A princess, a street rat, and a genie walk into a bar……okay, not really but they are currently appearing in a theater near you! Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin hit theaters on May 24, 2019. If you have not seen the new Aladdin movie yet, get to a theater now! It is absolutely amazing. From stunning cinematography to superb acting, Aladdin is everything I hoped for and more!
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Street-wise Aladdin meets Princess Jasmine on the streets of Agrabah. Only, he does not know she is a Princess until the duplicitous Jafar reveals her identity. Trapped by Jafar in a cave, Aladdin discovers a magic lamp that unleashes a genie.
Using one of his three wishes, Aladdin transforms into a Prince to win Jasmine’s affections, only to discover that his new persona is a huge turn off for the intellectual Princess. However, danger lurks close to the palace. Unbeknownst to them, the Sultan’s most trusted advisor, Jafar, secretly searches for the lamp in order to steal Jasmine’s birthright and become Sultan of Agrabah.
Starring Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Will Smith as the Genie, Aladdin is a fun and heartwarming film with an important message of empowerment for young girls and women.
Aladdin Movie Review
I absolutely adored this version of Aladdin! While the original will always have a special place in my heart, there’s plenty of room for Guy Ritchie’s vision. The cinematography and special effects were spot on! Each scene was beautifully framed. You could almost hear the hustle and bustle of the market or feel the dry sand and hot wind across your face during Aladdin’s ride to the cave. The costumes were exquisite, complementing the characters in an explosion of color.
Naomi Scott as Jasmine is a pure joy to watch. She was expressive in every way. This version of Aladdin is as much Jasmine’s story as it is about Aladdin. Perhaps more so. Jasmine is not your typical Disney Princess. Instead, she is fiercely independent. Determined to take charge of her own destiny, Jasmine pushes against tradition. She refuses to be seen as a commodity to be given away in marriage.
Even better, Jasmine spoke up for herself. She refused to let anyone drown out her voice. I cannot tell you how much I adored the changes made to Jasmine.
Of course, this is a Disney movie so romance is very much a part of the film. Scott’s chemistry with Mena Massoud is wonderful! They play off each other beautifully. Massoud’s Aladdin is charming and confident without being overly cocky. Yes, there are moments where he’s arrogant. But, it’s not obnoxious. Rather, it fits with the humor of the moment in an endearing way. Together, Scott and Massoud are incredible. They effortlessly draw you into this magical world.
Aladdin’s “New” Genie and the Villainous Jafar
Confession: I was not over the moon with Will Smith’s casting as the Genie. I adored Robin Williams’ Genie. While I am a fan of Will Smith, I did not think he was the best fit.
Boy, was I wrong.
Will Smith was utterly magnificent. He honored this character yet made the Genie his own. There were nods to Robin Williams everywhere in his portrayal. Despite that, Smith’s Genie was unique. He was sly and unexpectedly deep. I fell under his spell completely. Smith will make you think of Robin Williams without wishing he was Robin Williams. Plus, he will have you in stitches over….well, everything!
No Disney film is complete without its villain. Jafar is one of the more nefarious villains. I was torn about Marwan Kenzari’s version of Jafar. On the one hand, he was cunning and dark. On the other, he sometimes came off in an over-the-top manner. There was a whining quality to some of his scenes. More like a child throwing a tantrum rather than a villain executing his evil plan.
Still, it worked. It kept the Aladdin movie from going too dark. In fact, I thought Kenzari’s Jafar was less evil than the animated Jafar. At the end of the day, this new Jafar didn’t detract from the film. But, neither did he add much to it.
Final Thoughts on Aladdin
You will recognize the music of Aladdin, plus one new addition. “Speechless” is an anthem for girls and women everywhere. It’s a reminder that we have a voice, a point of view. And Naomi Scott fills the song with conviction and power. It’s a song that will stay with you long after the movie is over.
Aladdin is such a fun, family film. You will laugh throughout and find yourself cheering Jasmine and Aladdin on. It’s the perfect balance of adventure and humor with a lovely romance between two well-cast and written characters. Plus, there is a bonus romance between the Genie and Dalia! These two have the most adorable, quirky exchanges that will make you grin.
Hit the theaters this weekend and catch Aladdin before it leaves the big screen!
Content Note: Rated PG
Where to Watch: Aladdin is still in a theater near you!
Have you seen Disney’s new Aladdin movie? What did you think? Drop me a line in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Disney
“You had me at hello.”
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
I have loved none but you.”
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