Aladdin (Press-screening review)

Director; Guy Ritchie
2h 8 minutes
Disney Live Action/Adventure/Family
Swedish premiere; May 22end

The middle eastern tale brought from the Thousand and a night saga – one who inspired the Disney animated version that came out in 92.
Now, several years later, we get to once again rediscover magic carpets, genies, and forbidden love.
Aladdin, the story about two completely different worlds colliding into one – a street boy and an Arabian princess who can only marry a prince. Despite their faith, they meet and change the written rules, proving once again that love does conquer all.

I had my doubts on how they would live up to the phenomenal classic from 92, though pleasantly surprised by the end of the film, I was still somewhat disappointed, not fully satisfied with what they delivered.

The visual deserves all the cred. I was charmed by the colors, the costumes, and set – in awe of the beauty and depth of the Middle Eastern vibes.
I enjoyed the new song Speechless performed by Naomi Scott who portrayed Jasmine, such sensational voice, however, not truly fitting for the role. Jasmine is an Arabian girl, and Scott didn’t fully represent it. Mena Massoud, playing Aladdin was what surprised me the most, I wasn’t sure when seeing the trailer, but as I was eased into the film, the more I saw him in the role, the more I liked and accepted him as the character.

And, though I didn’t buy Will Smith as the genie, I do get why he was cast.
The genie is an over the top character, there are no boundaries for him and there has to be someone who can basically take such persona and exaggerate, and not many in today’s business can do that. Besides, Robin Williams did leave some pretty huge shoes to fill.
I do wonder though if they could’ve worked with an animated version of the genie (same look as the Disney version perhaps) as a tribute to Robin yet Will doing the voice? I don’t know, but it was just wrong. Maybe Jim Carrey? He got some great face expressions.
Mark Hamill, even Bill Hader would be a better fit.
The rap gave me chills, the movements in Prince Ali had my inner child cringing – even now remembering and thinking back.
And some scenes were brutally messed up when moved up in speed, it was more like the camera jumped rather than it being planned and part of the movie.
Also, whoever was the brain behind casting Marwan Kenzari as Jafar was too far off, not knowing what they were doing. It was just awful, nothing, nada, close to the original.

What I did love, was the A whole new world scene.
I mean, that brought some memories and I was floating on cloud 9 – dreaming, completely blissful and enchanted as they swept off on a magic carpet ride under the stars above waters, singing together one of Disney most romantic and recognizable songs – and staying authentic to the original was the most fantastic part of it all.

In conclusion, it wasn’t great nor bad. Would I recommend it? Sure. Would I watch it twice? Probably not. 6,9/10
Now, let’s see what The Lion King will be like and I’m eagerly waiting to see who’ll be cast in the live action film of The Little Mermaid, one of my favorites, so they better not butcher it!