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Three Thousand Years Of Longing – Movie Review

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at New School chapter.

Film: Three Thousand Years Of Longing
Director: George Miller
Runtime: 108 Minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

George Miller’s new “must see on the big screen” Three Thousand Years of Longing is undeniably gorgeous. The film is, at its best, a love letter to storytelling itself. At its worst, Miller created a story that was (by the film’s own words) so “useful and beautiful and true” (and, ultimately, grand) that it stumbled awkwardly forward, not knowing what to do with itself. 

Expert editing transitioned scene to scene seamlessly and managed to thread a tale much too large for its own shoes with sense and imbue it with clarity and a sense of purpose- with much more ease, it seemed, than the writers themselves. 

More than once the film had to remind itself it was coming to an end through the unfortunate and inconsistent use of Swinton’s narration. It caught both the viewer and the writers by surprise, apparently, as the film came to a screeching, unrelated, halt.

In true Miller fashion (Mad Max, et. al) characters, sceneries, wardrobes and tales are all larger than life. Colors explode on the screen and the detailing is so lush, you can almost smell the setting. 

Idris Elba’s marvelous performance as an Outside-Of-Time Djinn fascinated with humanity was profoundly touching: he delivered anger, fascination, love, shame and nostalgia with what seemed impressive ease- Elba carried the weight of the Djinn’s life as his own. Tilda Swinton was as awkward and forced as her own character – to the point where Alithea and Swinton became a weird caricature of each other.

Never has a film been at once so long and so short and so profoundly unaware of how much it is failing itself and its characters. Incredible theory. Subpar execution.

Should you go watch it? Absolutely. For $5 at AMC on a Tuesday. But don’t expect anything other than some vague orientalism and a bastardized IMAX version of someone misremembering the point of “The Djinn in The Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt.

Venezuelan-American living in Los Angeles, here to write mostly blurbs about movies I get to enjoy (or not enjoy).