|My friends Maya and Jemma|
“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever. via Walt Disney Pictures
There are two reasons why I really wanted to watch this movie: (1) I am a huge fan of fairytale retellings, like Ever After (Cinderella) and Wicked (Wizard of Oz), and (2) I am a huge fan of Angelina Jolie as an actress. As expected, she did not disappoint, and was a magnificent Malificent. I love how she could be both menacing and vulnerable, and convey a lot of emotion with just her eyes. In fact I think she singularly carried the film on her giant wings.
The film had bits of action, humor, heart, magic, and dazzling special effects. I liked the story, too. Sure, there a few plot holes here and there, and a bit of predictability, but what fairy tale doesn’t? I actually prefer this story over the original Sleeping Beauty. I always thought the Aurora in the original version was exceedingly boring and one dimensional, so this new more fleshed out one is a refreshing change. Still, like in the original, she pales in comparison to Maleficent.
Overall, I’d say that while it’s not in my list of favorites, it’s still a movie worth watching.
Ratings: IMDB – 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes – 50%
On the second day of the 2013 Disney D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, Saturday, August 10, 2013, Angelina Jolie admitted that she scared little kids while in costume on the set of Maleficent (2014), with one kid actually said, “Mommy, please get the mean witch to stop talking to me.” She adds that her daughter, Vivienne, played young Aurora, and was the only kid who wasn’t scared of her. Apparently she was the only kid actress who they could get that wasn’t scared to be on set with her.
Angelina Jolie worked very closely with the costume and make-up designers to develop Maleficent’s menacing look. Disney executives objected, hoping to take advantage of Jolie’s beauty in marketing the film, but the actress insisted that the character maintain the scarier look of the animated incarnation.
All the actors and actresses in Maleficent (2014) were partly chosen to be in the movie based on their uncanny resemblances and/or likeness to their respective character counterparts in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Angelina Jolie did the stunts herself using harnesses for her flight and battle scenes.
Maleficent is Angelina Jolie’s major movie comeback after taking a 4 year break with The Tourist (2010) as her last film.
And now I’d like to discuss spoilers, so go away if you don’t want to read them.
I was going to have a fit if Aurora woke up from Prince Phillip’s kiss because what they shared was so obviously not true love, so I kind of expected that it would be Maleficent who would actually save her. Of course, it may also be due to the fact that this “twist” had also happened in Frozen. I’m not complaining, though, because I love that they are making children realize that the love of a “prince charming” isn’t the only kind of love worth having.
I wanted to cry when Maleficent said this line: “I will not ask you for forgiveness. What I have done is unforgivable. I was so lost in hatred and revenge. I never dreamed that I could love you so much. You stole what was left of my heart. And now I’ve lost you forever.” I didn’t end up crying, but my seatmate did. 😛