7/10 Based on the novel “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by English novelist A. S. Byatt, co-writer/director George Miller gives us his first film in seven years with this magical and visually stunning experience. Since this film deals with magic, faraway lands, djinn/genies, etc. Miller (“Mad Max” franchise) is the perfect fit to direct this film due to being one of the best directors working today when it comes to visuals in film (Zack Snyder would be another example). Miller nails the visual aspects as he brings the book to life and the editing was fantastic too with several scene transitions early on in the film really standing out. Co-leads Tilda Swinton (Alithea, which means “truth” in Greek) and Idris Elba (the djinn) are fantastic in their respective roles and Swinton does a great job narrating the overall story while Elba narrates his own past going back thousands of years. The pacing works great as the flashbacks grab your attention with terrific production design and costume design bringing to life events as far back as the Bible. Miller reunites with composer Tom Holkenborg AKA Junkie XL who provided a fantastic score to Miller’s last film, “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Holkenborg’s score here isn’t quite as strong as his last collaboration with Miller but still gets the job done and has an authentic Middle Eastern feel to it without feeling cheesy or repetitive. Even though you know the djinn survives all of his ordeals since he is currently in the present time, you are still captivated while he shares his fascinating past stories. As for what didn’t work, I only have a few complaints. First off, when the djinn is released from his bottle into Alithea’s hotel room, she doesn’t seem very surprised or shocked to know that genies exist and that she has released one. If this were to happen to anyone in real life, I’d think you’d be shocked and in awe at the very least but Alithea doesn’t seemed phased for some reason. It is revealed later on in the film that modern technology (cell towers and satellite transmissions) hurts the djinn but this is a magical creature so I feel like they wouldn’t be vulnerable to anything at all. It isn’t really explained why these things hurt him; they just do. Finally, in a somewhat meta way, Alithea comments to the djinn about how all genie tales are cautionary tales and this one is too, falling in line with every genie related story, instead of standing apart by doing something else. These complaints, while valid, are relatively minor and won’t ruin your overall enjoyment of the film (although all the nude obese people might). It is good to have Miller back telling visually stimulating stories and at the age of 77, Miller is still able to instill an electric energy that one might mistake as coming from a much younger film maker. If anything, this is a nice reintroduction to tide us over for Miller’s next film; 2024’s “Furiosa” prequel, which I have been…longing for for years…

#BottlingUpYourEmotions / #WhatAHasDjinn / #LiteralBlackMagic / #YouCantDjinnThemAll / #RevengeIsAWishBestServedCold / #TheDjinnDontDie

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