Three Thousand Years of Longing

Three Thousand Years of Longing Movie Review

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is a visually freaky fun film that frolics in fantastical fantasy. (Say that five times real fast!) When an educated Professor meets up with a mythical creature from ancient days (the Djinn), a fairy-tale of adventure, discovery and love take hold of the screen. From Director George Miller (“Mad Max”, “Babe’, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and many others) – there was only one final line I wanted for this movie — and that is…


Dr. Alithea Binnie (played by Tilda Swinton) is educated, proper, and self-satisfied. She is a renowned expert as a narratologist. This is a person who studies stories to find all the hidden meanings and the common threads of all storytelling. She is comfortable with her place in life, and there is not any mysterious incident that logic cannot reason away. But she wishes that those weird visions that she begins to see would just go away – thank you very much.


Dr. Binnie is staying in Istanbul as a headlining speaker at a conference. Her talk goes well, until she faints dead away. No, no — she’s really quite fine, thank you very much. But she does want to get out a bit. She goes to a small marketplace, and she finds an odd twisted bottle. It has been damaged by fire, but is it still has a bright white and blue swirling pattern. That is the only one that she wants, so it goes with her.


After a hot shower, Alithea wants to get a better look at her new treasure. While polishing it up, the cap comes off, and WHOOSH! Alithea is no longer alone in this hotel room. This giant mythical creature of old that stands before her is a Djinn (played by Idris Elba). She can speak a tiny bit of Greek to speak to him. The Djinn is able to suck out the entire English language out of a TV set. The Djinn wants to know “What that your Wish?”.


Now, both of them in bathrobes, the Djinn and Alithea strike up a conversation. Djinn tells Alithea of his obligation – he must Grant Three Wishes. He must comply, but she must have the three Wishes that she wants. But she does not want anything. Beside, she has studied all the stories. Most of the time, someone claiming to be a Djinn, or a Genie, is a dark being – a bad Wizard or Warlock. Someone who can promise endless pleasure, but will offer a Wish that can often backfire and have unforeseen consequences.


Djinn decides that since Alithea like stories, he can tell her of his journey of how he got here. Back in the Biblical days, Djinn was found and released by the Queen of Sheba (played by Aamito Lagum). She was ready to grant the Djinn his release with her Third Wish. However King Solomon came around and wined and dined her, and the Djinn ended up stuck again in a bottle. The next time he was released, he had very high hopes. It is centuries later, and after many years of solitude, Djinn is again given a new chance.


In the Sultan’s palace, there was a young and foolish girl. She has her eyes on the royal Prince Mustafa (played by Matteo Bocelli). But she was a poor servant girl, who just happens to have a very powerful Djinn at her beck and call. Her youth and lack of experience give her bad ideas and worse Wishes. The Djinn attempts to persuade her to relent, and not use these Wishes. This ends badly, and the Djinn becomes entrapped once more.


The Djinn’s next adventure is when a young child-bride of a wealthy merchant gives his beloved a gift. The Djinn appears out of the small brass jar that had been hidden away for even more centuries. However young Zefir (played by Burcu Gölgedar) was not foolish or reckless. She wanted a Wish that would make her smarter and wiser in the Ways of the World. The Djinn could conjure up all sorts of books and learning materials. But Zafir was reluctant to use the final Third Wish. The Djinn forced her to make a Wish. That was his mistake.


Alithea is taken back by each and every one of the Djinn’s stories. But she says, each Wish that was made and then Granted had some unforeseen dark consequences. Djinn replies, Yes that true – but these others did not possess your level-headed nature and your outlook of reason and logic. When you make a Wish, it will be reasoned out, measured, reflected upon, and made to come to a perfect end. Alithea – but that is the type of thing a Trickster would say to prey upon the gullible and weak-natured – thank you very much.


Alithea decides to go back home to London. Of course, Djinn can come with. After all, what they have shared in terms of storytelling and intimacy is worth hanging on too. The Djinn agrees, but he would eventually want to get all Three Wishes out of Alithea. To be released from the current bondage of the Wish Granting business would allow him to be in a space where he can spend time with other Djinn. A Story might come from early beginnings as a Myth, a Legend, an Epic Poem, or a Fable. But sometimes a Story comes from Love. So it is really a Love Story.


“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is a puzzle of pieces that mix realms of magic with the cool science of reason. The intense acting ability of both Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton are on display. They verbally spar with each other during the course of the movie. Elba becomes a narrator of the Djinn story. Tilda is the willing listener who is latching on to every word.


Director George Miller has made quite a diverse collection of films over the years. The movies range from the dystopian future of “Mad Max” to the wholesome fantasy of “Babe” and Happy Feet”. He seems quite at ease in any world he wishes to create. Now in this movie, he delivers a crazy world of magic with a solid foundation of human emotions. The visuals are superb, and the music is very supportive of the magical vibe.


“Three Thousand Years of Longing” could have ‘borrowed’ a line from George Miller’s movie “Babe” to give it the perfect final line: “That’ll do Djinn, that’ll do…”


Three Thousand Years of Longing

Directed by: George Miller
Screenplay by: George Miller, Augusta Gore
Based on: “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” (by A. S. Byatt)
Starring: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton
Cinematography: John Seale
Edited by: Margaret Sixel
Music by: Tom Holkenborg
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (via United Artists Releasing)
Release date: August 26, 2022
Length: 108 minutes
MPAA rating: R for some sexual content, graphic nudity and brief violence
Genre: Fantasy


Rating contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

Let's hope everything is now getting back to normal, right?

I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

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I really hope I can see this while it's still in theater. I have always been a George Miller fan. Everything from Mad Max to Happy Feet, Sci-fi/Thriller to Fantasy/Animation, they've all been right on the money.
It's a very literary type of movie, all about the importance of stories and storytelling. And it is done is a such a beautiful way...
@peepso_user_45175(JMcNaughton) I really enjoyed it.
2 months ago