By: Cynthia Ayala
Disney has brought to life one of their most successful Disney films, but have made a twist to bring it to life. Following the journey of Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, viewers will be awed at the cinematography and her representation of one of a classic Disney villain who may not be the villain we all know.
Director: Robert Stromberg
Screenplay by: Linda Woolverton
Based on La Belle au bois dormant by Charles Perrault; Little Briar Rose by The Brothers Grimm
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley & Brenton Thwaites
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action
As a beautiful young woman of pure heart, Maleficent has an idyllic life in a forest kingdom. When an invading army threatens the land, Maleficent rises up to become its fiercest protector. However, a terrible betrayal hardens her heart and twists her into a creature bent on revenge. She engages in an epic battle with the invading king’s successor, then curses his newborn daughter, Aurora — realizing only later that the child holds the key to peace in the kingdom.
What a beautiful movie, and it’s not just the cinematography that makes it stand out. From special effects to acting, the movie is a beautiful revival of a Disney classic. However, it doesn’t exactly start off like that.
It’s understandable that the writers did not want to put so much together in the beginning of the movie and wanted to give a concise background the movie, however, it suffered from an over dependency on narrative as well as ill-structured dialogue. But that’s only until she loses her wings. From the opening to that moment, the film would have benefitted from a better structure of dialogue and story telling in the film, rather than on the narrative from the narrator of the from. There was too much narrative that it hindered the opening sequences.
However, one the story begins to unfold, the narrative diminishes and viewers are allowed to get sucked into the story and the film. Angelina Jolie truly captivates and steals the show. From her subtle expressions to her representations of pain, lose, love and hope, viewers get to see another side of Maleficent and feel for her, as is the goal of the movie. She’s a bit of a prankster, and that gives the movie some life to it. Her seriousness and the way she interacts with other characters like the crow and Aurora, from babe to teen, are priceless. Those moments are stand out and will make audiences laugh and smile.
The biggest error in the film would have to be Sharlto Copley who, while being able to capture and show the madness brought on by his guilt, isn’t a very good actor. Constantly outshined by Angelina Jolie, he can’t really hold his own, and given his characters relationship with her, he should be able to. And there were times when his madness was hindered by his desire to overact them. This film would have benefitted from a better actor who has a stronger onscreen chemistry with Jolie.
Over all though, Angelina Jolie was magnificent. She’s a phenomenal actress who captured everything in the emotional spectrum that she needed to and with that, with her character and the story behind her character, this movie is, once again, a beautiful twist on an old tale. ★★★☆ (B+)