Sunday, June 1, 2014
Maleficent- Mostly Spoiler Free Review
I liked Maleficent a lot. Really. Admittedly, going in, I wasn't sure I was going to. When I first saw the preview, I was excited. But the last couple of previews left me thinking it may not be as good as I'd first hoped. Then, there have been the reviews. I didn't read any, as I didn't want spoilers, but I did note that it had a score of 50 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 141 reviews.
And the beginning made me actually think - "Uh oh."
But then, it got real.
It's not as epic as previews would have you believe. It's almost a human interest story, with magic thrown in. I really fell in love with some characters, while loathing others thoroughly.
Have you ever wondered what Maleficent's motivations were for putting a curse on an infant? In Sleeping Beauty it seems that she is angry for not being invited to the party. In Maleficent, we see why she's so angry. And she certainly has every right to be! She has always been, to me, the most visually interesting of the Disney Villains, and I loved how bad she could be. But my love of the character has reached new heights. She is now my favorite Disney Villain. Can I still call her that?
When we got home, we popped in the original Sleeping Beauty. Surely in the original, the fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who are renamed in the update for some reason, aren't as incompetent as they are portrayed in Maleficent? Yes, yes they are. Maleficent explains how Aurora managed to get to 16 at all, because I absolutely found myself questioning that while watching Sleeping Beauty!
This is complete and utter revisionist history, and I will never watch Sleeping Beauty the same way again, much as I will never view Mary Poppins the same after seeing Saving Mr. Banks. But I don't care! I prefer this much less black and white version of the Sleeping Beauty story, if I'm being 100% honest! And, might a story being told from 2 different perspectives be something completely different after all?
After the movie, I struggled a bit with how this would change my view of ALL of the characters from Sleeping Beauty going forward. Yes, I realize it's not reality, but at the Disney Parks, they kind of are real. Maleficent is in the Castle Show and in parades. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather can also be found on occasion, and of course Aurora is very easily visited. I will now look at them very differently indeed.
And if I ever see King Stefan...but I cannot go any further, as the title states, this is a mostly spoiler free review!
What can I say? Nick pretty much summed up how I felt about the movie, so I will talk about the visuals and the acting. The movie was beautifully shot, and the computer generated imagery was stunning.
Angelina Jolie's performance has made me completely rethink the character of Maleficent, and villains in general. Now I want to know the back-stories to ALL the Disney Villains!
The part of Aurora was beautifully played by all of the actresses that portrayed her through various stages of her life. The fairies were a comical delight, and I'm surprised that their parts weren't played in previews more.
All in all, I really enjoyed, nay, loved this movie, and look forward to seeing it again!
And that King Stefan...!