THE MAGNIFICENT MALIFICENT (By Daniel O’Connor)
Disney’s greatest and most fearsome villain has been resurrected in this brilliant fantasy adventure. Directed by newcomer Robert Stromberg, the film re-tells a story that everyone knows and loves (‘Sleeping Beauty’) but reveals the truth behind the iconic Disney villain. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) wasn’t always evil- she was once a young fairy who would do anything to protect her kingdom. This was until she was betrayed by man-kind which turns her heart to stone and brings out her dark side. Maleficent puts a terrible unbreakable curse on the King’s new born daughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning), which she soon comes to regret later on in life. Maleficent starts to realise that Aurora may be the solution to peace in the land and is forced to take extreme actions to bring everyone together.
This film finally gets the ‘fairy-tale gone dark’ genre correct – we have seen disappointments from ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and so many others but now we have a film that passes with flying colours! The CGI used is really believable and is quite beautiful to look at, transforming a simple forest into a magical kingdom. Fairies, goblins, dragons, weird tree-men…You name it, there are so many mystical creatures in this film and they all look outstanding (which is quite rare). The costume department should also be praised for their tremendously evil outfits that Maleficent wears. Maleficent is mesmerizing.
The main selling point of this film has to be Angelina Jolie. Yes, she has successfully pulled off a Johnny Depp-like transformation. Jolie plays this role amazingly – from her dialogue to the way she moves, it is all what you would expect from Maleficent. She doesn’t go too over the top with her role (see Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman for that) but she does weirdly give the audience reasons to connect with a villain she plays. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an Oscar nomination for Jolie in this role at the next ceremony – her performance, like the character, is iconic. Maleficent is marvellous.
The soundtrack of the movie is haunting – but in a good way. Scored by James Newton Howard (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games), the music really creates an eerie and dark feel which helps set the tone for the film. Maleficent is mellifluous.
I don’t think that there was any actor in the film who put on a poor performance. Elle Fanning (Super 8, We Bought a Zoo) was practically a perfect Aurora – she was very graceful, sweet and likable (which is always important for a princess). The three actresses who played the fairies were very humorous and lightened the film at its darkest moments. Maleficent is magical.
The storyline is brilliant and truly does reveal some hidden secrets that the audience will not have known before. The secrets are convincing and relate well to the classic fairy tale. Please do be cautious when seeing this film with younger viewers because it is not like the classic fairy-tale movies, this focuses on the evil side of things. One last thing, the twist in Maleficent is quite predictable as Disney have stuck with the same formulae they used for the ending of ‘Frozen’ – I don’t want to ruin it for you so I shall say no more. Maleficent is mysterious.
Ok, so I have labelled this film mesmerizing, marvellous, mellifluous, magical and mysterious which clearly shows that MALEFICENT IS MAGNIFICENT. This blockbuster is not to be missed so when you leave the house please make sure that you do not prick your finger on any spindle wheel – you don’t want to be cast into an eternal sleep do you?
5 STARS. By Daniel O’Connor.