THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Three Thousand Years of Longing: Please release me, let me go…home.

Idris Elba is a genie in a bottle, baby and he wants to be set free. But first he has to plead his case to literary scholar and mythology expert, Tilda Swinton. Three Thousand Years of Longing is a 21st century Aladdin, with Elba as a less wisecracking, more cerebral and sensual Djinn while Swinton questions her sanity and what she really wants
out of life.

Swinton, as Dr. Alithea Binnie, is in Istanbul for a conference where she purchases a decorative glass bottle at an antique store. Back in her hotel she removes the decanter’s top and, low and behold, a genie engulfs her room and offers her three wishes in exchange for his permanent release. The half naked hunk then proceeds to share the details of his past lives in and out of the bottle in hopes of convincing his new mistress in this hour and 45 minute fantasy drama.

Despite having a shirtless Elba (who’s Djinn looks more like a Merman with Elf ears), if Swinton is in a movie, it’s not going to be mainstream. She’s the true spirit, transforming herself into off the wall, yet believable characters. Most of her films are acquired tastes though, as is Three Thousand Years of Longing. If my husband, Ricky, had seen the feature presentation, he’d have turned into Rip Van Winkle and slept for three thousand years.

Based on a short story, Three Thousand Years of Longing is visually stunning, and the original score by Junkie XL smooths the rocky storyline. It grants us some warmth and deep thoughts on seduction with brains not brawn, but if I had one of those wishes, I’d ask for my time back.

Three Thousand Years of Longing gets a 6.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.