Arabian Nights Vol. 3

“Gomes has created something truly unique and remarkable” - Ben Nicholson, Cine-Vue

Throughout Arabian Nights, the element given the least attention and interest has been its framing device, Scheherazade, and the opening of Volume Three seeks to correct that. She spends time with her father, the Grand Vizier (Americo Silva), worries about her ability to survive, and toys with the beautiful and potent, if air-headed, Paddle Man (Carloto Cotta).

Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom one-ups even his stunning work from Volume Two, depicting Scheherazade’s paradisiacal milieu in ravishing fashion. Scheherazade’s struggle has a genuine pathos to it, generating heartfelt emotions out of a fantastical situation. In Volume Three, she comes to life, going beyond being a narrative technique and becoming a moving character in her own right. At the same time, Gomes still doesn’t abandon the film’s comic touch, finding the perfect balance between humor and melancholy, particularly in Scheherazade’s encounters with Paddle Man.

Max Bledstein PopOptiq