I’m not going to lie to you. I was prepared to hate it. Well, hate is a strong word I don’t much care for. Look, I don’t hate many films. I used to. But I have mellowed a bit and can usually find at least one redeeming factor about a film. The same goes for humans. I tell my son it is not good to hate anyone. Hate just blackens your own heart. With that said, there have been some films I greatly detested. Never cared for Naked Lunch. But that’s an old film. During the last two years or so, I really couldn’t find much to redeem the Nutcracker and the Four Realms, as well as Valerian. I found them excruciatingly boring. The same with the the House with a Clock in its Walls. Anyway, I am quite tolerant these days of a wide range of films.
But I did go on expecting to dislike Aladdin. I don’t care much for musicals. Luckily, Aladdin wasn’t heavy on the musical interlude pieces. And, there was a right mix of humor, poppy songs, and heart. The first scene was a bit touch and go but it got better way better. My son really liked it despite the awkward boy/girl scenes. His words. He loved the friendship part of the movie and can’t stop singing “Friend Like Me” .
I know the reviews out there are mixed especially in regards to Will Smith as the genie. Ay first, he annoyed me. But he grew on me and brought the funny to the movie. Which was perhaps the point. He’s no Robin Williams but he doesn’t have to be. Its a whole new world and a whole new audience.
I liked the song speechless as sung by the Princess. It was a moment to remind us that while others may try to silence us, we need not silence ourselves. That is a message that goes with our current times and it is the only new song in this live-action adaptation. I enjoyed it and hope it stays in future adaptations-even if that occurs 20 years from now. Although, part of her need to not silence herself is that she is
struggling in Agrabah’s male-dominated hierarchy. She feels that despite the rules she can be the next sultan. I hope that in 20 years, despite liking the song, that her struggle will seem like an antiquated idea. I have to also note that Princess Jasmine is such a strong character that you forget this the title character is Aladdin.
Aladdin wasn’t a bad way to kick start the summer. I think there will be stronger summer films to come but this wasn’t a bad way to get started.