Despite its shortcomings 2019 Aladdin is satisfying like a fast food burger
Words by HangryRevs
It’s like having a late night fast food run and having a big ass burger in the middle of the night to satisfy your cravings. That is if you go to the theatre craving for some Disney magic infused with doses of nostalgia then yes, you will definitely enjoy this film.
There’s comfort in familiarity and this 2019 movie capitalized on this a lot.
Guy Ritchie’s version of Aladdin is not as bad as some parts of the internet complain about. They have a good base material to start with and I am glad they retained some elements of the original to this film but some modifications made it feel like they are trying too hard to be relevant to seem progressive and empowering for the modern audience but who the fuck is the modern audience anyway?
Naomi Scott’s portrayal of Jasmine is really enjoyable. It’s like she’s been preparing for this role throughout her career. (Naomi has been singing as far as I remember). Scott, with an Ugandan mom of Indian descent, embodied Jasmine’s character with fresh fierceness. Fiesty Jasmine 2.0 sans the belly button is still stunning and captivating.
Mena Massoud, the Canadian born from Egypt, brought Aladdin to a fresh, charming life. Man, this dude can sing and dance flawlessly but that’s not where his charisma ends. This actor’s real charisma is his ability to command the audience’s attention whenever he is on screen. He delivered as Aladdin. And if he’s the patty of this burger of a film, it’s juicy and good!
Now the controversial Will Smith as the Genie is surprisingly entertaining. Throughout the movie Will Smith transforms back and forth from blue genie to human Will Smith genie forms and I really don’t mind it. Will Smith as the buff genie is not really that bothersome as the internet first complained about. And to be fair, Smith’s portrayal of Genie as a fun, kind of hood, celestial being is actually endearing.
The internet’s favorite, the hot Jafar, Marwan Kenzari is good but homie doesn’t really scare the shit out of me as I remember the 1992 cartoon Jafar did. Although Kenzari did a good performance throughout the film, his face is just not menacing enough. Or the costumes or the make-up didn’t make him look scary enough for you to be scared for Aladdin, the Sultan or Jasmine’s fates. Even his super-saiyan red genie form doesn’t look that scary at all.
Now let’s get to the part when you start to feel shitty about your late nigh big-ass burger meal. This movie is magical, colorful and well, fuckin nostalgic but it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Like any drive through fast-food burger, it has its shortcomings.
Low Level Spoiler Alert: (If you haven’t watched it yet, discontinue reading. But if you are just curious about my thoughts, proceed at full speed)
Whenever they are dancing, the camera speeds them up a bit. Not sure what they are going for in there but that shit is distracting. Is this some So You Think You Can Dance shit? Also, speaking of the dancing and production numbers, they could have added way more people on set instead of just using several main dancers and the rest is just the crowd. They could use some powerful references from Bollywood Music Videos and performances. Those are powerful. I am not a dance professional but there is something lacking in there. Ahhh! Some spice. It lacks spice. If you will argue that here is then it is very American spicy which is close to fuckin none.
If you will reference Indian, Middle-Eastern and other cultures for a fictional world, get the spice right!
I can let go of Jasmine’s absent belly button and Aladdin’s pecs and abs but then again, why? Is a female belly button that scandalous? I’ve read somewhere that they opted not to do that and Aladdin’s body to not distract people’s attention away from the story.
Overall, it’s a satisfying film that can satiate your senses if you just allow yourself to enjoy it.