Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hour 08 minutes Censor Rating : U

Production: Walt Disney Pictures Cast: Will Smith Direction: Guy Ritchie Screenplay: Guy Ritchie Music: Alan Menken Background score: Alan Menken Cinematography: Alan Stewart

Arabian Nights are tales that we have read in our Non-Detailed syllabus at school, loved as cartoons characters and enjoyed as animated films in our theatres. Now Disney has brought to us a live action of one of the best among them - Aladdin.

The characters are quite simple and defined (when we know them first). Jafar, who is Sultan’s advisor and second to the Sultan in the Kingdom, is actually a sorcerer in undercover. He is on a mission to find a ‘diamond in the rough’ who can walk into a magical cave to get him his magical lamp. Aladdin, a street rat and petty thief who roams with his monkey, Abu, meets Jasmine (the princess who identifies herself as Dalia, a handmaiden to the princess) and ends up in the castle only to be kidnapped by Jafar and gets into the cave and finds the lamp which contains the Genie.

The story that follows is surprising much as it is not the tale we have actually heard and known. It seems like a big risk that the makers have taken and to be honest, their experimentation has been delivered well. The plot gives a very impressive character arc for Jasmine. Though the story of Aladdin begins and ends familiar, there is a different tale told and we see the rise of a different Sultan which is neatly written and brought out. It has, for sure, befitted all the ongoing noble fights going on in our real world. Kudos to the team for tampering the original story with a motive to bring out a strong message.

All that said, Aladdin, the movie lacks the likeness of ‘Aladdin and the Genie’ episodes, as read and seen previously, and that sure is a bit missing. Abu’s friendship with the magic carpet and the evil pet bird of Jafar are not much used but have come off well and are laid out neatly in the plot. The cinematography and art department has been successful in bringing out Agrabah quite realistic. The music is a great pillar of support for the movie. The VFX used has been rendered very neatly and fits well. But honestly, the cave’s grandeur and mystic nature looked a bit dull than it was told and shown before.

The biggest positive about the film is Will Smith’s charm, like Dalia, all of us get trapped in it. The performances of everyone else has managed to provide enough balance to keep the plot engaging. But there sure is a lack of magic and mystic feels that the Arabian Nights tales could have had. Aladdin is a movie that has a strong tale to tell with a different yet strong drama. Jasmine becomes one of the first princesses in Disney movies who does not need help. She realizes she can no more be speechless.

This movie has set a new world of Aladdin and it has also done it properly. The lack of originality is felt beyond the commendable storyline. Aladdin will definitely offer you a thrilling ride with all wonders and magic but you will also lack the Aladdin you have known.


Verdict: Disney's Live-action Aladdin impresses with Will Smith's charm, but leaves us longing for the Aladdin we are familiar!


2.75 5 ( 2.75 / 5.0 )