Three Thousand Years of Longing

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Amazon Film
Watch Now


Three Thousand Years of Longing is an epic fantasy movie that follows a lonely woman who, on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.

For as long as humans have told each other stories there have been stories of trickery. Deceit, avarice, and hubris are woven into literature to create a time threaded fabric of cautionary tales (with a pinch of cackling spectator glee thrown in).

So then, when Alithea Binnie pops the top off of a long neglected bottle bought in an Istanbul bazaar and an ancient Djinn unfurls and offers her three wishes – she is having none of it.

What Is Three Thousand Years of Longing About?

Alithea (Tilda Swinton) is not only a scholar but her expertise is in the power of stories. So she is ideally placed to know all the tales of mystical tricksters under whom people become undone.

Yet this Djinn (Idris Elba, Luther) pleads for her to make wishes based on her heart’s desire, lest he continue trapped as he has been for the past three thousand years. It’s quite the dilemma.

One of the first things to strike you about this gloriously ambitious film is just how visually striking it is. Such an impact from director George Miller (the Mad Max franchise) is achieved by crafting a definitive and distinctive look for the movie.

From the moment that the Djinn cascades into Alithea’s hotel room overflowing to the point that she can only see his giant foot blocking her bathroom doorframe, Three Thousand Years of Longing courts your eyes.

The central story remains physically within said hotel room, as a sceptical Alithea picks apart the mechanics of wishes in counterpoint to the Djinn taking her through a journey of the wishers who have come before her.

Three Thousand Years of Longing Official Trailer

Is Three Thousand Years of Longing Worth Watching?

Swinton and Elba are a sublime pairing. Swinton’s bravado at a life that wants for nothing is tinged with inescapable loneliness, whereas Elba exudes every one of his smoky and ethereal three thousand years. Their dialogue sparkles like diamonds in the ocean of time.

Which is likely why this ambitious movie staggers once the hotel room is left. For the bulk of the runtime the Djinn details his life’s cycle of occasional freedom versus weighty forgotten confinement.

During these three major stories we are whisked back to heady tales of civilisations long gone, richly detailed sets with mercurial characters, and the folly of choices governed by desire.

Once such a definitive narrative ends and we are left with Alithea’s choices then the movie struggles to retain the same intrigue.

Such is the nature of a story about stories. Once the story shifts back into the here and now we have been guided to expect a pat resolution. Instead the movie flounders for a little too long; it seems to resolve itself several times before continuing for yet more scenes.

The ‘and another thing…’ sense of the last 15 minutes causes the magical intrigue to snake away out of shot.

Even if the third act is potentially more joss stick than ethereal coalescence, Three Thousand Years of Longing remains a striking and seductive movie.

Its thematic exploration of regret and human connection is a mature one. Even amongst the richly textured settings and striking score, Miller still draws out the humanity in these complex characters who struggle to articulate truth to their own motivations.

Three Thousand Years of Longing is a movie that will stay with you precisely because it doesn’t present itself like a market tested, corporate created, condensed piece of content.

It is a Movie that justifies the capital M with equally capitalised Performances and Visuals.

Despite good buzz and word of mouth the movie didn’t draw in a big crowd at the box office, so why not give that remote control a little rub and let the artistry stream out to fill your living room?

Words by Mike Record

Get ready for non-stop entertainment with access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including award-winning Amazon Originals. Plus, enjoy the convenience of FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items. With the ability to watch anywhere and cancel anytime, you'll never have to worry about being tied down. So why wait? – Join Now

30-day free trial available.


  • Stunningly Inventive Visuals
  • Swinton And Elba Are Sublime
  • Ambitious And Creative


  • Third Act Loses The Momentum
  • Ultimate Decision Feels A Little Forced


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>