Aladdin is a live-action modern interpretation of the classic Disney film which is, I have to be honest, one of my favourite Disney films. I believe that this film aimed to make the original animated film more realistic and authentic which focussed on the setting of Arabia. This film stuck closely to the setting of Arabia with classical Arabian clothes and dancing which was very authentic and showed that a lot of thought had gone into this film creatively.
I watched this film in Hungary’s west end cinema so it was in Hungarian and unfortunately had no English subtitles which were a little confusing at first but I know the general plot of the story so this was not a problem. On top of this, the actors performed in a way that it was clear and easy to understand what was going on at every point and so his is a great credit to the actors themselves. However, the voices used for the Hungarian dubbing were a bit off and often times the voice didn’t match the feelings of the characters which was really off-putting.
This film reimagined many of the characters in the film which was very interesting to see. Marwan Kenzari who played the role of Jafar in this remake provided a more aggressive and serious portrayal of-the character. In a comic video, Matteo Lane jokes about the sexuality of Jafar by pointing out his love of jewels and how he dressed etc. This campiness of the original character was missing from this film (which in my opinion was disappointing) and was instead replaced by a more serious and sinister character.
The genie in this film was played by Will Smith and his portrayal of genie was very different to robin Williams’ version in the original film. Will played this role less child-like and modernised the character to beatbox etc. These mannerisms made the songs ‘friend like me’ and ‘Prince Ali’ fantastic to watch. The directors of this film used Will create amazing spectacles to watch which I though was really great due to the nature of the songs. Will posted a really interesting post on social media which basically said “I know genies don’t have feet but I have big shoes to fill” when talking about taking on the role of genie after Robin Williams. I, however, don’t believe that Will did fill the shoes instead Will designed new ones. The two portrayals of genie were very different but both were really fun to watch.
Mena Massoud who played the role of Aladdin was fantastic he fitted the character perfectly. Mena has one of those “cheeky” faces as if he is a little bit a naughty but you can’t help but like them. This is how the character is supposed to be which is very similar to the original film.
Another character that changed drastically was the role of the Sultan who was played by Navid Negahban. In the original, the sultan was portrayed as a bumbling ruler who is controlled by Jafar but in this version, he was shown more like a wise rule which is more confusing as he is still controlled by Jafar and someone who is wise and all-powerful would surely not fall for Jafar’s mind tricks.
In conclusion, I think we have to be careful with describing this film as a remake as it is so drastically different from the original film and it almost crosses the line of its own original film. This does, however, make me wonder if they will remake the other two Aladdin films with the same ideas of this film. One thing I really didn’t enjoy was the new song that appeared in the end credits which was a collaboration between Will Smith and DJ Kalid as it was very cringe-worthy and I don’t think it was very necessary. Overall , I would rate this film 3 and a half stars.