“Maleficent” has an embarassment of riches when it comes to its cast, and its source material. Angelina Jolie is one of the greatest examples of a modern-day classic Hollywood star, and the story is ripe for reinterpretation, especially when using animated classic as your source. Disney wasn’t exactly known for their three dimensional villainesses back in the day.
While it’s a charming enough reinterpretation, the film never delves into the story as much as it could.
The story, centers around the relationship of the fairy Maleficent and Stefan, an ambitious human who manages to climb the social ladder all the way up to King.
That kind of power comes at a high price for Maleficent, whose life is spared by Stefan, but still loses her wings (to prove he killed her) and with them, her freedom.
Needless to say, that royally pisses her off. Hell bent on revenge, she begins to gather her forces, turning the once warm and beautiful fairy land into a dark and uninviting kingdom.
For those who don’t know, she exacts her revenge in a rather specific and non-traditional way. On the king’s daughter, Aurora, she bestows an unusual christening gift — a death-like sleep upon her 16th birthday, by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel.
I’ll assume a certain level of familiarity with the story at this point, but just know that ends up regretting her means of revenge, true loves kiss gets redefined, and then almost everyone lives happily ever after.
Perhaps there were budget issues, creative differences, or a need to keep that PG rating. Whatever the reason the end result is a feeling of disappointment.
That being said, the Angelina Jolie is mesmerizing as Maleficent. It’s a reminder of the star power and captivating presence of Ms. Jolie. Of course, it also draws even more attention to the films shortcomings. Afterall, what could have been, had the story matched the star-power?
We’ll never know, but it’s glaringly obvious that the two aren’t quite in sync. Unfortunately, despite having every advantage, it fails to live up to its potential.
…just for fun: