Disney’s Maleficent Surpasses Expectations


     To be completely honest, I was not positive on whether or not I was going to pay to go see Disney’s new movie Maleficent in theaters when it came out May 30. However, after hearing my younger sister and a friend of mine commend the movie, I decided to give it a chance, heading into the theater while still wondering whether or not I was wasting both my time and money. Turns out, the recommendation to go see Maleficent did not let me down. In fact, I actually ended up thoroughly enjoying Maleficent.

     Maleficent is a retelling of the classic fairy-tale story Sleeping Beauty, but with an interesting twist. Instead of focusing on Aurora’s life and Prince Philip’s relationship and adventure to save Aurora, like in the original cartoon version of the movie, Maleficent primarily follows the story of the “evil” fairy, Maleficent. I put quotation marks around the word evil because after seeing the movie, my opinion of the original antagonist had made a complete 180 degree turn. This change was caused by the movie’s depiction of Maleficent’s childhood and reason to seek revenge against her nemesis, Aurora’s father, King Stefan.

     Angelina Jolie did a magnificent job of portraying Maleficent, not to mention also appear stunning, regal, and intimidating in her costumes. She makes the audience view the character of Maleficent as a crazy, psychotic fairy for one second, then as the story progresses, prompts them to sympathize for the character and all the pain and loneliness she had endured. In addition, I loved watching Maleficent’s interactions with Aurora, since in this version, Aurora and Maleficent actually know each other well and have a very heartwarming mother-daughter sort of relationship. In my opinion, the film producer and director could not have chosen a better actress to fit the role and perform as well as Jolie did.

     Furthermore, the scenery in the film is breathtaking, especially when seen on the big screen and in 3D. Unfortunately I did not get the chance to witness the glory of the background in 3D, but that did not diminish the phenomenal beauty of the Moors, the magical realm bordering the human realm, in which Maleficent is a guardian. The incredible fight scenes between the creatures of the Moors and the King’s knights were an additional thrilling aspect of the movie.

     I must admit, I prefer this new version of Sleeping Beauty far more than the original telling of the story. The facts that Philip’s character was so insignificant and unimportant to the development of the plot, and that the movie portrayed King Stefan in a completely different light both contributed to my preference for Maleficent.

     Overall, to anyone who enjoys a unique retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy-tales and movies with strong, female leads, I would pass on the recommendation to take the time out of your day to watch Maleficent.