Epic in scope, Three Thousand Years of Longing marries literature to movies, but falls little short to deliver its ambitious build up : The Tribune India

Epic in scope, Three Thousand Years of Longing marries literature to movies, but falls little short to deliver its ambitious build up

(2.5/5)
Epic in scope, Three Thousand Years of Longing marries literature to movies, but falls little short to deliver its ambitious build up

Film: Three Thousand Years of Longing

Director: George Miller

Cast: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, Aamito Lagum, Burcu Gölgedar

Mona

One might have been waiting eternally to see Idris Elba as the Bond, but till that happens he sure delights as a gentle, hopelessly in love djinn. Three Thousand Years of Longing transverses many a world, weaving as many themes in Mad Max fame George Miller’s directorial, which is quite distinct from his earlier outings.

Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is a literary scholar from London. She thinks her imagination is getting better of her when in Istanbul for a convention. From its grand bazaar, she chooses a memento, to end up face to face with a gentle djinn (Idris Elba). This djinn with limited powers is persistent. In order to persuade her, he tells her three stories. As the worlds of fire and dust meet, Alithea asks of what her heart desires...

In Three Thousand Years of Longing, literature transverses with film in a beautiful manner. From the contemporary world where students wear masks during a lecture, one is carried off to far-off lands. In the ancient past to the stories of Sheba, who was beauty itself, the power of desire in Ottoman empire and Zefir and her insatiable hunger for knowledge. One is invested in these stories as this ‘convenience’ sized djinn, endlessly curious about human life, goes about trying to find his freedom.

Idris Elba is sincere, and touches your heart as ‘an idiot extravagantly unlucky’. He is as beautiful in looks as his character comes out in soul. Alithea is a lovable character and interestingly named after mythological Greek goddess of truth. In fact, both the characters are too good, and giving. Tilda Swinton plays the part beautifully. But there is something amiss, just like one feels about the film. This ‘epic in scope’ film touches too many themes – ageism, body positivity, consent, gender bias, racism and xenophobia – among others.

What certainly work are John Seale’s cinematography and Tom Holkenborg’s music that take the viewer as if through the seven seas. Based on A S Byatt’s short story The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye has stupendous CGI keeping up with the ambitious plot line-up. The end sure warms your heart, but the film only partially fulfils the cinematic experience. With a runtime of 108 minutes, Three Thousand Years of Longing is running in cinemas.