Ashley Bowden, Guest Blogger
The 2019 version of Aladdin is two hours and eight minutes of pure blissful nostalgia. This re- make was a great adaptation to the original 1992 animated version. The story line stayed relatively close to the original, but with a modern twist, relating to current social issues, and modern day conversations.
The entire cast offered stunning performances that hooked and engaged the audience.
Will Smith played the perfect blue and partially animated Genie who was warm, friendly, wise, funny, and charismatic. While Mena Massed seemed to be a custom fit for the role of Aladdin, portrayed a handsome, athletic, charming, intelligent and kind-hearted suitor who would be any girl’s dream guy. While Naomi Scott portrayed a stunning Princess Jasmine who was a beautiful visionary, docile, yet simultaneously strong, wise, philanthropic, and unapologetically intelligent. Jafar’s character played by Marwan Kenzari added a strong element of contention to the storyline.
The merge of real life characters and animation was fascinating, especially with the fantasy like magic carpet and Will Smith’s transformation between the blue genie and human form. The jaw dropping scenery, beautiful use of colors, and rich costume textiles were enough to make anyone forget that this film was originally animated. There were periodic breaks in between the script that allowed for great singing, and dance from the cast. The highlighting of current social conversations, such as women’s empowerment portrayed the real life challenges women face while climbing the ladder of success and striving to achieve and maintain positions of leadership, added a sobering real life element to the storyline. Finally, the developed back stories of the characters added an interesting element that I can’t say was a part of the original film, and even set the movie’s storyline for a possible and anticipated part two.