Aladdin Movie Review: Has enough funny moments to keep you tickled and enthused
Aladdin is an irreverent, enthusiastic and expressive attempt at photoreal reboot with flashy CGI, Bollywoodian extravagance in terms of costumes, dance and vigorous singing performance.
U/A: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott
Director Guy Ritchie's most entertaining turn for Disney has Will Smith as the Genie who makes all things possible. It's a whole new world, a reimagined live-action animated version of the timeless classic - all thrilling, vibrant, colourful and magical!
Ritchie's gilt spangled version adapts elements from the east and the west to create a spellbinding alchemy of song, dance, music, romance and magic.
The main characters have a lot more to do, some with newer arcs than seen before and each is explored with greater depth. The basic story is the same of course – Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) plays commoner by day and bumps into a petty thief, street rat, Aladdin (Mena Massoud) - who eventually steals her heart. But Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), second in command to the Sultan (Navid Negahban) has his own plans for the kingdom and it's beautiful Princess. He has been searching for the magical lamp in a cave but Aladdin gets his hand on it and manages to pre-empt him from getting to the Genie (Will Smith) first. An added subplot of a romance between the Genie and Jasmine's maid Dalia (Nassim Pedrad) adds in a new spin to the age old story though.
Most of us remember the 1992 animated version which had Robin Williams's iconic voice performance as the Genie of the lamp accompanied by a double Oscar-winning score by Alan Menken. Menken, of course, is back with some brand new compositions and elevating orchestrations. So it's pretty much apt to be 'Speechless' in a 'Whole New World' for 'A friend like Me' in this 'Arabian Nights' fantasy.
Watch the Aladdin trailer here:
Will Smith (as part of the framing device) is a mariner telling the story of Aladdin to his two young children while sailing on a boat. The narrative then opens into Agrabah where Aladdin finds the lamp and has to battle it out with Vizier Jafar in order to save the princess and the kingdom.
Written by John August and rewritten by Ritchie, with music and songs by Alan Menken (and the late Howard Ashman) the film is an irreverent, enthusiastic and expressive attempt at photoreal reboot with flashy CGI, Bollywoodian extravagance in terms of costumes, dance, art direction (Ravi Bansal is also credited), intriguing casting and vigorous singing performances. Alan Stewart's CGI enhanced cinematography lends strong mystique to this fairy tale while Gemma Jackson's production design makes it all look fanciful and vividly enchanting. Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud draw you in with their faultless vigour, vibe and chemistry while Will Smith lends hip hop geniality to the all-powerful Genie. This film is child-friendly (villainy is pretty mild), doesn't get too serious about its feminist leanings and has enough funny moments to keep you tickled and enthused all through its runtime!
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