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Movie Review Monday: Maleficent
Writer: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault
Director: Robert Stromberg
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
Dark movies with a heartwarming sentiment are the ones I anticipate the most. This is a late review as it came out last May but I think it was very underrated. The majority of people I talked to that went and saw it, loved it… with a few exceptions; (some people just don’t have taste) – But I want to make sure everyone gives this movie a chance.
When I first heard about Maleficent being made I was excited to see the perspective of a villain and thrilled which one they chose to center around. Maleficent has always been a favourite of mine second to Scar from Lion King. Then, it was announced that Angelina Jolie was cast as the role. I do think she is a talented actress. I have appreciated her dramatic characters such as Christine Collins in Changeling or Lisa in Girl, Interrupted but that being said, she has been more infamous for her badass roles. I jumped to the conclusion that her portrayal of this character was going to have the hardcore edge and action sense that we are used to seeing Angie play. With that, I became a little bit hesitant. In any case, I still found myself seated in a movie theater chair ready to watch it on the big screen.
Immediately, my doubts were out the door. Although her name was derived with the roots of the words malevolent or malicious – she ends up being more complex than that. She tries to disguise herself with a hard exterior but we see beneath it, the true compassion. What’s exceptional with Angelina’s acting in this is that her body language and facial expressions are flawless. This could have almost been a silent film and it would still wreak with understanding of her emotion.
I always love the visuals of fantasy movies. It’s so intriguing to me to watch a world that was completely thought up by someone else’s imagination. It was a little odd how the fairies were done up with so much CGI when Maleficent is entirely realistic even with flight. Also a minor complaint as a Disney fan is they should have kept the same names. It didn’t make sense to keep the main character names and then suddenly change the names of each fairy.
I’m sure by now most people have heard about the ending of this movie or have been told that there was a “twist” but I don’t want to spoil it for those who may not have. I will just say that this movie, especially for Disney, breaks common cliches and has become innovative in their fairytale ending. They made an adaptation that even with such outlandish characters – felt humane. This is a fairytale that doesn’t need to be considered a “tale” but one that children can watch and truly be influenced by without pleading or hoping for magic. This is absolutely a film to watch with family but one that you can enjoy with anybody. I hope Disney sticks to dipping their toes into new story lines. You hear realists saying things like, “Life ain’t no fairytale” but soon the word will be redefined and we will have new interpretations for our happily ever afters. Ones that can actually be achieved. Highly recommend anyone to watch this!