Three Thousand Years of Longing is a film where the premise seems promising. That is because its trailers and ads make it look extraordinary or revolutionary. Sadly though, the storyline and the concept are arbitrary. The dynamic of the characterizations in Three Thousand Years of Longing is spot-on. That is because there are intriguing character backgrounds. I will say though, that the backstory to the film’s continuity is strange and twisted.
When the film begins, the concept of the Disney classic Aladdin (from 2019) came to my mind. It is practically an Aladdin themed premise taken to today’s world. With Idris Elba as the Genie type of character, his performance is brilliant. The film does display brilliant performances. It is just that the film’s labeling and backstory seems to have more stereotyping than a fantasy premise. To an extent, I felt all the blame of errors was being labeled onto Elba’s character. That is beside the point though.
This is the plot of Three Thousand Years of Longing. Tilda Swinton is Alithea. She is a scholar that is going solo on a trip to Istanbul. Her background involves research on life and creatures for reason. Despite her loneliness at this conference, A man that seems like a wizard comes into her life, and he is The Djinn (Elba). As Alithea is taken by surprise, she begins to grow close with the Djinn in deep conversation. However, her closeness becomes questioned as The Djinn offers Alithea three wishes. The three wishes are granted because of how she gave him his freedom from an art-type of antique. There are problems though with the wishes for Alithea. The Djinn may not be real. Also, with Alithea’s background of mythology, she knows tons of stories of wishes going awry. Three Thousand Years of Longing is a tale of curiosity towards wonderment of the three wishes for Alithea.
The three wishes in Three Thousand Years of Longing does not present happiness. It does not even have much elaboration on positive uses of the three wishes. The film tries to be more poetic than finding a fantasy with wishes. From this, I felt that the film’s artistic filmmaking is more of like a love tale than a breathless cinematic experience. However, it is not breathless.
Three Thousand Years of Longing may be symbolic. The film may also be a fantasy. As I have said though, the continuity and backstory of events keep seeming to be stereotypical. There are multiple moments where when Alithea tries to understand her choices, that she questions the harshness of The Djinn’s past. I just felt it made it look like The Djinn kept on having the negative label. The film may have tried to be experimental and surreal, just its approaches were off-putting.