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.