Hi everyone! I recently watched the new remake of Aladdin, and decided to write a review to counter some of the harsh critiques it has recieved. Because honestly? I thought the movie was absolutely charming.
Warning: Contains minor Aladdin Spoilers
Before going into the theater to see Aladdin, I saw an article headline describing the 2019 Aladdin movie as ‘meh’. It worried me, as I thought that Disney had ruined one of my favourite childhood movies. But I can assure you, that I left the theater pleased with what my eight euro had bought me. I truly enjoyed the movie!
Let’s be clear. I am not the kind of movie fan who emphasizes on computer generated imagery, or angles and lighting. Sure, I appreciate a movie that consists of clear and realistic imagery but I tend to focus on the flow and story line. If you are looking for a review regarding CGI, well you wont find that here.
At the beginning of the movie I will admit that I cringed a couple of times. The character of Aladdin came across as well, a fuck-boy. And that scared me. But trust me, the more you get into the movie the better it gets! Don’t judge it straight away.
So, what was so great about the movie? Several things. Will Smith for one was hilarious and he portrayed the character of the genie perfectly. He was witty, sarcastic and often voiced exactly what the audience was thinking. Will Smith’s real-life charisma shone through in the Genie and suited the character to a tee. His singing and dancing had me grinning in my seat and all in all he did a beautiful job at bringing the magic and music to life!
Speaking of song and dance, the more you relax into the movie the more enjoyable these spontaneous scenes become. The cultural dances performed were mesmerising and the display put on for the arrival of Prince Ali really lived up to its anticipation. Naomi Scott (Jasmine) and Mena Massoud (Aladdin) delivered the beloved song ‘A whole New World’ beautifully and passionately. Of course, many will say that these musical scenes were cheesy and hard to watch, but musical’s will always hold a level of cliché and cringe. That’s the beauty of them, right?
The character of Jasmine was perfect. The remake was able to emphasise on independent women and feminist characters. Disney were able to stick to the original idea of Jasmine, but added to her stubbornness, spunkiness and authority to create an empowering and influential female character. Jasmine refused to not have her voice heard and it was an important part to the film. She also ended up as the leader of a city, with a man by her side rather than the opposite way around. As for Aladdin, once I got over the ‘fuck-boy persona’ obstacle, I found myself smitten with his character and the charisma that Mena portrayed so fluently.
Aladdin will always have the best Disney pets. The monkey Abu, tiger Rajah and the magic carpet
does the carpet count as a pet? were just as loyal and adorable as they were in the original movie. There’s nothing more beautiful than these non-human characters being the most caring and loveable characters on the screen. Abu’s cheekiness was amusing, Rajah’s protectiveness was heartwarming and the magic carpet in general just made me want to well… Give it a cuddle? I don’t know how I feel about Aladdin making me feel so intensely for a… Carpet.
Let’s not forget an important point. It was extremely evident that Disney tried their best to create this movie as respectively as they could. They removed many of the exotic stereotypes seen in the original movie. They created more in-depth characters- especially with Jasmine and the Genie. They put together one of the largest most diverse cast’s ever to appear on screen. For that, I say hat’s off to Disney. It was not perfect, and there was flaws regarding Orientalism. But it shows how far Disney have come in the past years, as they are making an effort to be more culturally and racially aware. The rumoured white male character, that had sent social media into a frenzy a few months ago was merely an annoying, foreign prince who thought he had a chance with our lovely Jasmine. His screen time was limited, and he was a joke character.
Overall, I found the movie rather charming. I really enjoyed it, granted it did take me a few minutes to get into the flow of the movie, but by the time the credits came onto the screen I was left wanting more. Aladdin flowed through its scenes fluently and never once was I bored.
Aladdin (2019) was magical, charming and ultimately a feel-good movie.