Movie Review – Maleficent (2014)

Movie Synopsis: In this re-telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, we learn the “other side of the story” where we learn why Maleficent, the dangerous villain who casts a spell on Princess Aurora, turned into such an evil fairy.  We learn the backstory behind her, behind the Princess Aurora, and behind the King Stefan, and we see things are much more complicated then we may have realized.

Movie Review:  I think this was a pretty good movie overall.  It’s always nice to see a re-telling from another character’s point of view, particularly when told from the “villain’s” point of view.  Similar to Wicked, in this case we see things from the “wicked fairy’s” point of view, in this case played spectacularly by Angelina Jolie.  She does a fantastic job portraying the variety of emotions felt by Maleficent, and should get full kudos for a job well done.  Furthermore, the story itself was very fascinating, and filled in a lot of backstory we don’t see from previous tellings of this old classic.  Overall, this movie is a fun and interesting film, and also has some great scenes, although the overall cinematography is not perfect.  (I just felt there were some scenes that could have been shot to greater effect and with greater beauty.  That being said, certain scenes such as the thorn wall and the dragon were magnificent.)  One other slight complaint for me was the ending.  I don’t want to give out a spoiler, so I will be vague here, but one thing I enjoyed about the story of Wicked, is that the key point in that musical is that we don’t always see the full picture, and that history is written by the victors.  It is a tragedy in Wicked that the Wicked Witch of the West was never understood by most people in her world, and they never did understand where she was coming from or the struggles she had to battle.  With Maleficent, while they were going for a similar kind of message, it felt slightly Disney-fied and almost felt like everyone who mattered was able to have their cake and eat it too in the end.  The irony and tragedy of Wicked, which was so powerful, did not work to the same effect in this film, because the writers chose to take an easier path.  Perhaps good for a younger audience, but not as strong of a story, in my humble opinion.  Overall though, a very enjoyable movie to see, with a strong female protagonist!

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.