Maleficent review

maleficent

By Derek Mari

Maleficent. Disney’s newest live-action that follows the upbringing and origin of the Mistress of All Evil, Maleficent herself. Maleficent made her debut appearance in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty in 1959 and is now Disney’s most well-known villain. She is often the leader in villain-ensemble movies, and even a notorious enemy in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. Maleficent is regarded as an incarnation of pure evil in the original 1959 film as she casts sinister curses in her elegant and nonchalant ways. Her most famous quote is “You poor simple fools, thinking you could defeat me. Me, the mistress of all evil.” She obviously thinks highly of herself.

In 2012 it was announced that the villain would receive her own film with Robert Stromberg making his directorial debut and Angelina Jolie starring as Maleficent herself.

MALEFICENT

The 2014 film begins with Maleficent as a fairy in her magical world and finding joy flying around with her powerful wings. She soon discovers a human boy named Stefan whom she begins to fall in love with until their connection is lost. Years and years later, the currently reigning king is dying and is offering the throne to whomever slays Maleficent. Stefan seizes the opportunity and returns to Maleficent. Her heart is shattered when Stefan seemingly betrays her by stealing her wings when she is unconscious in order to become the heir of the throne. In result, Maleficent becomes infuriated and places the famous curse on (now King) Stefan’s daughter, Aurora.

elle fanning maleficent

First off, I have to say Maleficent accomplished exactly what it set out to do which was portray the evil fairy in a humanistic way to explain her evil ways. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel it was executed in a way that was actually believable. To me, Maleficent kind of came off as an insanely psychotic ex-girlfriend looking for revenge. Her dialogue was full of the “true love isn’t real” deal and I was struggling to sympathize. I only felt sympathy during Angelina’s phenomenal performance when she discovers her wings are gone, but the instantaneous turn to pure evil was too unconvincing for me. I guess I just really wish there were more layers to the character.

Maleficent follows Aurora throughout the years and begins to show affection for the girl. The affection is first shown in simple ways such as using her powers to protect Aurora and then to more obvious ways such as allowing Aurora to think Maleficent is her fairy godmother. This again brought down the evil facade too quickly for me because I began to realize that Maleficent at her most evil had already passed and my hopes of a darker film would be unsatisfied. After the relationship of Maleficent and Aurora was established, it was pretty simple to piece together the rest of the events. After that the rest of the film felt rushed to me. There was also a questionable scene involving the king and Maleficent.

sleeping beauty maleficent

All in all Maleficent was an entertaining film to watch, but the story lacked substance. I certainly believe that without Angelina Jolie, the film would be naught. Although I struggled to see her inner motivations, she portrayed her actions very well. The production value was great and if the film does well in the box office, we will probably be seeing more of Robert Stromberg as a director. I don’t discourage anyone from seeing this film and please feel free to knock down any of my views on this film. Maybe I expected something more mature than what Disney aims for. I enjoyed the visual effects and only wish I could have found equal pleasure in the story.

Rating: 3/5 Atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

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