Maleficent

The animated version of Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite Disney movies and I always found Maleficent to be a truly scary villain. So will this live action retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a twist live up to expectations?

Maleficent is a fairy that lives in The Moors. As a child she befriends a human boy called Stefan. As they grow older friendship turns to love, until Stefan (now played by Sharlto Copley) betrays her. Vengeful and consumed by rage Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places a curse on Stefan’s daughter Aurora. But can Maleficent ever be redeemed?

After I watched this film I turned to my sister and said “That was dull.” However everyone else I went with seemed to think this was film was enjoyable and funny. I felt like I watched a completely different film to everyone else in the cinema. Part of the problem, I realised is that I prefer Maleficent evil. I didn’t really want a back story which basically says-oh she wasn’t so bad after all. What can I say I like my Disney villains evil!

It doesn’t help that most of the attempts at humour falls flat, and it missed the sense of dread that the animated version had. It was a shame that most of the characters (apart from Maleficent) were thinly drawn with Copley in particular having to ham it up to make up for the lack of proper characterisation. I also got annoyed with the film’s  lack of subtlety with the movie hammering home that men are EVIL!

But the film wasn’t a complete dud. The motive for Maleficent’s curse on Aurora is better than being snubbed an invite for a Christening (although I wasn’t that impressed that she was basically a woman scorned over a man). I liked Sam Riley’s shapeshifting Diaval, although he was underused. The film looks pretty so when I got bored I could look at some of the colourful backgrounds.The children who played young Aurora were cute. Jolie is the bright spark in the movie and she obviously revels in playing the character, however I wished she could have unleashed her bad side more.

Rating 2/5 – underwhelming and a missed opportunity for one of Disney’s most terrifying villains

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Maleficent

  1. Had all of the pretty visuals going for it, but the story just was not there. Good review Lauren.

  2. Some villains just don’t need backstories. I can’t count how many kids i’ve killed because i didn’t get an invite to their christening. Its just plain rude

  3. Thank you Lauren, thank you! Someone who also sees this film for what it truly is. While I may have liked the film just a bit more than you, at the same time my general consensus about Maleficent is the same as yours. Like you I despised the fact that Maleficent wasn’t pure evil, that’s one of the things I loved about teh original character and to see her switch back and forth from being evil to good was frustrating. I also love how all the men in this film are idiots, boring or crazy haha.

    But the one thing both me and my sister felt especially cheated on was when Maleficent turned Diaval into a dragon, such a massive cop-out! That’s what SHE’S meant to do. Total cop-out. Jolie was the only good thing about this film, that and the her chaarcter backstory when she lost her wings.

    • Glad you enjoyed the review! I wished Maleficent was more evil the whole way through too, thats what the character is about!
      Yes the men in this film was not very well represented. Prince Phillip in particular was a bit of a bore.
      And yes it should have been Maelficent that turned into a dragon. One of the many thngs this film got wrong.

  4. From the trailers of Maleficent it seemed like Jolie wasn’t giving the portrayal I wanted her to and that alone turned me off from seeing the film. It’s a pity, with the right cast, script and direction this could and been a wonderful film. Well I guess I shouldn’t have expected much, after all Disney’s live action films as of late have been pretty lackluster. Great review!

    • Yeah I was hoping it was going to be a lot better than what it turned out to be. Such a shame, it could have been something great. Thanks for commenting and for following my blog!

  5. V

    Ah, I had such high hopes for this. Maleficent was probably the one Disney villain I actually feared when I was a child and so, naturally, she became my favourite. Based on this though, I think I might wait for DVD.

    • I know Maleficent was super scary as a kid (and perhaps still a little bit as an adult 😉 ). But this film is a real diservice to her. She’s not scary at all. Maybe it will be better on dvd?

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