"Maleficent" (2014) Movie Review
"Oh, come on, that's funny." ~ Maleficent
Well, I had planned on reviewing Tangled next…but then I watched Maleficent.
I've heard and read some less-than-impressed thoughts about this movie. In short, there are a lot of people, so it appears, who dislike this movie, think it's awful to market it as connected with the animated Sleeping Beauty, and think it's too dark or something. Guess what, cynics?
No, in all seriousness, that was just a joke. You are completely entitled to disliking this movie, especially if you like SB. Personally, I don't, really, and I loved this movie. I thought it was extremely well-done and touching. And, to be honest, I thought the makers made a huge improvement on the 1959 classic (just because it's deemed a classic doesn't mean I have to enjoy it, peoples). But I understand that other people disagree with me, and I really do respect your opinion. So if you don't like this movie, you might just want to skip over this post, since I'll be fangirling and it will most likely annoy you. So consider yourself duly warned;) (Oh, and just a heads-up, I will be warning you about major spoilers, like ending spoilers, but I'll jump right into what happens in the beginning/middle of the film. M'kay? Also, extremely picture-heavy post.)
Let's begin at the beginning, yes?
Angelina Jolie as Maleficent
I really enjoyed a different take on Maleficent. I thought Angelina's portrayal was magnificent (well, except for her crying/shrieking at the beginning. That was…rather weird). At the opening of the movie, Maleficent is a young fairy, probably around 11 or 12. She loves flying about her home (the Moors) and she's kind and well-loved by all her neighbors. But then she meets a boy from the neighboring (and unfriendly) kingdom of the human folk. Shall I discuss him next, since he's popped up so early?
Sharlto Copley as King Stefan
I intensely disliked Stefan. He's a wimp. And a jerk. So here he is. He meets a fairy. And she falls in love with him. Did he fall in love with her? If he did, his love was warped and selfish and took second-place to his all-consuming ambition. He almost kills her, after reuniting for the first time in many years, but then, out of the - what was it, exactly? The goodness of his heart? There wasn't much of that. Was it cowardice, then? Hmm. I shall have to ponder and decide. At any rate, Stefan instead brutally robs Maleficent of her beautiful wings, and carries them back to the dying king as proof that he "vanquished" Maleficent. Ugh. As that one reporter in Penelope puts it, "What a creep."
After being abandoned by Stefan, Maleficent rescues a crow and turns him into a shapeshifter (see below).
Sam Riley as Diaval
I loved Diaval. He's awesome. And I ship Maleficent and him so flippin' hard. It's actually rather sad. But anywho, Diaval. Diaval is Maleficent's only friend for a good portion of the movie. While he cares about her (a lot, in my fangirl mindXD), he isn't afraid to let Maleficent know when she's gone too far, either by speaking or by just giving her a look. In short, he's a great friend.
After placing her curse on Aurora (True Love's Kiss suddenly got more poignant, didn't it?), Maleficent keeps careful watch on the child's progress with the three fairies (who, by the way, I didn't think were half as entertaining as in SB. So score for that one!). And it's rather adorable.
This scene, peoples. Gold. Pure gold. It was precious. Especially because I was later informed that that bundle of sweetness, the young
Victoria Aurora, is Angelina Jolie's daughter. (Yes, go ahead, say "Awwwww.") :D
And then, the little princess is a young lady.
Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora
Elle Fanning did a grand job as the older Aurora. She bubbles over with innocence, joy, and vivacity. But she can do pretty convincing "serious" scenes, as well. Elle made me really like Princess Aurora. And her sweet relationship with Phillip was precious.
Oh. Speaking of…let's talk the last half hour or so of the movie, shall we?:D (Because I'm going to try to make this brief.)
To avoid spoilers, I shall just say that things happen, secrets are found out, people are hurt, and ta-da! We're at the palace, and consequently the climax. Now, spoilers will now be coming thick and fast, so…if you haven't watched the movie, I think you should leave now as I really don't want to spoil the ending. So, bye-bye for now. In summary, go watch the movie. I recommend it.
*at which point Arwen inserts random stills that make her happy to give those who haven't watched the movie time to leave*
Alright, so can I just say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE how they recognized that Aurora and Phillip probably weren't in "true love" yet, as they had just met. How they took the focus off what you typically think of as "True Love's Kiss" was epic, in my opinion…even though you could sort of see it coming. Oh, and the last battle was great too. And as for Stefan's death…well, as much as I hate to say it, after he dropped the iron net on Maleficent, this was pretty much my reaction when he fell:
Okay, it wasn't that heartless. I just wasn't really moved by his death. I was kind of like…"No offense, but…that kinda needed to happen."
The ending was just about perfect. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is something to let us know that Diaval and Maleficent ended up together. But I'm confident that they did. And if the filmmakers aren't, I shall just make a wonderful epilogue in my head where everything between Diaval and Maleficent ends as everyone knows it should.
Yes, I will admit that I'm having way too much fun with gifs in this post.
So, bottom line: As someone I watched it with said, Maleficent is such a great story of redemption. And I liked that the filmmakers didn't really gloss over the fact that what Maleficent did was wrong (at least, not as much as they could have), they simply gave us the story from her point of view. I loved it, as I've said. It was a well-done, touching, funny, sweet movie.
"Hello, fairy godmother." "Hello, beastie."