A limited fairy-tale ridden with clichés.
With horns and wings, Maleficent is a fairy who after being betrayed, curses a young princess, Aurora (Elle Fanning) in order to gain revenge of her father, King Stefan. She soon comes to regret this later on in life.
The days of Alice and Wonderland and Snow White are long gone, eclipsed by special effects which nowadays often define and sometimes sink a film. Maleficent is a lifeless and underwhelming affair. There’s certainly a overdose of violence and darkness in the film for it to be rated a PG. Maleficent is not quite to Sleeping Beauty what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz (but minus all the singing.) Loyal Sleeping Beauty fans will perhaps feel betrayed.
This pretentious film also rejects its prince charming (who apparently loves Aurora), who in turn is subject to a permanent sleep. The characters fall into well ridden clichés, such as the three fairies played by Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple, with their adult faces stuck on five year-old bodies. The overuse of CGI also hinders the film, drowning out Jolie’s good performance. I did however think that the design of Jolie’s costume was excellent. Don’t get me wrong, the landscapes and scenery had a very magical touch, while the visual effects I feel, could have been better. One thing I did like was one of the messages put across in which forgiveness is far greater than revenge. We have all been felt betrayed by someone in our lives; the challenge is to not let it change us.
I was expecting much more from Maleficent. To put it lightly, it was pretty much a let down. Even the narrative itself was more suited for children. I understand it’s a Disney film, but Disney has always been able to successfully make films that adults can always enjoy too. Disney’s more recent hits, Frozen and Tangled, were enjoyable to everyone, regardless of their age. Angelina Jolie is the only unique selling point here. It’s a hit or miss; but doesn’t fall beyond mediocre.