Guy Ritchie is known for his signature wackiness in treating subjects. When it comes to Aladdin, the new version from Disney featuring Will Smith as Genie, Ritchie does manage to squeeze in a peculiarity in treatment and that’s not at all an extremely eccentric one. The musical comedy manages to grow beyond the mark of a mere children’s film and honestly I had good fun watching the grandeur of the movie clubbed with humor.
So Aladdin an orphan who lives along with his monkey pal Abu earns a living by stealing stuff. During one regular day at work, he happens to meet Princess Jasmine, but he didn’t know who she really was. Let’s cut it short. Circumstances forced Aladdin to go to a cave that had a lamp and we all know what happened. The Genie came out and with an assurance that he will grand any of Aladdin’s 3 wishes. What happens with that decision making is what Aladdin showing us.
The fun factor is actually what made me like this movie. When the Genie introduces himself with a musical set piece, what Aladdin asks is why just 3 wishes? The Genie has that sense of practicality and that does make him a hilarious character. And the movie smartly digs into the reasonableness of a wish and that part makes that phase a relatable one but also plays a crucial part in the climax, which was an effective preach on hunger for power. The basic children’s movie theme gets a thick coat of practical humor and sensible grey shaded conflict. And ultimately the film works for you as an engaging musical.
Mena Massoud as Aladdin has that believable rookie charm. There is effortlessness in the beginning portions and he gradually becomes that version of Aladdin who is emotionally conflicted by the wishes. Naomi Scott as princess Jasmine was my most favorite among the lead actors as she showed the optimism, strength and the likable nature of the princess beautifully. Will Smith shines as Genie. The guy is flowing with energy and he manages to give so much charm to the musical parts of the movie. And as he said in an interview, this is one package that sort of offers him a platform to perform everything he is good at. Marwan Kenzari as Jafar can’t really become that mighty antagonist and that’s one major flaw in this largely entertaining movie.
Guy Ritchie tweaks his usual style considerably to fit into the Disney zone and having said that he also managed to make it look like a different Disney film. The quirky and flowing humor in the content keeps us hooked in the narrative and there is some progressive feminism in the content that does make it a movie that appreciates the ongoing movements. The visuals are eye candy and Guy Ritchie prefers to use a lot of lengthy visual effects aided shots in this movie including the musical set pieces. The Arabic textured background score takes the movie into that Aladdin zone. Like I said in the beginning, the only area where the movie felt a bit dull was in the formation of the antagonist.
The trailers of Aladdin weren’t really that promising for my taste. But this live-action adaptation of the 1992 movie turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining musical comedy. Aladdin has those inherent qualities of most of the Disney movies and the Guy Ritchie interpretation gave it a pinch of uniqueness.
Aladdin has those inherent qualities of most of the Disney movies and the Guy Ritchie interpretation gave it a pinch of uniqueness.