I have to admit that, despite its flaws, I kind of liked the new twist on Disney’s greatest villain. Some may find it a bit of a cheat that she is really the good guy here, but I think that Angelina Jolie plays her so well that most people will hardly notice the problems that are right in front of their eyes. The flying sequences in this film (that should have been wondrous) are headache inducing.
Most of you already know the basic story of Sleeping Beauty, but that will only help you a little with this movie. The story here starts with Maleficent as a child. There is enough back story that the movie has voice-over for like 20 minutes. It turns out that Maleficent once had wings and was a beloved fairy. However, to make a long story very short, her wings were taken from her by a human she had once loved.
This leads her to enact a terrible revenge. That’s where the tale that we already know kind of begins. I say kind of because it turns out that Maleficent was actually looking over Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) her entire life. It is in this section of the movie that I really started to like Maleficent. There are loads of funny and sweet scenes that are only made more enjoyable by Elle Fanning’s radiant smile. It is almost impossible to not be happy when she is.
Still, many will be upset that the villainous character turns out to be such a softy. Does this ruin one of the great villains? I don’t think so. It just changes things up a bit for a new generation. Plus, Angelina Jolie would not have gotten to play such an interesting character if she was just a one dimensional baddie. As it is, Maleficent is a character that you can revel in her darkness and feel sympathy for her pain all in a fairly swift hour and a half.
In stores November 4.
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