After an unusual year 2021 in July, Cannes is back in May for its 2022 edition and its rich selection of around a hundred more or less expected films. After his zombie opening with Cut!, the festival is therefore in full swing and unveils a little more of its gems (or not) every day. It’s time we gave you our warm opinion Three thousand years are waiting for youthe new film by George Miller, seven years later Mad Max: Fury Road.
What is it about ? Alithea is a narratologist and studies various cultural histories around the world. During a trip to Istanbul, she buys a bottle in a bazaar and discovers that it contains a Djinn (a Genie). The latter then offers her to accommodate three wishes, but Alithea intends to know more about the Djinnen before she dares to formulate them.
How was it ? Three thousand years are waiting for you is undoubtedly one of the films that seems smaller at first screening, with only its two main characters, Alithea and the Djinn – wonderfully embodied by Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba – and their discussion in a simple hotel room. But from the very first seconds, Alithea’s voice-over and this image of a plane in full flight, George Miller sends a clear message: a great journey awaits us.
Because Three thousand years are waiting for you takes place just over three thousand years, an immense temporality in relation to the life of the Jinn, and the stories he will tell us through his exchange with Alithea. Thus, after introducing her heroine Alithea and the way she sees the world (the myths of the past are explained by the sciences of today, where their monsters are seen as metaphors), the feature film literally dives into the Jinn’s stories and memories.
A wonderful duo
George Miller then transforms this little introduction into a kind of tale about A thousand and one nights, where the Djinnen from Idris Elba transports us to the queen of Saba’s time, King Solomon, the Turkish-Persian wars or the ingenuity of the 19th century. Going through all its epochs, George Miller offers himself a bustling playground that pays homage to the power of storytelling, fiction and fantasy. On paper, the idea has something rather silly or innocent, but George Miller manages without difficulty to sublimate these stories thanks to an absolutely mesmerizing formal boldness.
The Australian filmmaker does have a striking ability to juggle on the one hand sequences of impressive size (a few warrior flashbacks close by 300, purely mythological and monstrous ideas, magical nuances …) make it possible to bring the memories and adventures of Djinn more vivid than ever and on the other hand a much more intimate and interior camera. A variety of genres, styles, eras, from which the charm and beauty of the film is born (the magnificent ocher of Ottoman flashbacks)mixed with a few transitions of surprising elegance (and fluidity).
A sublime work with the colors
Three thousand years are waiting for you then uses all the power of stories, the only vector that is able to connect past, present and future, while fantasies are confronted with reality (and vice versa) to better overcome barriers. Stories are perhaps the only ones that forever remain in hearts and minds and manage to transcend souls and destinies.
Thereby The magician’s magical tales are transformed into a real metaphysical journey and gradually become a breeding ground for fascinating reflections on human existence.the mysteries of certain emotions, especially love (an essential element of the story), and the beauty of mortality and therefore the human condition in a way.
Is not accepting one’s own mortality the best way to find the keys to happiness? For a Djinn, is not the only solution to confront human desires to avoid the mistakes of the past and better enjoy his eternal life? And finally, by relentlessly neglecting what surrounds him, does not man destroy his own bliss when everything is under his eyes?
In the continuity of Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller continues to question the environment (as much as women’s place in society thanks to skillfully written female characters), though Three thousand years are waiting for you is its absolute opposite in terms of rhythm and action.
Once again, proof of the filmmaker’s power of action, capable of touching on a new kind of cinema while continuing to build his own story as an ingenious storyteller. As a result, a great poet, humanist and calming (especially in the third act) about the passage of time and a very beautiful film that stays in the memory, about those that we wish we had never seen end.
And when will it be released? August 24 in France and you are already dreaming of being there without knowing it.