Three Thousand Years of Longing

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1 year ago added
Three Thousand Years of Longing
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IMDb: 6.7
The movie opens with lonely British scholar Alithea while traveling to Istanbul, where he will give a conference about the connection between sciences and myths. When she gets off the plane, a strange-looking glowing man that nobody else notices tries to guide her luggage cart towards what he calls "mystery", but when Alithea's colleagues show up, the little man runs away. Alithea tells her friends about what happened, and they jokingly reply she must've seen a djinn. Later during the conference, Alithea sees another strange glowing man among the audience that nobody else can see. When she begins explaining that the old gods became what we know as science and old myths are now metaphors, the weird man calls it rubbish and jumps on her, making her pass out. She wakes up only minutes later and her colleagues take her to her room while the audience offers a round of applause. After the conference is over, Alithea goes downtown to visit antique shops, ignoring her friends' worry and promising she feels fine. In one of these many shops, she finds a curious little blue bottle and decides to buy it instead of anything fancier. The next morning in the hotel, she washes the bottle and finally manages to open it, which releases a Djinn that takes up most of the room's space. After trying different languages, Alithea discovers Djinn speaks Greek, and he gets to explain she mustn't fear him. He's beholden to her now and he'll grant her three wishes, although she can't ask for more wishes, eternal life, or the end of all suffering. While he talks, Djinn touches all the things around the room, turning on the tv and quickly getting to learn English through its transmissions. Then, Djinn asks Alithea for the wishes of her heart's desires, but Alithea is uncomfortable with the concept and needs to think about it. First, she shares part of her story that she's never told anybody. When she was a kid studying in an all-girls-boarding school, she was already a very solitary person. One day, a mysterious supernatural boy began visiting her and keeping her company whenever she was having a hard time, telling her stories in a language only the two of them could speak. Not knowing for how long he'd stick around, Alithea began documenting everything about this boy, but the more realism she tried to insert, the more she started to doubt and she began feeling silly. After a while, she burned it all in the school furnace and since that day, she didn't see the boy anymore. The conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Alithea's breakfast, although she doesn't open the door until Djinn disappears. After putting on the don't disturb sign on the doorknob, Alithea turns around to find out Djinn has reduced his size and transformed the humble hotel breakfast into something more extravagant. To buy some time until she decides on a wish, Alithea asks how Djinn ended up inside her bottle, and he explains that's his third incarceration because he's always been a fool falling for conversations with women. It all began when Djinn got in a relationship with his cousin Sheba, the queen of the land who was half-djinn and had a thick glade of black hair on her legs. Djinn was her plaything and her confidence but he still felt free because he was allowed to come and go as he pleased. He hoped he could become her husband one day, but unfortunately, things changed with the arrival of King Solomon, who crossed the deserts just to woo her. Djinn warned Sheba against him, and she promised no mortal could ever conquer her, but eventually she gave in to his charms and even removed her leg hair with wax to spend the night with him after the wedding. However Solomon could sense Sheba's connection to Djinn, and using his magic skills, he imprisoned him inside a brass bottle and tossed it to a bird that dropped it in the middle of the Red Sea. Djinns don't sleep, so for the first one hundred years, he raged against his fate and prayed for freedom to every god under the sun. In the end, he tricked himself and prayed to remain in the bottle, hoping that pretending to yearn for nothing would get rid of the pain. Unfortunately, for djinns, not having wants is the closest thing to death. Now they're back on the topic of what Alithea's heart desires. She explains she's successful and has everything she needs, even if she has no children, parents, or siblings. She used to be married to a man she met at school, but after she had a miscarriage, their relationship broke and they got a divorce. Her husband moved out with a new lover, and to this day, Alithea still keeps a few of his things in a box in the house. Some time ago, her husband had told Alithea that she was incapable of reading feelings, and she agrees. The way her brain is wired makes her smart but also causes her solitude. This is why she likes stories, she can find feelings through them. Still, Alithea doesn't want her husband back, she felt freedom when she divorced. But as a storyteller, she's heard too many stories about djinn's wishes always having a catch or cautionary tales that don't end happily. Djinn swears he's honorable, but Alithea doesn't listen and wonders if she can make no wishes at all. This causes Djinn to swell up in pain, confirming that wishes must be made to avoid bad consequences, and to prove the point further, Djinn tells Alithea the story of his second incarceration. Fishermen found the bottle inside a fish, but because it was covered in a hard layer, they thought it was a rock and threw it away. The rock changed hands many times until it ended up as part of a wall, where Gulten found it while trying to climb up to spy on prince Mustafa. Gulten lived as a slave in the palace's courtyard of the concubines and fainted when she opened the bottle to find Djinn. When she woke up, she quickly knew what to wish for: she wanted to be one of Mustafa's concubines. Djinn granted her the wish, and Gulten got to enjoy her new life after hiding the bottle under a heavy floor tile in a secret bathroom. While waiting for the other two wishes to come, Djinn wandered the place and learned about humans, that's how his attention fell on Hurrem, who was the Sultan's favorite slave. As a master manipulation, Hurrem sought to protect the throne in favor of her own sons instead of Mustafa, so she kept lots of eyes spying on the prince. Djinn worried Gulten could get caught in some awful political plan and tried to warn her, but she didn't listen and wished to become pregnant with Mustafa's baby. Meanwhile, the Sultan's warriors were worried about their leader becoming too soft for his position and were considering undermining him. Hurrem heard of this and told the Sultan that Mustafa was the one leading the soldiers in order to take the throne of his father, leaving the Sultan with a very hard choice to make. During all this, Gulten never tried to lay low, in fact, she paraded her swollen belly around the palace, certain that she was carrying the next prince. The Sultan heard about this and finally made his choice: he called Mustafa to his tent and killed him without even asking him about his loyalties. As soon as he learned of this, Djinn went to see Gulten to warn her they would come for her next and asked for the third wish, but she didn't believe him and run away straight into the assassins' hands. Djinn tried to help her, but one of the assassins' was a follower of the devil Iblis and had the power to block him. Gulten was thrown into the sea, and while Djinn jumped to rescue her, it was already too late. Now because of a third wish unperformed, Djinn was tethered to this world, unable to go to the "Realm of the djinn" until he could find another master. Alithea finds this story very ironic because it's exactly the kind of cautionary tale she has been talking about where you're taught wishing has bad consequences. Djinn points out once again that making no wishes equals dooming him, and continues his story to back up his reasoning. After Gulten's death, Djinn wandered as an invisible force while his bottle stayed hidden under the floor tile. For one hundred years, he tried to get people's attention to no avail, until one day, princes Murad and Ibrahim were able to feel his presence and found the secret bathroom. They almost got to push the floor tile up, but they were interrupted by their mother Kosem, the Sultan's widow. Murad had long hair on his legs, indicating he was Sheba's descendant, so Djinn tried to follow him around to get his attention again. Unfortunately, Murad had to take over the throne at fourteen and his life became all politics. While an older Murad led armies on the battlefield, Kosem locked adult Ibrahim in a room with a bunch of women, hoping he would produce a male heir and protect the family's place on the throne. Ibrahim loved the idea of spending every day with women, and he chose voluptuous and immense beauties believing that the more flesh the bigger the pleasure. When Murad returned to the palace after the war, his soul was rotten with blood and trauma. Worried about possible competition, he thought of murdering Ibrahim, but Kosem stopped him just in time by pointing out Ibrahim is too lazy to plan a riot. Still, Kosen couldn't risk losing her baby-maker, so she kept Murad drunk at all times and hired storytellers to distract him. Murad hated them and killed them if they didn't escape fast enough, but one day, an old man finally managed to charm him with his tales and became Murad's only friend. When the old man died, Murad got extremely drunk, and in that weak state of mind, Djinn got his attention at last. While Murad got to find the abandoned secret bathroom again, unfortunately, he was too weak to even open the door, and afterward, Murad drank until he didn't wake up ever again. Nobody else could sense Djinn then, and Alithea is very understanding of how that loneliness feels because she's felt it too. Back to the story, Ibrahim had to be dragged out of his room to be sat on the throne, and he appointed his favorite concubine, Sugar Lump, governor of Damascus. Because of this power, Sugar Lump was free to roam, and she eventually found the secret bathroom. Her size broke the tile when she accidentally fell on it, allowing her to find the bottle. Sugar Lump didn't trust Djinn when he showed up in front of her since he kept begging for a wish and smelled bad. Thinking he could be a trickster, Sugar Lump wished Djinn was back in his bottle at the bottom of the Bosphorus. In Alithea's eyes, this story proves once again that wishing is a bad idea. She thinks she could give Djinn to another person more open to the idea, but Djinn refuses to get back in the bottle. Next, Alithea makes three quick wishes, but they're silly things, like wishing for a sip of her tea. Therefore they don't work, since the wishes need to be a heart's desire. An argument ensues where Djinn calls Alithea a coward, and in return, Alithea begins wondering if she should wish they never met. This causes Djinn to cry out, begging her to stop as his bottle breaks and a sudden force makes the electronics malfunction for a few seconds. Alithea guesses this has happened before, and Djinn proceeds to tell the third and final story. Zefir was a foundling, married at twelve to a wealthy merchant much older than her. This merchant had two older wives that disliked Zefir, and she felt that everyone in the house, including the servants, was always mocking her. The bottle came to her as a gift from her husband, who saw it fall from a fish the cook was opening. After she was done satisfying him as thanks, Zefir managed to open the bottle. Djinn quickly noticed how bright she was and shared his story with her, prompting her to share in return all the things she had built in her free time. Unfortunately, nobody took her seriously because she was a woman, and that judgment made her feel like a witch with unused power. Her first wish was to ask for as much knowledge as possible, and Djinn was glad to grant it by offering Zefir piles and piles of books. To hide these books from her husband, they put them inside magic bottles. Djinn spent all his time with her, teaching her all kinds of sciences and languages, and they eventually fell in love. The more she flourished, the less shy Zefir became, and she began reveling against her husband. Unfortunately, his cravings for her were an obsession, so when Zefir had to give herself to her husband, Djinn would leave the room and roam the skies to gather new stories he'd tell Zefir when he came back. Her second wish came when she was unable to finish an ancient mathematical question, thus she asked to perceive the world as djinns do. This allowed her to see all the solutions she needed, it also got her pregnant with Djinn's baby. He was incredibly happy with her and didn't want to leave for the Realm of Djinn anymore, so he stopped Zefir from making the third wish. This angered Zefir, who then thought Djinn was trapping her as her husband did. Whenever a new argument began, Djinn would put himself inside a bottle to calm her down, but the last time, Zefir couldn't take it anymore and wished she could forget she ever met him. Magic allowed her to forget it all in an instant, and Djinn once again got stuck inside a bottle. After hearing this last story, Alithea finally knows what to ask for: she thinks she's here to love Djinn, and she wishes for him to love her in return, that way their solitudes can be together. Djinn accepts and they spend a lovely night together. The next day, Alithea has to go back to her home in London and offers Djinn a new bottle so he can travel with her. At the airport, she tries to keep the bottle in her pocket, but the scanner detects it and security makes her put it on the tray. Alithea almost has a breakdown thinking the scanner or the conveyor belt would break the glass, but thankfully the bottle survives the inspection. Once they arrive, Djinn has to get used to the big city because all the constant noises and electric waves in the air overwhelm his senses. The two of them begin a peaceful, content life together, and whenever Alithea has to work, Djinn takes the chance to sneak around to watch humanity's latest inventions, like advanced surgery techniques and the Collider. One afternoon, Alithea comes home from work and finds Djinn in the basement sleeping, which he isn't supposed to do. His body is slowly becoming ashes because of the effect the city is having on him, thus Alithea uses her second wish to make him speak again. Then, the two of them have an important conversation where Alithea realizes she shouldn't have forced love between them, so she decides to finally set Djinn free. The bottle breaks and Djinn returns to his original realm after Alithea falls asleep. The next morning, she puts the few things Djinn got to use inside a box and puts it away next to her husband's. Three years later, Alithea has finished writing and illustrating a book with all of Djinn's stories. Suddenly, she's surprised to see Djinn show up in front of her. Now that he's healthy again, he can visit her from time to time, helping her chase her solitude away in a more natural way.
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