Aladdin Movie Review: Will Smith Makes the Magic Happen.

Vishal Chauhan, 27/05/2019
Aladdin Movie Review: Will Smith Makes the Magic Happen.

Aladdin
Director- Guy Ritchie
Cast- Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad
Rating- 3.5/5

The supreme studio called Disney is here again, with another live-action remake. This time, their willing hostage is Aladdin, the animated film that charmed many a heart in 1992.

Following the march of unceasing remakes, this too wishes to excavate the nostalgia of your childhood when you were hypnotized by the zip-zap-zoom fastidiousness of an animated fable with charming songs. And of course, who can forget Robin Williams’ swooshing syllables coming out of a shape-shifting vaudevillian genie?

Yes, the studio is after your money. But in return, you’re left with the pleasure of diminishing returns.

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The film, helmed by Guy Ritchie, follows the beat of the original like a law-abiding student, with minor tweaks, and Buzzfeed-level of ornamental feminism. The original’s inventiveness is gone.

This version puts up a show of half-hearted earnestness, laden with special-effects that makes everything oh-so-gaudy.

The story as we all know is about the street urchin who finds love in a princess, a friend in a genie, and a foe in a vizier. Mena Massoud with his bony handsomeness, pearly white teeth, and physical agility looks quite like the animated Aladdin we’ve grown up watching. But his chemistry with Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine doesn’t really take us to a whole new world, nor does Marwan Kenzari’s Jafar make us fear for the worst. Hanging somewhere in the middle of all this is Will Smith’s blue-dyed Genie who knows the impossibility of summoning the rapid fire comic genius of Robin Williams, so he settles for his trademark acerbic tone, to dole out love advice to his master turned friend, quite like the love guru he was in Hitch (2005).

Mena Massoud aka Aladdin’s chemistry with Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine doesn’t take us to a whole new world.

Mena Massoud aka Aladdin’s chemistry with Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine doesn’t take us to a whole new world. (Photo courtesy: Pinterest)

The run time is much longer than the original, with added subplots of Genie’s romantic life, and songs that could have taken some help from Bollywood. The film feels sluggish compared to the zany energy of the animated charmer, and Ritchie surprisingly stays away from his classic showy montages.

In the recent recycling attempt by Disney, say Dumbo, there was an attempt to expand on the original’s premise, and build new possibilities. Ritchie, administered by the studio masters, leaves his signature style to settle for a more generic tone. He directs the film like mimicry of the original, showing absolute refusal to explore the promises that were in the magical kingdom of Agrabah.