Sunday, 1 June 2014

Movie Review: Maleficent

Previous Review: X-Men Days of Future Past
Next Review: Edge of Tomorrow

In all honesty, Maleficent is a bit of a mixed bag. It's a refreshing and engaging take that's full of twists and turns on a much beloved Disney classic. But sadly, it seems that Disney has re-imagined the 1959 Sleeping Beauty a tad too much with Maleficent to the point, dare I say, butchered the 1959 classic that most of us hold dear.

Despite the similarities...the protruding cheekbones, huge demonic-looking horns, fiery red lips, black cloak and dress, The Mistress of All Evil in this film is vastly different from the original version of her in Sleeping Beauty. She is portrayed as a good fairy who rules and protects the Moors, a magical kingdom close to the human kingdom. But, she was betrayed. Her heart was motivated by hatred, anger and revenge for the king that she eventually placed the curse on Aurora. However, as years passed by, Maleficent grew to love and care for her that she regretted her actions and tried to undo her curse but she couldn't as the curse is irreversible. The Mistress of All Evil supposed to be a cruel and wicked character, but this film ultimately portrayed her as a 'less evil', misunderstood, more heartfelt and humane character.

Aside from that, the thoughts and motivation of other supporting characters (especially the king), the ending diverts so far from the source material that it feels like a totally different film. At the same time, because of this diversion, the story becomes rather unpredictable, which makes it quite exciting (you think you know the story and how it goes later on, but it's not). Because the focus of the film is Maleficent and her relationship with Aurora, the relationship between the three fairies (Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit) and Aurora is significantly underdeveloped and never touched on throughout the film.

The film is full of fantastical scenes and mystical creatures, which should be a visual delight for kids. Another worthy mention is that Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast in the lead role. She fully embodies the character and makes it her showing the different emotional stages of her character vividly on screen. I firmly believe that no other actresses could actually replace her as the character.

In many ways, Maleficent exceeded my expectations. Rarely it hurts me to give a low rating not because of the poor acting, bad CGI or horrible storytelling in a film, but due to a script that disrespects its source material (and an ending that's similar to last year's Disney release). I wished that the story could be more in tune with the original, to give more detailed development for the previously established characters without significant alteration to the main story. Why Disney? Why? Why you're doing this?

Rating: 4/10 (I could have easily given this film a 7/10...if only I never watched Sleeping Beauty or Frozen)

Previous Review: X-Men Days of Future Past
Next Review: Edge of Tomorrow

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