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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Film Review, Maleficent

Synopsis
A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.

My Musings

Maleficent is one of those rare films that starts off badly and then just gets better and better. What I would call a slow burner. This is the tale of Maleficent , the evil fairy godmother in Disney's classic version of Sleeping Beauty but seen from another angle. Why is Maleficent so evil? What made her so bitter?

An interesting premise and the writers certainly delivered. 
The whole changer in Maleficent's character is that it hinges on her befriending and falling in love with a young boy who when grows up cuts off her wings to gain power for himself and to become King. This happens at the beginning of the movie which is why I don't think it will ruin it if you read it here. The anguish and pain Angelina shows is heartbreaking and sets up the rest of the plot well.

The weaknesses for me was right at the beginning of the film showing Maleficent as a young girl. Its just badly directed and not very believable. The three fairies , one of whom is Imelda Staunton, are also let down by the directing and script. They should have been much funnier and their comic timing seemed off. 

It revves up a gear when Angelina becomes Maleficent. I loved the recreated scene when she curses Aurora. It is exactly like the cartoon. Angelina's smile is so wide as she evilly laughs I wondered if they had digitally enhanced her mouth!!

Aurora played by Elle Fanning is a delight and she is perfect for the role with an easy smile and light nature that is a perfect foil for Maleficent. Their growing relationship and bond is lovely and they have a real chemistry. Also loved The Crow as Maleficents side kick. Its not easy to share the screen with Jolie but he does it with aplomb. 

The film builds up well and I did not see any of the twists and turns till the end. Will Maleficent retract her curse? What has happened to her wings? Will Aurora find her true prince?

The end action scene is gripping and you real root for Maleficent and girl power!! 

I started the film thinking, Am I going to make it through? and ended it feel totally hyped and giving it a big thumbs up. So my advice is wait for Angelina before you give up on it, its worth the wait.