Three thousand years of longing for reviews here, see what critics say about George Miller’s fantasy


The famous director of such films as “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Witches of Eastwick”, George Miller returned seven years later to once again go to the world of fantasy. The stars of “Three Thousand Years of Longing” Idris Elba (in his second film, released this month) and Tilda Swinton in the film adaptation of the story “The Genie in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Bayatt. Critics have watched the film and are ready to tell us what to expect before it hits theaters on August 26.

In “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” Tilda Swinton plays Alithea Binney, an academic who meets a genie (Idris Elba) who offers to fulfill her three wishes. The mind-blowing trailer of the film promises fans the excesses of sex, death, revenge and more, so let’s see what the critics say. We’ll start, of course, with CinemaBlend’s review of “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” in which Mike Reyes rates the film 3 out of 5 stars. He likes the union of Elba and Swinton, and he says it deserves to be seen on the big screen, but the review argues that George Miller should have intensified the strangeness:

The film continues after what seemed like a logical conclusion, and George Miller and co-screenwriter August Gore add some modern commentary to what is essentially the fourth story of the Three Thousand Years of Longing anthology. If this had been laid out a little better in the opening act of the film, very sharp blows to the real world could have been a great opportunity to get weird. Instead, certain decisions and plot points that really want to say something about our current state of affairs stick out like sore fingers, not properly woven into the overall fabric.

Kina Liu of The Seattle Times is on the same page with a rating of 2.5 stars out of 4 possible. For the “mesmerizing cinematic experience” — thanks to cameraman John Force, who also worked with George Miller on Mad Max: Fury Road — this critic could do without the fourth act:

“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is an intellectual film that exchanges riddles. This is an instructive tale about wishful thinking. It’s an imperfect but intoxicating kaleidoscope of stories. If only the ending of the movie was as strong as its beginning and middle.

Lindsay Bar of the Associated Press rates it 3 out of 4 stars and notes that the stories told by Idris Elba’s Genie are “charming, cruel, sensual, grotesque,” and, as other critics say, this team makes it work. From the review:

From time to time, you may be impatient, wondering what all this is leading to, and if you care at all, as Alithea doubles down on her position that she would prefer not to make any wishes at all. But a surprise awaits her and the audience. It’s a moment that doesn’t make much emotional sense on paper, but that’s why we go to the movies, isn’t it? Swinton and Miller make it work.

Aaron Neuwirth of We Live Entertainment also considers the film better than average, rating it 8 points. The critic says that “Three Thousand Years of Longing” emphasizes the power of storytelling, but it is Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba who unite the film:

Swinton takes a character who could be portrayed as more prickly, with a dry sense of humor and an otherworldly feeling consistent with her ability to reason with an immortal being. Elba demonstrates a tenderness that goes beyond the general idea that people have when considering various interpretations of djinn in the cinema. Of course, the ultimate goal may still be “let me be free,” but this story shows that there is a difficulty in how a person can realize their desires. Because this film is so much more about who these people are than about telling a familiar story, Miller gets a terrific job from both performers to fully understand the journey he sent them on.

Linda Kodega from Gizmodo also talks about the narration and how the main characters’ conversations and fantastic centuries-old fairy tales alternate in this film, saying that the result is somewhat confusing:

The power of “Three Thousand Years of Longing” lies in its own referential nature. The story is about stories, about storytellers and how stories fit into the modern world. It’s a mildly charming film that takes the fantastic and conveys it in colors and themes that we can easily identify. There are moments in this movie that get a little confusing on their own, too meta, but it never lasts very long.

If this sounds like a movie you want to see on the big screen, then “Three Thousand Years of Longing” should be released in theaters on Friday, August 26. You can see what other films Idris Elba has, but it will be while before we see George Miller’s next project. Filming of the Mad Max prequel Furiosa began in June, but it won’t be in theaters until May 24, 2024. In the meantime, check out our 2022 movie release schedule to start planning your next trip to the cinema.


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