Wedged in between the brilliant Mad Max: Fury Road and the upcoming Furiosa, George Miller has given us a retelling of the old genie in a bottle story. Whilst not a stranger to the fantastical (see The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet and even Babe: Pig in the City), Miller’s take is nevertheless a much more mature one, with a story of love, loss, and longing.
It follows a rational but lonely academic (Tilda Swinton), who upon visiting Istanbul for work, finds a mysterious bottle in an antique shop that happens to contain a Djinn (Idris Elba). Weaving history and fiction, what follows is a dialogue-heavy film in which the Djinn recounts his life and how he ended up falling in love and trapped in the bottle over the course of three thousand years. Although it is very interesting, the film is sadly not quite as captivating as it could be, ironically lacking something memorable. Elba and Swinton give good performances and there are some genre-standard moral tales along the way, but it goes on for just a tad too long and doesn’t leave the viewer longing for more.
Still, it is worth a watch, if only for some of the beautiful filming locations supporting the narration.Three Thousand Years of Longing is in cinemas now