Aladdin: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen
Aladdin is a well-known enchanting tale! And the fact it includes a charming genie who can grant your every wish, makes it only better! But does this remake fulfill all the 'wishes' we have of it?
By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi • 7 min read
Review Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Movie Rating: PG
Aladdin Movie Review
We’ve all had moments where we wished that a genie would solve all our problems. I would wish for infinite money. Would that be selfish of me? Maybe. But do I care? Not really. Although I do commend Aladdin’s use of his three wishes in this remake, the movie brings back memories of watching the original, which imparted good-old moral values while keeping us captivate by its storytelling.
The enchanting plot
A dirt-poor Arabian street smart thief (Aladdin) who lives with his only companion, Abu the monkey, meets a princess in disguise (Princess Jasmine) and falls in love with her. He finds a magical lamp with a genie (Will Smith) who can grant three wishes. He uses these wishes to charm the princess (obviously)! With the first wish he becomes Prince Ali of the fictitious Ababwa. However, it’s not all smooth sailing, as he still has to deal with the evil vizier Jafar’s megalomania.
Critically speaking, this movie is far from perfect. It is a bit underwhelming and doesn’t quite live up to the original. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. It’s definitely an interesting watch – it’s funny, has stunning visuals and a better-animated 'version' of the childhood classic. My mom (who has not seen the original) enjoyed the movie because of the vibrant colours, people breaking into songs, and Will Smith’s charm. “Genies have never looked so flamboyant and glamorous,” she said (that’s a direct quote). For these reasons, Aladdin is a great movie despite not living up to the original.
The visuals are worth the watch!
I love live-action animated movies (does that make sense?). This movie is a mixture of actual people, sets and CGI – and I’m here for it. Some scenes, in particular, caught my eye – the song ‘Friend Like Me’, the birds-eye view of Agrabah and every scene with Abu. I’m impressed by how much emotion and movement they show through a carpet! The magic carpet seem almost human with how the animators conveyed its motives.
The sound of music
I love the score. The music sets the mood for the scenes, and make you feel certain emotions. I applaud Alan Menken for this. I especially like the music during the climax – it made me feel restless and on-edge, the right mood for the scene. The songs were also lovely. I love how Will Smith added his own touch while singing ‘Prince Ali’ instead of blindly trying to copy Robin Williams. I also think Naomi Scott’s rendition of ‘Speechless’ will be the next ‘Let it go’. It changed the way I see the original.
Departing from the original
I love the small changes they made to the film from the original. The inclusion of Dalia’s character made the film a whole lot funnier and relatable. She kind of reminds me of Janet from ‘The Good Place’. I didn’t like that Jasmine was the only female with significant dialogue in the original; Nasim Pedrad brings a dorky charm and relatability to the remake.
I also have to appreciate Will Smith for just… being Will Smith. He’s an amazing genie and steals the show with his charisma. I was expecting Jafar to be more flamboyant and have a crazy eyeliner, but Marwan Menzari does a good job, taking a calmer approach to Jafar’s character.
All in all, this movie is a worthy-ish opponent to the original (although it’s not quite there). It has humour, emotion, revolution, a genie and a magic carpet. What more could I ask for? It’s a must-watch for people who haven’t watched the original and a maybe-watch-it-if-you-want for the people who have. BRB (Be Right Back), I’m going to decide what else I’d wish for, since you apparently can’t wish for more wishes.
Takeaways from the Aladdin movie:
- Being part of a certain race, religion, or culture doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that defines you.
- It’s good to change and evolve; it’s good to take out bad traditions. Be the change you want to see.
- Women are born to do to more than marry and reproduce.
- The more you have, the more you want; the more you have by pretending, the less you actually have.
- The hardest thing isn’t gaining the approval of your enemies, but defying the ones you trust.
Watch the Aladdin movie trailer
Aladdin: Mena Massoud
Princess Jasmine: Naomi Scott
Genie: Will Smith
Jafer: Marwan Kenzari
Director: Guy Ritchie
The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at www.vanshikadevuni.blogspot.com
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