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Three Thousand Years of Longing (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


An introverted literary researcher goes to Istanbul and discovers a bottle with a Djinn who offers her three wishes which will also free him from his curse.

Three Thousand Years of Longing Blu-ray Combo (Warner Bros.)George Miller’s latest cinematic endeavor is Three Thousand Years of Longing, based on the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt.

Following the basic pattern, we have all come to know from the folklore of stories about genies in bottles, this story follows the awkward and introverted narratologist Alithea (Tilda Swinton) who goes to Istanbul on a research project while still recovering from personal tragedy. Immediately drawn into a strange world of runaway imagination or possibly the supernatural when she is approached by a strange man in the airport offering to take her luggage, and later when she sees an apparition during a presentation, Alithea later purchases a bottle at a bazaar that turns out to contain a trapped djinn (Idris Elba), who offers to fulfill three wishes of her heart’s desire, which will also finally free him after three thousand years of being trapped.

What follows is not a series of wishes, but the a conversation in Alithea’s hotel room between her and the djinn in which he recalls to her how he got trapped in the bottle, first after falling in love with the Queen of Sheba and her suitor King Solomon cursing him, and a continuing series of, well, unfortunate events with each successive person who found and his bottle.

Unlike Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which was a masterpiece of allegory, symbolism, and hyper-kinetic energy, Three Thousand Years of Longing, despite its stunning visual style, very quickly begins to feel like it is taking three thousand years to reach its conclusion. Elba’s performance as the pained Djinn is spot on and there is palpable chemistry between Elba and Swinton, but these performances become a bit tiring after a while because that is all that is supplied to hold up this melodramatic fantasy. The film is not entirely without merit, however it is just very forgettable.

The Video

Three Thousand Years of Longing was shot on various Arri cameras with some scenes shot on the Red Komodo at 4.5K and utilizes a 4K digital intermediate. Warner has sent out the Blu-ray Combo for review only, although the film is available on 4K Ultra HD with HDR and digitally also with HDR. That said, the Blu-ray Disc looks stunning, with nothing to complain about with the picture. It is clean, crisp, and has vibrant colors with excellent contrast. Tilda Swinton’s ginger hair ‘pops’ against her pale skin and Idris Elba’s vermillion robe comes through brilliantly. Shadows have extended details as well and overall there is strong depth of field.

The Audio

Three Thousand Years of Longing comes with an English Dolby Atmos track that is spacious, but is also somewhat stagnant, especially in the height/overhead channels. There are only some atmospherics supplied in those channels that do provide a good sense of place and space when there is rain or fire, but otherwise, the surround and front channels do most of the heavy lifting. Low end is nicely extended offering a beefy bottom for the sound effects.

The Supplements

Only the DVD with feature film and a digital copy code are included. There are no bonus features on the discs.

The Final Assessment

Stellar visuals and two strong performances from Elba and Swinton cannot rescue this cliché-riddled and overly melodramatic fantasy that feels about as long as its title suggests. The Blu-ray offers a reference picture and strong sound, but this may be best left as a digital rental where you will even get it in 4K with HDR.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is out on Blu-ray Combo and 4K Ultra HD November 15, 2022 from Warner Bros.

  • Rating Certificate: R (for some sexual content, graphic nudity and brief violence)
  • Studios & Distributors: Kennedy Miller Mitchell | Kennedy Miller Productions | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) | FilmNation Entertainment | CAA Media Finance | Elevate Production Finance | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: George Miller
  • Written By: George Miller | Augusta Gore | A.S. Byatt (based upon the short story
  • Run Time: 108 Mins.
  • Street Date: 15 November 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos
  • Secondary Audio: English DD 5.1 | English Descriptive Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish

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An introverted literary researcher goes to Istanbul and discovers a bottle with a Djinn who offers her three wishes which will also free him from his curse. Three Thousand Years of Longing (Blu-ray Review)