Aladdin Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad
Director: Guy Ritchie
What’s Good: The visuals are stunning but they come at a cost you might not pay; the cost of swapping the innocence of the original (brace yourself because you’re going to read the word ‘original’ a lot of times in this article).
What’s Bad: The idea of interfering with subject as popular as this, even without having enough good resources to not surpass but reach what has been done in the 90s.
Loo Break: In a few of those songs – I, myself, took one and missed nothing.
Watch or Not?: Watch it only for the fact that it’s Aladdin! Don’t keep your expectations high.
Situated in the rustic city of Agrabah, the movie is named behind its poor resident Aladdin (Mena Ma, who is best friends with a monkey named Abu. They both with their street-smart tricks steal things but with their dignity intact. One day Aladdin crashes into Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), daughter of Sultan of Agrabah, and falls in love with her. Then he tumbles into Genie (Will Smith) and falls in love with him too, and then he finds hard to decide who to choose in this love triangle (you know, I’m kidding right?)
So, Genie grants him 3 wishes as every ordinary genie does; but also emotionally traps him to choose his 3rd wish to get him out of that brassy lamp. Aladdin being Aladdin, wishes to be a prince through his first wish as Jasmine will only marry a prince. He turns to Prince Ali & gets the outer attire and aura right, but from inside he’s still Aladdin. How he gets all the three wishes right and everyone lives happily ever after is what the remaining story is about.
Aladdin Movie Review: Script Analysis
Given the scale of the story, it had to be lavishly mounted, but it also has a certain connect with those born in the 90s. The chasing scenes are very well choreographed but very meekly visioned. The rustic scenario of that era helps to give the film a very distinct touch. Very well played with colours; especially in one fireworks scene, we see the Red ones flashing on the face of the villain Jafar played by Marwan Kenzari.
We’ve grown up to this giant Blue beast doing ultra-crazy things, and unfortunately, Smith’s Genie lost himself halfway. Genie has always played an important part in Aladdin’s story, to give it a comical touch. But here, it just wasn’t enough. This ain’t a Jungle Book or even a Lion King, and that’s why it needed more changes to the story. There are some changes but still, there’s a lot missing.
Aladdin Movie Review: Star Performance
Mena Massoud is very ordinary as Aladdin. Comparisons are bound to happen & he doesn’t live up to the charisma of the original. He’s very good in some scenes but as overall performance, it’s weak. Naomi Scott gets a song in a certain dream sequence which was way too melodramatic. She’s good otherwise, and Jasmine’s signature teal-toned wardrobe looks beautiful on her.
Will Smith – the most controversial character of the film. Can you imagine Michael Scott without Steve Carell or Gabbar without Amjad Khan? I know you’ve already got my point. How’s Genie even possible without Robin Williams? Smith tries to hard and succeeds at certain levels, but I’m sorry, Robin will always be our Genie.
Marwan Kenzari as Jaffar is not as terrifying as it was in the cartoon version. His character gets no room to breathe anything new, just follows the as-it’s plotline imitating what’s been already done. Navid Negahban as Sultan was average, missed the cuteness of the 90s.
Aladdin Movie Review: Direction, Music
Guy Ritchie, the man behind a few of outstanding movies, takes a huge risk to get in this zone. It’s always topsy-turvy to get yourself into a project that already has impressed millions of people worldwide. The two major changes to the story were – bringing everyone to the live action and giving them many songs to sing. Unfortunately, both remain half-baked by the end.
What’s that one high every musical, from A Star Is Born (1937) to La La Land, has? Songs that bind the narration. It’s not the same in Aladdin, it’s one of those musicals in which songs are just for the sake of it. It just jumps back and forth being a musical, it’s no ‘The Greatest Showman’, the songs does no favour to retain the magic. Also, Arabian Nights is wasted!
The Last Words
All said and done, this visually attractive and mature version of our childhood cartoon retains everything that’s good, adding nothing new to it. We’ve seen this in a better way, we’ve seen a better Genie. Don’t go keeping the nostalgia factor in your mind.
Two and a half stars!
Aladdin releases on 24th May, 2019.
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