Bollywood comes to Hollywood. A boffo performance by Will Smith as genie is bolstered by vivid Technicolor, colorful costumes, and wonderful music and dancing.
While the story hasn’t changed (Aladdin [Mena Massoud] is still a street guy who falls for a princess, Jasmine [Naomi Scott] and the genie is out to help him by granting him the proverbial three wishes), this is not a duplicate of your parents’ Aladdin story. For one thing, the screenwriters created a new character, Dalia (Nasim Pedrad), who is Jasmine’s lady in waiting. Dalia provides love interest for the genie. So we not only have Aladdin hot for Jasmine, we also have genie hot for Dalia (and vice-versa).
It was filmed by director Guy Ritchie (with writing credits to John August and Ritchie) in England and Jordan with an abundance of CGI. In fact the visual effects credits are longer than any I’ve seen. But they did their job well because the visual effects are award-quality.
Set in the fictional city of Agrabah, the 200 yard-long set was planned with the musical numbers “One Jump Ahead” and “Prince Ali” in mind. It took five days, 250 dancers, 200 costumes, and 200 extras just to to shoot the “Prince Ali” number.
Making a live action movie out of a previous animated one is chancy, but Disney did a good job. This is an entertaining, fun film.
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