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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Director George Miller’s Genie-in-a-Bottle Movie Is a Big Miss at Cannes

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The highest compliment I can think to pay Three Thousand Years of Longing, the latest film by Mad Max: Fury Road and Babe: Pig in the City director George Miller, is that every one of those three thousand years is deeply felt by the spectator over the film’s sub-2-hour course. How time appears to stand still, during this arch and whimsical fable! How very like being contained in a tiny bottle at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years, just like the genie played by Idris Elba in the film, is the experience of watching this syrupy magical-realist drivel.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is essentially a type of portmanteau film, staging a succession of stories loosely derived from the tradition of One Thousand and One Nights, as told in a present-day narrative framework in which a spinsterish British professor played by Tilda Swinton awakens a djinn from inside an antique bottle. The djinn (Idris Elba, with a CGI lower half not unlike the one he had in Cats, which is not a reference point any reviewer would willingly dig up) then recounts to this uptight dame the history of his tri-millennial imprisonment within the phial with a series of lavishly-staged flashbacks........

© The Daily Beast

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