Review of Three Thousand Years of Longing: George Miller’s Worst Film

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Illuminerdi reviews Three thousand years of nostalgia.


It’s been a while since George Miller has made a movie, so naturally we’d be excited to see what he’s up to after the incredible success of Mad Max: Fury Road. His less appealing films (happy feet and happy feet two) are fascinating. Miller never bows down to the most basic kind of cinema and always wants to innovate in some way. His last movie, Three thousand years of nostalgiais innovative in its structure but does little to hook the viewer due to its languid pacing and non-existent character development.

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The plot is easy to follow: narratologist Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) buys a bottle on a trip to Istanbul and frees a Djinn (Idris Elba) stuck inside while cleaning it. The Djinn immediately asks him to grant three wishes if they are his heart’s desire, so he can free himself from the chains of the bottle. However, Alithea is not interested in having her wishes granted. Instead, she wants to know more about the Djinn, to whom he tells her multiple stories about his past, which led to him being trapped in Alithea’s bottle.

Three thousand years of nostalgia official trailer

However, it doesn’t take long for the movie to feel like it’s going absolutely nowhere. None of the stories teach anything remotely interesting about the Djinn, or provide insight into Alithea’s voyage of discovery. stories (there is a significant emphasis on stories, a word that Swinton’s character repeats to satiety). Instead, the film moves at a snail’s pace, constantly oscillating between the lines of contemplative cinema and maximalist entertainment. There’s plenty of stunning footage shot by John Seale (who also worked on Miller’s Lorenzo’s Oil and road of fury), which sometimes overwhelm the frame, but there’s very little substance that accompanies these images.

The scale of the film is enormous – huge panoramic shots sweep across the film. Yet the movements of the actors in the frame are passive, as if they belong in a completely different film, making its pacing unnatural and poorly paced. The atmosphere also doesn’t match its visual style. It’s incredibly dull – everyone looks bored in the frame. Yet the photography tries to wake us from our slumber, as if Miller constantly wanted the audience to watch the film passively rather than actively. This makes for a relatively uneven and rather frustrating cinematic experience as Miller visually and thematically contradicts himself throughout the film.

Three thousand years of nostalgia

it doesn’t help that Three thousand years of nostalgia eventually leads to a whimper of ending. Devoting 90% of your film to stories with no real point of view is not a good idea if it ends in the most unsatisfying and disappointing way possible. Still, Miller can’t be faulted for at least trying to do something different and break the mold of conventional cinema (as he almost always has in his movies), but it doesn’t work here.

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However, it’s good that Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton are trying to move the movie forward. Their chemistry is palpable enough that I care about the characters, even if they’re severely underwritten. Their relationship feels quasi-forced instead of natural, which makes some of his later scenes feel awkward and cheesy. But their acting abilities cannot be overstated; they have always managed to give terrific performances, even if the material they are given is hit and miss. It’s no different in Three thousand years of nostalgia; they are fascinating to watch from beginning to end.

Three thousand years of nostalgia

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But sadly, they can’t help the film from being a disappointing boredom. Miller does his best to save it with his dazzling images, but it doesn’t help Three thousand years of nostalgia to feel like a boring thunderous time at the movies. I made the joke on social media, but it really feels like the movie is three thousand minutes long with no end in sight. Hoping for Miller’s next movie, Furiosablows all preconceived expectations out of the water and gives us one hell of a movie time.

Poster Three thousand years of nostalgia

Three thousand years of nostalgia is now playing in theaters everywhere. What did you think of the film? Let us know your thoughts on our social media and let’s continue the conversation!

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