The Writer in Black

The Writer in Black

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Maleficent, a review

Went to see Maleficent with the family today.

I tend to have mixed feelings about deconstructions of fairy tales, whether deconstructing the classic versions or the "Disney" version.  Sometimes they're done very well.  Other times...not.

Maleficent was done very well indeed.

If you've seen the trailers, there are certain things you knew going in.  Maleficent at some point had her wings taken from her and the king, "Sleeping Beauty's" father, was involved in that and thus the reason (or at least a reason) for the curse.  In the movie we see that it goes a lot deeper than that.  One can almost feel that the curse is justified except the baby had nothing to do with what was done to Maleficient.  And this adds some complexity to Maleficent's character, making her sympathetic but not innocent, wrong but not irredeemable.

The bumbling character of the "good fairies" is a nod to Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether from Disney's animated "Sleeping Beauty" as is the name of the Princess, Aurora.

Angelina Jolie did a superb job in the roll of Maleficent.  The scenes where she lost her wings and where the curse finally came home to roost were particularly moving.

Speaking of that scene where the curse came home to roost, there may have been a surprise intended there.  If so, well, I called it well in advance.  Well, actually I had two possibilities predicted for how it would play out.  They went with the one that was my first choice.

For those who like actions and big battles and fights, there's plenty of that in the first and the last parts of the movie.  Not so much in the middle but the character interactions and development more than make up for that.  Some of those scenes might be a little intense for younger viewers.  Parents, use your judgement.

Upshot:  this is another one I will be owning.

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