Three Thousand Years of Longing

A story about storytelling

If you at all share my dismay at the decline of simple storytelling in the movies these days, this one’s for you. The director after all is master storyteller George Miller, whose cinematic tales include the Mad Max movies as well as The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo’s Oil and Babe: Pig in the City.

It’s hard to tell who’s more surprised when a djinn (genie) pops out of a bottle bought in a Turkish bazaar, the lonely scholar who purchased the bottle (Tilda Swinton) or the djinn himself (Idris Elba) at learning that his new master’s field of scholarship is narratology, or the study of stories and mythology.  She knows all about Djinns. To bargain for his freedom, he regales her with tales about all the masters he’s had during his long, long history, and the wishes he has granted them. Her final wish surprises them both and, hopefully, you.

This is a lovely little movie, intelligent, witty and warm-hearted. Miller of course uses inspired CGI to decorate his stories, but never (quite) to the point as so often happens that they overpower the narrative. Pretty sure Miller identifies with the djinn. You’ll walk away thinking about this one. (108 min)