[ Film Review ] “Maleficent” by Blade Brown
Plot– A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.
Review– Walking into “Maleficent“, I thought I had a clear idea of how the movie would go. Under the impression that this was basically “Sleeping Beauty” from her perspective, I figured I knew how this would play out. But as the tagline suggests, this is not the story you know.
As it turns out, Maleficent isn’t as evil as we were led to believe. Before she becomes the woman we saw in Sleeping Beauty, she was a proud fairy. A protector of her land, who was kind and merciful. But as you well know, things don’t stay that way for too long. There is also a history between Maleficent & King Stefan that is explored in the film. Turns out, there is a much more understandable reason for her placing the curse on his daughter. It puts you in a dilemma where you’re not sure if Maleficent is the antagonist she was always presented as, or a victim who simply responded the way she deemed necessary.
King Stefan, played by Sharlto Copley (District 9) is a character who will throw off those who are expecting to see a live version of Sleeping Beauty. Without giving the plot away, its safe to say he brings Maleficent‘s wrath down upon himself. As it turns out, they were actually friends as children. But as the years went by, they grew apart. Until certain events bring them back together, and eventually change both of their lives forever. While there is nothing wrong with his performance, the character himself is just very thin in this movie. He spends the majority of the film yelling and cursing Maleficent for what she’s done to him. Seems like a waste of a talented actor.
Visually, the film is amazing. Although I didn’t see it in 3D, there are certain scenes you can tell would’ve popped beautifully in the format. Elle Fanning is very good as Princess Aurora. She has the innocence to acting chops to pull off a role that can easily make or break the film. But as good as she is, the anchor of this movie is its A-List star: Angelina Jolie. She is perfect as Maleficent. Its as tho she was tailor made for this part. She has a commanding screen presence and can be loveable & sinister in the same scene. When she first enters the palace to place the curse on Aurora, its like watching the Disney classic all over again.
The Bottom Line– Not as dark as “Snow White and The Huntsman“, and not as silly as “Oz The Great & Powerful”, “Maleficent” is a good enough film to entertain the family. The film is a lot closer to the original source material than the Disney film, but Angelina Jolie is so good, she will satisfy fans of both.
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