Release: 24 May 2019
Disney was not very successful with the promotional campaign of ‘Aladdin’. The animated film from 1992 is one of the most loved by the public and what we had been able to see before its premiere made us think more of a ridiculous disaster than a memorable update by Guy Ritchie.
The film finally arrived in theaters the past Friday, May the 24th, 2019.
A lot of the mythical songs of the animated classic were going to sound again in ‘Aladdin’ that was obvious. They were key to their success and the raison d'être of these productions is to live in the public's interest to be watched again by the great things that characterized them in the first place. And those songs are tattoed in the hearts of many people, sometimes it is impossible not to cross the barrier of the movie's real merits, just because of the inmense beauty one can find in its classic, iconic songs.
It is inevitable that the film feeds on nostalgia, but the funny thing is that Ritchie always seems interested in distancing himself, adding more important or minimal changes depending on what each sequence allows. We have to remark that, it's easy to see no trace of the personality that Ritchie has proven to be able to print their work, but instead there's simply an attempt to mark an easy success, which is in fact an actual success, and it has some merit for it, but it lacks the Ritchie's well know personality and original touch, something we obviously would've liked to see on screen.
This is where more important changes come in to add some goods to the final result. The most damaged of all this are Iago and the Sultan, with the first trying to get a certain dose of realism that when the moment comes translates into the loss of all spark by the character and with the second leaving behind that good-natured factor that It worked so well in the animated movie. Here both are an inheritance that has to appear on the screen but that Ritchie has little interest in.
The most benefited from this are Genie and Jasmine, but the way to alter and expand the characters never feels satisfactory. With the first one it smells too much in an attempt to squeeze the charisma of Will Smith, who gives everything of himself to make us forget Robin Williams, but in reality he always feels slightly forced.
On the other hand, Naomi Scott sees how the more determined and feminist side of the character is enhanced, even having a new song that goes in that direction. Interesting on paper but with a failed execution that even serves in some moments to break the rhythm of the story.
And is there when 'Aladdin' tries to distance himself more from the original, and he does so by exploring concepts that could marry well with what we had seen, but sometimes he forgets that one of the keys of the animated original is that it was an agile adventure that he rarely gave the spectator a break. Here everything goes more slowly, even when they "skip" a scene to get faster.
In conclusion, ‘Aladdin’ is a fairly discreet update of the 1992 animated film, never getting equal to or exceeding the original when it gets closer and erring in most of the substantial changes it includes. At least he tries instead of being content to follow the marked path, but neither does it in a determined way and the fact of subtracting lightness from the story ends up turning against him.