Aladdin: all spectacle and no heart

And does it exceed or even match the joy of the original? No

No, it does not



com/watch?v=foyufD52aog The storyline is all too familiar

With his pet monkey and partner in crime, Abu, by his side, Aladdin (Mena Massoud), a street urchin and petty thief, meets and falls for a woman who turns out to be Jasmine (Naomi Scott), the princess of Agrabah

The feisty Jasmine isn’t impressed with the kind of royal suitors that she is expected to marry, and is yearning for positive change in her kingdom

Meanwhile, the wicked Grand Vizier Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), who wants to overthrow Jasmine’s father and become the Sultan himself, convinces Aladdin to retrieve a magic lamp hidden in a cave, offering him riches in return

But things don’t go quite as planned

When Aladdin rubs the lamp and unwittingly summons the Genie (Will Smith) who lives inside, the powerful Genie grants him three wishes

Aladdin must figure out how to win Jasmine’s heart and defeat the power-hungry Jafar while making the best use of his three wishes along the way

The plot is mostly faithful to the original, with only a few minor changes

Jasmine now wants the throne, and the Genie has a love interest, but these changes don’t alter the story too dramatically

It is hard to deny the nostalgic draw of this project

Those who grew up with the animated Aladdin will surely find themselves emotionally drawn towards this remake

The film has a lot of familiar elements and is a colourful spectacle that fans of the original will enjoy

But as a movie, this project does falter on many counts

Director Guy Ritchie doesn’t do anything particularly inventive with the material and the filmmaker’s decision to muddle up Arabian and Indian aesthetics is disconcerting

A western view of the eastern world that conflates different cultures as well as makes the suggestion that people of colour are interchangeable seems downright problematic

Scott, who tries a little too hard throughout the film, sticks out

Her looks, outfits and performance are more in tune with Bollywood than Arabian Nights

It also doesn’t help that her character is given a new, standard pop song, Speechless, the style of which simply feels out of place in the musical

Also, the computer-generated imagery (CGI) isn’t exactly stellar and Jafar’s pet parrot, Iago, isn’t particularly well rendered

Abu isn’t as adorable as he should be either and the effects used to turn Smith into the swirling Genie are, at times, a little odd

Smith’s take on the Genie, however, is the stand-out performance

The actor is charismatic in the role, and the film doesn’t really come to life until he finally appears on screen

Smith doesn’t try to imitate the incomparable Robin Williams and manages to make the part his own while honouring the legacy of the original

Some of the casting choices work better than others

On one hand, Massoud makes a charming Aladdin; on the other, Kenzari is woefully miscast as Jafar

As a result, Aladdin is disappointingly uneven

The film had a tough predecessor to live up to, and it simply isn’t as vibrant or joyous as its 1992 counterpart, nor does it do anything creative enough to justify its existence

Like all of Disney’s live-action adaptations so far, this one too leaves us wishing that they had done something original instead

Sure the studio is making bucket-loads of money, but they have yet again failed to deliver the exciting, imaginative cinematic experience that the audience deserves

All photos: IMDb

Date:12-Jun-2019 Reference:View Original Link