Aladdin (2019)

Length: 2hr 8

Rating: PG

Release date: 22nd May 2019

About: Aladdin is a lovable street urchin who meets Princess Jasmine, the beautiful daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. While visiting her exotic palace, Aladdin stumbles upon a magic oil lamp that unleashes a powerful, wisecracking, larger-than-life genie. As Aladdin and the genie start to become friends, they must soon embark on a dangerous mission to stop the evil sorcerer Jafar from overthrowing young Jasmine’s kingdom.

The Good

Every change they made, was for the better. Every little nod to the animated was sincere and heartfelt.

Will Smith was just perfect as Genie. It would not be fair to compare his performance because he never set out to replace or ‘beat’ Robin Williams, Smith just gave us a whole new Genie: one that can stand beside the other. Yes, there are lines that will be on the tip of your tongue and you might feel a loss, but it has to be remembered that they were trademarked Williams the moment he uttered them.

Mena Massoud And Naomi Scott Make fair real life Aladdin and Jasmine. However, the true magic of their performances comes from their chemistry. They’re given more time to get to know each other, grow to like each other and discover common ground.

Jasmine’s song and Jasmine on the whole is a much stronger Princess and one who is able to break the ‘saviour’ trope.

The Bad

It is a little too long. There’s an extra hour added to this from the animation and I would say it needs to be half an hour shorter. I’m not sure if it is how long it takes to get to the cave, if there are sections that slow the pace or if it was just the restless children in the screening I was in, but something needs cutting.

The Ugly

This isn’t the film, but a viewer response to casting. Jasmine was portrayed by Naomi Scott Who is of Gujarati and British decent. However, In this screwed up world she’s been blasted for ‘not being brown enough’.

I’m so saddened that upon researching the original film, I discovered more articles about Naomi Scott’s casting than Linda Larkin, who is white.

This is a beautiful woman who would not be out of place. If she’s not ‘brown’ enough for this role, does that mean she’s not ‘white’ enough for others or is she only allowed to go for roles that call for someone that is mixed race?! Why is it that she’s judged on the colour of her skin alone rather than her amazing performance?


3 Comments on “Aladdin (2019)

  1. I watched this recently and, while cautious at first, ended up loving it! I completely agree with your review, but luckily missed any of the controversy about Naomi Scott – I thought that she was perfect as Jasmine!


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