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The Genie

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jun 13, 2023

Film Reviews
The Genie
Directed by:
Fabian Rey
Written by:
Doel Banchs, Fabian Rey, Johnny Lee Whitehead
Johnny Lee Whitehead, Doel Banchs

A man finds a guiro, which summons a genie.


This light-hearted short fantasy comedy follows an ordinary man (Whitehead) who by pure chance stumbles upon a guiro that turns out to be magical because once he plays it, a genie (Banchs) appears to him and informs him that he can be granted three wishes. Initially, the man is delighted and wishes to have the ability to fly. However, he soon realises that a genie might not be what he needs.


This is a low-budget film that tells a story that is rather entertaining. Of course, it is different from Aladdin in the sense that the plot takes place in present day San Juan, Puerto Rico and as it was filmed on a tight budget, there are no amazing special effects. Nevertheless, with creativity and humour, the filmmakers create an amusing experience.


What is fun about this viewing then? Primarily, it is the performances, which although not realistic, they certainly are a joy to see, particularly Whitehead's, who pretty much behaves like a cheerful and naive child. Banchs plays the genie (who has a human form, wears casual clothing and a straw hat) as a serious and wise entity, but not without a sense of humour. These two characters become buddies (sort of) and the genie ends up teaching the stranger a few things about life.


What alse is fun? Well, that would be the story: a guy discovers a genie in the middle of a city and embarks on a brief adventure that changes his life, helping him learn more about himself. Some of the intriguing activities he undertakes involve flying high up in the sky, going for a walk dressed as a security guard and playing the guiro.


As mentioned, the filmmakers were creative and particular praise goes to the terrific aerial shots that were probably accomplished with the use of a drone. The montage consisting of title cards during the closing credits is another great bonus and edited fantastically by Jaime Crespo. It should be mentioned that the news report part does not seem to serve any purpose, making it feel pointless.


Regarding the audio, there are some cool sound effects and thanks to the contribution of Los Petardos, there is some great rock music.


This is a nice, uplifting film, one that does not take itself seriously and utilises a fairy tale narrative to tell a story about self-esteem and inner strength that points out the fact that it is the small things in life that matter and that one should be content with what they already have.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film, World Cinema
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