A Whole New World from A Live Action Point of View


Aladdin is Disney’s latest live-action remake retelling the 1992 animated movie. The story is about a streetwise thief name Aladdin (Mena Massoud) in the marketplaces of the vaguely, vividly Middle Eastern fantasyland of Agrabah, where he meets and falls for Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). Her father, an old Sultan (Navid Negahban), is being undermined by his rotten vizier, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari). Aladdin and his monkey, Abu, are joined by a magic carpet and a blue genie who grants wishes and also develops a crush on Jasmine’s handmaiden, Dalia (Nasim Pedrad).

Initially, the movie met with some online criticism due to Will Smith cast as Genie, but he shut down all critics with his hilarious, energetic and vibrant performance. Will over the years has entertained the audience with his dancing, singing and acting.

The much hype Disney movie did live up to expectation. The actors were well chosen, a mention to Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) must say she is one with best Disney live action female characters. Her acting, dancing, the costumes were spectacular, her expressions for the song ‘Speechless’ is mind-blowing, by far the strongest performer, I feel she outshined Will Smith when it came to singing.

Even though the debate whether Mena Massoud will do justice for the role of Aladdin, he did. The Aladdin from street thief to Prince Ali. Good dancer, but sometimes his spotlight was stolen by Abu the monkey and Genie.

Genie, played by Will Smith was amazing, the blue colour suited. Where ever Robin Williams is he would be proud. Robin, who voiced animated Genie. Will gave a remarkable performance. Be the dancing, becoming a human and serving Jafar. Talking about Jafar, the actor should have been scarier. Many thought Will Smith’s Genie would have been an issue; it was Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) who turns out a bit disappointing. He was more look good-looking, like a prince, even the final scene couldn’t make Jafar look scary.

The visuals of the movie were brilliant, after all, what can you expect from a Guy Richie movie. The casting is admirable. The actors who played the main characters aren’t very popular, but the performances should be admired. Director Guy Ritchie, known for the kind of springy action that the movies, goes to great extents of giving visual grandeur, from the palace, dance sequels, the magnificent arrival of Prince Ali in Agrabah, the relationship between Abu and the magic carpet was adorable.  The song sequences were shot beautifully, even though some found it to be little Bollywood, but it doesn’t go on for six minutes with six costume changes, that’s typical Bollywood. The dance moves were choreographed to match with Arabian culture, and a colourful panoply of the city and its people.

Some lessons you can take home from the movie, you should just be yourself and not be seduced by wealth and power, yes it’s a typical happy ending movie after the many obstacles. Most of Disney’s 90s classics were like that.

Experience the magical fairytale at Scopes Cinemas near you

By Menaka Indrakumar


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