(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Maleficent is a decent retelling or another side of the story of Sleeping Beauty, but in the middle of the movie, I found it predictable, but the graphics does paint a better picture of this classic Disney story. Rating 3 out of 5 Stars.
I vaguely remember the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty, but I remember how iconic that movie was for Disney. Heck, the main castle in both Disneyland and Disney World was from that movie. So I do have great respect in what Disney had done back in the day. Maleficent is definitely an iconic villain for Disney along with Jaffar, Scar, and The Wicked Queen from Snow White (which I occasionally confuse with Maleficent). Even though I barely remember the movie, the face of the animated Maleficent has always stuck with me. I remember her turning to a dragon which scared the crap out of me as well. So when this movie came out, I wasen’t so gung-ho about, but I was curious where the story of this movie is going. It turns out to be ok. I will start with what I like, to the so-so, to what I didn’t like.
What I liked, first off, I thought Angelina Jolie played Maleficent very well. They developed her character into why she turned evil, and what she was like before she turned evil. Jolie did put a lot of emotion in her character, and to a point where you felt sorry for her, and happy for her in the end. I loved her crow/human sidekick who plays some comic relief with her, and at times her conscious. Elle Fanning playing Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) played her role well as a teenage girl who is always cheerful and happy. The three fairies played by Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville really played the comic relief role as they we’re suppose to “take care” of Princess Aurora. Robert Stromberg, who is an Oscar winner for his graphic designs in Avatar and Alice in Wonderland made his directorial debut. He definitely painted a beautiful picture of the fantastical land. The graphic designs were electrifying and really does great with the scenes in this movie. I’m sure Stromberg will be directing more films that will be even better.
The so-so, the story reminded me of a children’s book called, “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,” which was the story of, “The Three Little Pigs,” told by The Wolf’s side of things and how he was framed and innocent. Maleficent was just like that, a story told by the villain of the story of “Sleeping Beauty,” and how she really was not the villain. I thought that was great, however, it was too predictable for me. Once Maleficent started caring for the baby Princess Aurora, I knew she would start to care for her and regret casting the spell on her. Then she will find a way to break the spell by finding her a Prince, played by Brenton Thwaites. The only little twist was the true love kiss was from Maleficent and not the Prince. Which I find it more satisfying, because the original story almost sound like the Prince is a necrophyliac, and that’s not good to tell the kids. Also, I know it’s a fantasy and all, but why Maleficent have to have horns, with her wings she almost look occultish if you ask me. Maybe I’m being too conservative when it comes to that.
What I didn’t like, I was a little disappointed in the acting of Sharlto Copley as King Stefan. King Stefan was suppose to be greedy and insane, and he didn’t show that. He did say he was greedy, but he didn’t act greedy. When he acted insane, it wasn’t believable to me. He really didn’t act with a lot of emotion as Jolie did with her character. No real connection between the two, and maybe cuz it wasn’t true love. The whole thing with Maleficent getting her wings back was so cliched, she battled with her magic which was powerful, but when she got her wings, she was the ultimate warrior now. C’mon man. Also, some loopholes on this story like when did Maleficent start getting magical powers? Never really explained that. Why she couldn’t reverse the spell? Is there something bigger than her when it comes to spells? Why is the castle so different than the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland? I don’t know, maybe I missed something.
Overall, I like how with one story, Maleficent was pure evil, and made us believe that for decades, but now in this movie we can relate to her, and actually feel sorry for her. It’s good that this story ended on a happy note for a very iconic villain!!! Final Rating 3 out of 5 Stars.