Three Thousand Years of Longing

What would you wish for?

Fantasy Drama Romance
108 min     7     2022     Australia


A solitary scholar discovers an ancient bottle while on a trip to Istanbul and unleashes a djinn who offers her three wishes. Filled with reluctance, she is unable to come up with one, so the djinn tries to inspire her with his stories.


CinemaSerf wrote:
"Alithea" (Tilda Swinton) is a solitary scholar who travels to Istanbul to address a conference on the relative merits of myth v science. At the seminar, she starts to hallucinate and the seed is sown that perhaps the mystical is not so far-fetched as we might think! A visit to the Grand Bazaar sees her acquire a small blue bottle that, when attacked rather unceremoniously with an electric toothbrush, spills it's contents into her hotel room. A giant, hairy-legged Djinn (Idris Elba). In keeping with tradition, he offers her three wishes - but she is sceptical. Easy come, easy goes thinks she - and as the couple chat, she discovers just how he became incarcerated in this, his third, bottle. His are tales of love, lust, greed, power and sadness and he depicts them to her of his life of some thousands of years. He also declares just why it is so important that she actually makes her wishes; for without those he can never attain his freedom. It's good fun this film. An anthology of scenarios that entertain and amuse with a worldly and generous effort from the sagely Swinton who gradually falls in love with her now normal-sized companion. The dynamic between the two stars is engaging and effective, the latter delivering a charming contribution to a simple story of the problems of a series of unrequited loves over the centuries that will probably never find a straightforward solution! It's a quirky film, that moves along quickly and I really quite enjoyed it.
MSB wrote:
MORE SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS @ "Three Thousand Years of Longing is one of the most ambitious films of the year. Relying on the genuinely charming, mesmerizing performances of Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, George Miller approaches a famous cautionary tale through a distinctive form of storytelling, focusing on flashbacks narrated by the male protagonist. The multiple stories of the past aren't always fascinating, partially due to the chosen narrative method, which becomes repetitive despite enriching some of the core themes. The immersive, atmospheric visuals elevate the overall piece with significant impact, making this a cinematic experience to leave any viewer contemplating life, desire, loneliness, and happiness." Rating: B+
Nathan wrote:
I did not have many expectations for _Three Thousand Years of Longing_, but after leaving the theater it left me longing for more. I do not think any individual part of this film was inherently bad. The performances by Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton were captivating and their on-screen chemistry was amazing. The flash backs to the characters' lives were very fascinating. I really enjoyed exploring the lives of ancient civilizations in the eyes of George Miller. The overarching plot was decent, nothing spectacular. But the collection of all these different elements together just felt like a jumbled mess. The movie never gets in a groove and always feels like it is stumbling its way to the finish line. I felt the opening sequence was incredibly rushed and the audience does not really get to form a connection with Alithea before she unleashes the Djinn, and from there on the audience is whipped back and forth from flashback to present day and it feels incredibly disjointed. The jumbled up second act, deflates any type of momentum going into the third making it fall flat on its head. All this compiled together made a somewhat emotional and touching ending feel hollow and lackluster. Overall, as a collection of short stories this movie was a good time, but really does not belong together in a jumbled-up mess of a plot. **Score:** _53%_ | **Verdict:** _Average_