First, would anyone had seen this movie if the original animated classic existed?
The film is fine totally fine, so fine that you can put it on in your living room and no one would be upset, no one would be impressed either, but hey, it’s a perfectly safe film.
First, I liked how they changed the character of Jafar.
In the film, they explain that Jafar used to be a common thief like Aladdin before rising in the ranks of Agrabah society to become Vizier. It gives him some motivation that allows the audience to understand why he is on a quest for power because he is still trying to escape the poverty of his low-class life. Jafar is not so much straight up evil as he is warped by his past experiences with poverty, giving him the viewpoint that he needs to be the most powerful person in the room. His past and motivation put him in perfect contrast to Aladdin, an impoverished youth who is also trying to rise above his station.
Another aspect of the film that I liked is that there is a consistent theme about rising above your circumstances. Every major character is trying to grow from the station they were born into. Aladdin is trying to escape his poverty, Jasmin is trying to be freed from her role as the obedient princess, The Genie desires to be realized from his servitude of the lamp, and Jafar seeks to be on top of the social later to escape his past of poverty. This theme adds a layer of depth the film that helps the audience connect to the characters as they all struggle in their personal quest.
Another theme that we present but was clumsily delivered was that of greed. The Genie warns Aladan that with the “the more you have, the more you will want” which ties into Jafar’s ultimate downfall, where he wishes to become a genie and traps himself in a lamp. The point where this theme is clumsily delivered is whether Aladin’s character, where he suddenly decides that he is not going to release the Genie. This moment was one of my least favorite part of the film because it feels like they needed Genie and Aladdin to have a low point in their relationship, so they just decided that Aladdin decided not to release Genei.
The acting for Aladin and Jasmine were pretty stiff. The actor for Aladin didn’t come off as clever, which made it weird in the scenes where he actually tricked people as I would not peg Aladdin as a scam artist in this film. The second thing about this film is that I found irksome was the Jasmin subplot.
The Jasmine subplot is unusual in that it gives the character something to do. The Jasmin subplot centers around the character trying to escape the role she was pigeonholed into as being just a pretty face. The film goes to show how she is interested in the politics and social troubles facing Agrahba that she wishes to fix. Unfortunately, the payoff for this subplot is subpar. In the climax of the film, she begins to sing the second rendition of “Speechless” (her original song), but in this second she sings, time stops and characters vanish to allow her room to sing. This came across as very odd for me as it totally broke away from the reality of the film. Until this point, all of these songs maintain a normal sense of reality where all the characters could observe the singing, and the actions of the song moved the plot along. But in the second version of Speechless, time stops and Jasmin enters into this alternative version of reality to give her time to sing which comes of as jarring as compared to the rest of the film. The second problem with her subplot is that there is really no payoff. After singing Jasmin, successfully convinces one of the guards to turn on Jafar however Jafar just uses his powers to make the guard disappear rendering the whole effort pointless and limiting Jasmin’s impact on the plot as a whole.
But with that, all said would I recommend Aladdin (2019)
Well not really, if your kids want to see if there is no real harm in going.