Maleficent (2014) – Movie Review
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley
IMDB Rating: 7.4
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.
Tagline: Don’t believe the fairytale
My Tagline: You got that right!
Review: Maleficent. A name that stirs dread and fear. The self-proclaimed Mistress Of All Evil. In the 1959 original version, the stage is set with Maleficent placing a curse on Aurora so that before the sun sets on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. This curse is weakened by Merryweather, who reduces it to an eternal sleep and the curse can be broken by the first kiss from her true love (Prince Phillip).
That is about as far as to the original story this film was. In this adaptation, Maleficent is downgraded to a fairy who was scorned by her own “true love” (King Stefan), who betrayed her twice (Once when he is a teenager, the second when he’s an adult and he gets her drunk then cuts off her wings).
Maleficent is woman scorned. Fueled by jealousy and bitterness, she sets out to destroy King Stefan by doing the only thing she can…. Sealing herself off from the outside world with a wall of thorns, then later decides to rock up at the Christening of King Stefan’s daughter, Aurora. Hmmmm.
In the original tale, Maleficent could not find the young princess. In this version.. If you guessed what I am going to say, then you score extra brownie points… Yep, Maleficent manages to find Aurora in under 5 minutes flat, and then, for the next 16 years, she “watches” over her, to the point of becoming her motherly-figure. (how sweet)
Maleficent, in her own way, discovers that she has a shred of humanity, and regrets the curse she placed on the girl, and try as she may, she cannot lift the curse (but hang on, if she put the curse on to begin with, shouldn’t she be able to remove it just as easily?).
True Love’s Kiss scene. (SPOILERS). The young Prince Phillip kisses Aurora, and voila!….. Nothing happens…. (oops!) Maybe he wasn’t Aurora’s first love after all! (Going by how they briefly meet in an earlier scene, I’m not surprised).
The film, for the grand fee of close to $200 Million, was good to the point of the special effects. But the storyline was very different than the original version. I can understand the fact that movies sometimes need to be remade to fit the “new idealisms” of the modern thinking, and to be P.C., but when you take a timeless villain and downgrade her so that she’s nothing more than a spiteful individual, then that’s when you loose the plot.
The acting by Jolie, Fanning and Copley were good, but not spectacular, and I did expect more from this.
Just a few spoilers.
Does she teleport? No
Does she transform into a dragon? Sadly not.
Is she Evil? Yeah… right….
If you like the Disney classics, then go watch the original, then you can compare that to this version.
Verdict: Oh Maleficent. Your maternal instincts just shine and make you “mother of the millennium”!
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (Mostly for the SPX, and the characters borrowed from LOTR and Labyrinth (David Bowie version))