MALEFICENT Movie Review
Sleeping Beauty, one of the classic Disney movies. Aurora was one of the first Disney princesses but really what was the one element that stood out for a lot of people, mainly boys I would wager was Maleficent. The evil fairy was so interesting, so devastating and she became a frightening dragon at the end of the movie, also she was in the video game Kingdom Hearts where you got to fight her in her dragon form which was awesome. Then in 2011 Once Upon A Time aired and we were given another interpretation of Maleficent, sadly she got two scenes and was soundly killed in her second scene. Now it’s 2014 and Disney have decided to retell the story of Sleeping Beauty albeit from the point of view of Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), in an age where heroes and classic tales are constantly being redefined how will the tale of Sleeping Beauty be handled.
First there were two Kingdoms, one envious of the prosperity of the other, also it should be noted the envious Kingdom is a human Kingdom and the other is a fairy Kingdom. The human Kingdom is ruled by an ambitious and greedy King and the fairy Kingdom is protected by its most powerful fairy and she’s called Maleficent. One day Maleficent comes across a young human boy named Stefan, they form a friendship which becomes something special until years down the line Stefan (Sharlto Copley) does something unspeakable to Maleficent which sets up the events of Sleeping Beauty.
I really enjoyed Maleficent, Angelina Jolie was fantastic. She gave a great performance, you understand her grievance and why she is the way she is. Diaval (Sam Riley) is the most engaging character aside from Maleficent. he has a great relationship with Maleficent which feels genuine and earned. The other characters are unfortunately not as well defined, Aurora (Elle Fanning) is two dimensional, always smiling, it’s annoying. King Stefan is also a bit one note, constantly serious, never showing a side of himself that might care for his daughter or wife, just this madness that is kind of unjustified since it is clearly all his fault. This takes away from making the character a much more well rounded individual which would have been great. Also the overall worst character is actually a trio of characters, the three fairies who are not only idiotic but also dangerously inept as Aurora almost dies from their terrible “babysitting”, it made me miss the original Sleeping Beauty fairies.
The most disappointing element of Maleficent is however its lack of commitment. Maleficent never really push’s the elements that make it strong, for example the character journey of Maleficent turning from protector to villain is done well but the despair she felt was rushed. Within one scene she goes from happy to deeply sad to dangerously angry and it just didn’t hit the mark. More time given to this element as well as Maleficent’s despair affecting the fairy Kingdom and it could have been great. This culminates in an ending which doesn’t really fit the tone the movie is striving for. All these problems aside Maleficent is still entertaining.
The special effects are gorgeous, the acting for the most part is great and it was a deeper and darker twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale. Darker, deeper and with a touch of wit, Maleficent is a great movie to bring the kids too, big or small.