also connects with hers and the issues with making your three wishes. The use of the effects and flashbacks help to make the film more than just another drama and even a love story of sorts, but something bigger and deeper on both sides. It isn’t always overly exciting, but it never stops being interesting.

Both Swinton and Elba are fantastic with Elba carrying the heavier load since its mostly his history. They have an unexpected great chemistry together that helps to bind them together through both their emotions and struggles as well as the lamp itself. You sympathize with them both and see how they long for something more and find something within each other to hopefully move forward in some way.  

This isn’t the kind of film I would likely watch over and over, but it is one that I found way more interesting and deep than I had expected. I really love what Miller has done here taking such a familiar tale and flipping it on its head into something original and thought provoking.

Grab your copy of Three Thousand Years Of Longing available now on digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th from MGM and Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

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