• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Want some history on storytelling?

ByRandall B. Phelps

Aug 28, 2022

“Three Thousand Years of Nostalgia” is one of the weirdest movies I’ve seen in a long time.

Don’t take this as a negative comment. The film is simultaneously a fantasy, a drama, a comedy and a love story. Does it get much weirder than that?

If I had to describe this movie in Hollywood, I’d say it’s “Aladdin” meets “Love Story.”

Dr. Alithea Binnie (Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton) is an academic. A little solitary, she prefers her own company, it seems, to that of others. While attending a conference in Istanbul, she buys a beautiful glass vase. While cleaning it, a Djinn (Idris Elba) appears who offers him three wishes in exchange for his freedom.

This poses two problems. First, she doubts he’s real. Second, because she’s a specialist in history and mythology, she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong.

The Djinn pleads his case by telling him fantastic stories from his past. Eventually, she is seduced and makes a wish that surprises them both.

I was never a fan of Tilda Swinton, but she was good in this movie and the interaction between Idris Elba and Swinton left audiences wondering where this movie was going. After leaving the movie, I still wasn’t sure where he was or what the future held for the protagonist, but I liked to use my imagination to think of all the possibilities.

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” was directed by Oscar-winner George Miller, who also directed the “Mad Max” films (which were a bit crazy and far removed). He even made the animals talk in the “Babe” movies. Fantasy is no stranger to Miller; he wrote the screenplay with Augusta Gore based on the novel by AS Byatt, “The Djinn in the Eye of the Nightingale”.

Special effects often brought a bit of humor to the screen. When the Djinn first appears on screen, he is gigantic and barely fits in his hotel room. It shrinks to fit the stage, but it’s still larger than life.

Like I said before, it’s a weird movie with childish but fun touches. It is a short film of only 108 minutes; longer and I think it would drag or get monotonous.

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is currently playing in Edwardsville. I really debated how many stars to give the movie, but I think 3¾ stars is appropriate.