Synopsis: Read on IMDB
Should you watch this movie? I think so, if only for the great action scenes and Angelina Jolie’s performance.
A new spin on the classic fairy tale, this is the story of Maleficent, a powerful fairy who rules over The Moors, a magical land that a neighboring human kingdom fights to possess and exploit. After the betrayal of Maleficent’s childhood human friend Stefan (which he did to gain the crown), she enacts a curse on the now King Stefan’s newborn daughter Aurora. The curse, I don’t think I have to explain because that’s basically the plot of Sleeping Beauty which you should know for sure!
The movie has sparked so much since sometime last year when Angelina Jolie was shooting there very small chances you’ve never heard of it. At first sight, the “Maleficent” look is what seems to be drawing the crowds to the theater. But upon closer inspection, it is without a doubt the “Angelina effect”. Oh well, and those cheekbones. Who am I kidding, it is those cheeckbones!
Scene after scene you are in for a visual treat. The world crafted in the movie is as magical as it gets, Elle Fanning (who plays the young princess Aurora) included – she is the epitome of the Disney princess. It has some good fast-paced action scenes, some that could potentially scare the little ones (movie has been rated PG). I even saw a dad taking his kid out of the theater at some particularly violent parts (for a little kid, that is) of the movie… Or maybe the kid had to pee. I’m going with that.
The highlight of the movie, as during the promo season before the premiere, is Angelina Jolie. Her performance was magnificent; it went beyond the prosthetics (her look takes a whooping 2 hours to complete. Every. Single. Time) and it displayed a character that was both good an evil, that could be strong and vulnerable at the same time. The surrounding scenery only added to the magic of her performance. However, that’s as far as the magic really goes.
From a plot point of view, the story is somewhat weak. The story seems rushed at times and it can leave you feeling like a lot of it ended up in the editing room. Because the sole focus remains on Maleficent, the rest of the characters were easily neglected. Take the example of King Stefan, played by Sharlto Copley. His character goes from seemingly normal person to deranged lunatic (which incidentally is every single character he has played) in a very 2 dimensional way. Well, let’s face it, even Elle Fanning all pretty and princessy is not exactly the deepest of characters…
Anyway, it is at least an entertaining flick. However, should you need to choose between say, X-Men and Maleficent (and you can only pick one), I’d go for the latter. Unless you are dying to marvel at Angelina’s angular features that you can recreate in an epic makeup tutorial.
Bechdel Test: Pass
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it Yes, the protagonists, Angelina Jolie as Maleficent and Elle Fanning as Aurora. Additionally we have the pixies Imelda Stauton as Knotgrass, Juno Temple as Thistletwit, and Leslie Manville as Fittle; although these are more supporting characters.
2. Who talk to each other not at great lengths, but the scenes also imply Maleficent and Aurora do talk a lot. We still get to see lots of those. Amongst the pixies there is also talk, but it’s mostly bickering.
3. About something besides a man oh, they definitely talk about a lot of things other than a man. In fact the man talk only tends to appear towards the end of the movie.
Does it matter? It does because, again, it has two women as protagonists of a story, however; it is not entirely a feminist ideal. After all, Maleficent is a woman scorned by a man, and the ensuing evil being her revenge.
Paola’s mood after watching this movie: