The much anticipated live action remake of the popular film, Aladdin, will be in theaters in just over a week. Last night, I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend an event from MAC Cosmetics, to kick off their new Aladdin collection, PLUS see the new movie before it’s release. The new makeup line is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t say enough wonderful things about it. So, what about the movie? Let’s break it down…
Back when we put out the news that Aladdin was being remade into a live action film, with Will Smith as the Genie, it was met with mixed reviews. Some were really excited to see what he would do with the iconic role, and some felt that Robin Williams, who brought the Genie to life in the original, simply could not be replaced. Truly, no one could replace him, and I don’t believe that this film tried to do that whatsoever. Will Smith’s take on the beloved Genie was his own, with a huge nod to the original of course. This is a modern twist on the story, so not everything is exactly the same, and that’s a good thing. The beginning of the movie sets the scene and introduces the characters, it’s a little slow at first, but once it picks up it’s quite a ride. A magic carpet ride? Oh yes there’s that too.
Will Smith is a name most of us know, but lets discuss the other players. Aladdin is played by Mena Massoud, who has an uncanny resemblance to the cartoon version of this character. Princess Jasmine was brought to life by Naomi Scott, who in my opinion did a wonderful job. Her portrayal of Jasmine showed strength and depth, with a dose of female empowerment. Her costumes were beautiful, and actually were the inspiration of the MAC cosmetic line. Jafar was played by Marwan Kenzari, who I wasn’t familiar with, but he did a great job playing the notorious villain. The Sultan was played by Navid Negahban. One pleasant surprise character, was the handmaid Dalia played by SNL alum Nasim Pedrad. Her character brought humor and charm to the movie, it was quite entertaining. In addition to the human main players, we have to talk about the “animals” who were the supporting cast. We had the beloved companion of Aladdin, Abu the monkey. Jafar’s bird Iago, who is of course antagonistic. Jasmine’s tiger Rajah, looked so realistic, true Disney magic at work. Just as with the Genie, Disney really didn’t miss a beat when it came to casting, it was perfectly done.
The movie itself was visually stunning. In particular, the scene where “Prince Ali” is being introduced to the Sultan and his kingdom was fantastic. It reminded me almost of a Bollywood production, meets the imagination of Disney. Truly something to see. The fan favorite scene, of Aladdin and Jasmine riding on the magic carpet surely didn’t disappoint. Once “A Whole New World” started to play, I felt a little burn in my nose, here come the tears. It was done SO well. The whole film actually was. There was thunderous applause at the end of the movie from the crowd, not one person who I spoke with had anything negative to say. It’s not frame to frame the same as the animated film, but it still gives movie goers that same nostalgia that they’ve come to love from the original Aladdin. I loved it. My inner Disney geek was thrilled.
I tried to give you the rundown without spoiling anything for you, but let me say this. Go into the new Aladdin movie with an open mind. Look at it as something that you haven’t seen before. Give Will Smith a chance. Admittedly, I was one of those who were a bit skeptic when it came to casting. As of last night, I can honestly say that I stand corrected. The Genie was endearing, the entire cast really delivered, and I’m so glad that I was able to attend this screening. Aladdin opens in theaters across the country on May 24th.
As for the MAC Aladdin cosmetic line, I love it all. Created by Gregory Arlt and Romero Jennings (pictured below), this collection brings the Disney magic and presents it in such a way, that you could wear this make up daily if you choose to. There is a beautiful eye shadow palette, various lipsticks and lip glosses, a bronzer, highlighter, and more! The Aladdin Collection by MAC is available now online, or visit your local MAC store for more details. A big thank you to MAC at Disney Springs for allowing us to attend the movie and kick off party for the new Aladdin line.
From my radio spot this morning on 96.5 WDBO~