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