Discover more from TheMaskedMedic’s Substack
FILM REVIEW - Aladdin (2019)
By The Masked Medic
So as many people are aware, Disney is currently in the process of re-doing many of its classic animated movies are live-action versions. The latest in this series is ‘Aladdin’, the story of a poor young man, living on the streets of the fictional city of Agrabah who dreams of a better life.
I have to say that I was extremely sceptical of this project before it came out for several reasons. The first is that Hollywood often has an uncanny ability to whitewash the most obvious ethnic stories and I was waiting for Scarlett Johansson to be cast as all of the characters. Joking. I think. The second hesitation was the fact that there would be a new actor stepping into the role of the Genie, iconically played by the infamous Robin Williams. I mean those are not easy shoes to fill.
So let’s start with the first of those. Miraculously most of the cast was indeed Middle Eastern, the titular character is played by Mena Massoud, a new Egyptian actor on the film scene. I thought he played Aladdin very well and had all the charm of his animated predecessor. Princess Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott, who I first saw in the Power Rangers film, was even better and brought a real fierceness to what could have been a meek role. Finally getting on to Will Smith, who played the Genie. I thought his performance was excellent; he made the character his own, keeping the charm but not attempting to impersonate what was done before.
Moving on to the other aspects of the film. The cinematography was excellent, as were many of the sets that the film was shot on. Something that I did appreciate was that most of the movie was shot in Jordan giving it an authentic feel. The costumes were amazing, and whoever designed Princess Jasmine’s (many) suits did a fantastic job. Finally coming on to the music, because what Disney film is complete without a few numbers. The movie used many of the original songs, and although listening to them separately didn't spark any sort of enjoyment from me, within the film they were really good. The one new song on the soundtrack, ‘Speechless’ sung by Naomi Scott has to be one of the all-time best Disney songs.
Overall, I found that all of my qualms and worries were unnecessary and that Guy Ritchie obviously knew what he was doing when creating this film. The only point of criticism I have is that the guy playing Jafar was way too good-looking to be a villain! Congratulations on not ruining one of my childhood classics. Now I can only wait in anticipation for ‘The Lion King’ remake.