Aladdin (2019)

Aladdin is a 2019 American musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who co-wrote the screenplay with John August, it is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated film of the same name, which itself is based on the eponymous tale from One Thousand and One Nights. The film stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar, as well as the voices of Alan Tudyk and Frank Welker.

The story is ofcourse the same as the one we have seen in the 1992 classic animated film from Disney. Aladdin, the young street urchin with a heart of gold meets and falls in love with Princess Jasmine, who is in disguise in the poor markets of Agrabah. Meanwhile, the grand vizier, Jafar, schemes to overthrow Jasmine’s father as the Sultan. He, along with his pet parrot sidekick Iago, seeks a magic lamp hidden in the Cave of Wonders that will grant him three wishes. He has been unable to retrieve the lamp himself because only “the diamond in the rough“ is allowed to enter the cave; anyone else will be devoured and killed by the cave itself.

Jafar finds out that Aladdin is the one and has his soldiers take the young man to the cave. In return for retrieving the lamp for Jafar he promises to make Aladdin rich enough to impress Jasmine. Jafar warns Aladdin not to take anything but the lamp, even though he will be very tempted to. Inside the cave, Aladdin finds a magic carpet and obtains the lamp. Abu accidentally causes the cave to collapse after he picks up a ruby, as the cave thinks he is stealing. He gives it to Jafar as he hangs perilously from the exit of the cave in exchange for his help up. Jafar double crosses him however, and throws him and Abu back into the cave, though Abu steals the lamp back. The magic carpet also catches Aladdin and saves him from falling to his death. Trapped in the cave, Aladdin rubs the lamp, unwittingly summoning an omnipotent Genie, who lives inside it. Genie explains that he has the power to grant Aladdin three wishes, with the exceptions of murder, romance, resurrection of the dead, and more wishes. Aladdin tricks Genie into freeing them from the cave without using a wish. He then wishes to be a rich prince, calling himself Prince Ali and heads to Agrabah.

So ofcourse he woos Jasmine and impressed her on the magic carpet ride. while Genie goes out with Jasmine’s handmaiden Dalia. When Jasmine tricks Aladdin into revealing his true identity, he appears to convince her that he is actually a prince and only dressed like a peasant to meet the citizens of Agrabah beforehand. When Jafar find out that Ali is really Aladdin throws Aladdin into the sea, saying if he lives, it will be because he found the lamp and the Genie saved him. If he dies, he really is a prince and doesn’t have the lamp. Abu and the carpet arrive with the lamp and Aladdin rubs it just before losing consciousness. He awakens though, having been saved by Genie, at the cost of his second wish. They talk to Jasmine, who is also suspicious of Jafar, and then expose Jafar, who is arrested and imprisoned in the dungeon. The Sultan offers Aladdin the position as heir to the throne. Fearing he will lose Jasmine if the truth is revealed, Aladdin needs Genie with him now and refuses to free him, much to Genie’s disappointment.

Iago frees Jafar who then steals the lamp from Aladdin and becomes Genie’s new master. He uses his first two wishes to become Sultan and then, when the guards refuse to acknowledge the change at Jasmine’s request, to become the world’s most powerful sorcerer, imprisoning the guards and Jasmine’s pet tiger Rajah. He then exposes Aladdin’s identity to Jasmine and exiles him and Abu to a frozen wasteland on the other side of the Earth. He threatens to kill the Sultan and Dalia unless Jasmine agrees to marry him. At the wedding ceremony, Aladdin and Abu return, having been rescued by the magic carpet and Jasmine steals back the lamp. Furious, Jafar transforms Iago into a roc to give chase. Iago overpowers them and steals the lamp back, destroying the magic carpet in the process.

Aladdin stalls Jafar by taunting him for being second and less powerful than the Genie. An incensed Jafar is tricked to use his last wish o become the most powerful being in the universe. Due to the vagueness of the wish, Genie is able to use it to turn Jafar into a genie; chained to the lamp without a master, Jafar gets trapped inside, dragging Iago inside with him. Genie throws Jafar’s lamp to the Cave of Wonders and repairs the magic carpet. Aladdin keeps his promise, using his last wish to free Genie and allow him to live as a human. Jasmine & Aladdin  then share a passionate kiss. Genie marries Dalia and leaves to explore the world and start a family with her. Aladdin and Jasmine get married and start a new life as well.

While there isn’t much wrong with the film or the acting (it’s pretty much a Disney movie) the problem is many of us will compare it with the 1992 animated film. Massoud & Scott are pretty good as the lead pair but the problem is Will Smith isn’t as good as a Genie. No fault of his but it’s just the ghost of Robin Williams looms large over the movie. Williams killed it as the Genie and can never be bettered. Also the villain isn’t very threatening and lacks a menacing presence which even the cartoon version had! Other than that it’s pretty good. 8 outta 10!

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