Three Thousand Years of Longing Will Give You Such a Crick in the Neck!

The Stream: Kind of talk-y, slow and disjointed.

The Big Screen: Dazzling visual effects and nice chemistry between Elba and Swinton.

The Final Bill: An interesting premise adorned with good effects and acting, but, dare I say, a little boring.

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller & Augusta Gore (based upon the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt)
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: R for some sexual content, graphic nudity and brief violence
Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
Production Companies: Kennedy Miller Productions, MGM, FilmNation Entertainment,
Platform: In theaters August 26, 2022
Notable Trailers: Till, Triangle of Sadness, The Woman King, Bros,
Don’t Worry Darling

What is a djinn, Streamers? Have you heard of this term? Apparently, it’s a class of spirit that inhabits the earth, assumes various forms and exercises supernatural powers – also known as a genie. Oh? A genie, you say? Why didn’t you just say genie then?!?! Anyway, Three Thousand Years of Longing is based on story, “The Djinn and the Nightingale’s Eye.” Never heard of it. *Shrug* I’m here for the visual effects, the wild story and Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in a movie from the guy that made Mad Max: Fury Road and Babe: Pig in the City. Here’s how it went.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is a fantasy/romance where Alithea (Swinton), a British narratologist, finds an ancient bottle while doing research in Istanbul and unleashes the Djinn (Elba), who will grant her three wishes. Being a scholar of narratives, Alithea is wary of the Djinn’s offers as she knows in most of these stories these spirits are tricksters. The Djinn tells Alithea three stories from his lifetime to convince her of his sincerity. The main focus of the movie is the three vignettes told by the Djinn. Magical hijinks ensue.

While the premise of this movie sounds interesting, it does not translate into a very entertaining watch. The Djinn and Alithea talk and talk and talk in a hotel room, and the audience sees the stories that are told by the Djinn. Some of those stories are interesting, especially when they are spiced up by some fun visual effects, but there are diminishing returns. The only additional boon to the movie is that Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton have nice chemistry together. You can kind of buy the romance between two lonely souls. These actors are good enough to sell that angle. I guess I’m pretty “meh” on this movie.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, Three Thousand Years of Longing feels pretty much like a lot of style over substance. The style is dazzling visual effects and an interesting portrait of fantasy and relationships. The substance is talk-y vignettes that become pretty boring over the course of the movie. You might like it more if you really buy into the romance. It’s not a bad movie. It’s just nothing to write home about. Get a handful of popcorn for this one.