Aladdin movie cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari
Aladdin movie director: Guy Ritchie
Aladdin movie rating: 2.5 stars
How much magic can one rub out of the world’s most famous lamp? Disney sure imagines enough, to brush up this immortal story, and give it a makeover with a sobered-but-still-very-loud-very animated Guy Ritchie, a much-needed correction with actors of Eastern descent, a 21st-century update with a message of girl empowerment, and with Will Smith.
It’s a decent enough effort, with Masooud as Aladdin and Scott as Jasmine matching up well for this fairytale in which a princess falls in love with a pauper and his monkey. Scott, who is of half Indian origin, is striking in her princess clothes inspired by Indian wear in vibrant colours, while Aladdin and his pet Abu make a friendly pair. The talented Kenzari though is perhaps too mild for the menacing Jafar, though since we are in the times we are, there is a suggestion of him being a victim of circumstances that leave power concentrated in the hands of people who are born right.
It is the magic carpet and Smith who steal the show. As the genie who can grant your any wish, he is the Smith of old, wacky, smooth and just having fun. The film brings out the fireworks and the drums when he is around. It tends to get a bit too much at times, with these the only scenes where Ritchie, more known for his action-driven crime films, letting himself go. However, if this genie means we may have this Smith around for a while more, bring it on.