How do you follow up the genre-shattering commercial and critical success of the 2015 juggernaut Mad Max: Fury Road? Well, if you’re Dr. George Miller, after being crowned Australia’s Greatest Living Director (it’s been too long between drinks for Peter Weir, I guess), you tell a love story between a lonely academic (Tilda Swinton) and an honest-to-Allah djinn (Idris Elba). Sure. Why not?

Our academic is Alithea Binnie, a narratologist leading a lonely but satisfying—well, at least she says it’s satisfying—life who, on a work trip to Istanbul, releases a djinn (or genie, if you’re Disney) from an antique bottle she bought as a souvenir. Alithea has been suffering what she assumes are hallucinations of fantastical beings, but this soulful and sexy apparition is clearly standing in her hotel room—the very room where Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express, we’re told—and offering her three wishes. However, as a student of stories she knows that magical wishes are a mug’s game, and so the djinn tells her the tale of his long and magical life to convince her to make her wishes and set him free.

Read more at Flicks.

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