Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Since the first day I knew about this movie, I knew I was going to watch it just for 1 reason: Angelina Jolie. She did not disappoint as she looked wickedly amazing in the trailers. The fake cheekbones really helped her to personify the Mistress of Evil. It was a great surprise to see Maleficent's version of "Once Upon a Dream" in the trailer. However, the trailer did dampen my interest as seeing the army of men vs army of CG-trees battle gave me the impression of some lame war would be going on and I did not watch this on the premiere week. Only after it beat X-men on the box-office that I got so eager to watch. There must be something magical to allow this to beat X-men.

I was surprised when the Disney castle at the opening looks quite different from usual. That turns out to be the castle for this movie. The movie begins with sweet-voiced narrator and beautiful CG of the fairy land. The next 20-30 minutes is boring. I am sure they can get better looking and less awkward boy and girl to play young Maleficent and Stefan instead of these 2 kids.

Things get a bit more exciting after Angelina Jolie appears as mature Maleficent. She is really gorgeous and she can be very ferocious at the same time during the poorly explained war which appears out of nowhere. After this the proper story begins with Stefan's betrayal (I would liken his cutting of wings equal to an act of rape), Maleficent's change of heart, and that famous curse bestowed on Aurora. From then on, everything becomes so "twisted" that the story bears no resemblance whatsoever with the Sleeping Beauty we grow up getting to know with.

The 3 fairies are dimwits and Maleficent turns out to be sort of Aurora godmother. Yes I don't make a type error. It is godmother and not stepmother. One of the gifts bestowed on Aurora by one of the fairy is that she will be loved by whomever she meets and that includes the Mistress of Evil. In fact, Maleficent even tries to remove her curse but failed. She even tries her best to bring Philip to Aurora believing that he may be Aurora's true love.

It seems that Disney is following the trend from Frozen that you don't fall in love with a stranger that you just meet once. In fact, Maleficent believes that there is no such thing as true love kiss and thus making her so evil: pretending that the curse can be lifted by something non-existent. Philip's kiss fails to awaken Aurora and *not surprise*, the true love kiss comes from Maleficent -__- who has been sort of a mother figure to Aurora for the past 16 years. The climax makes no sense whatsoever. Aurora releases Maleficent's wings captured by Stefan and indirectly causes the demise of her own dad. Finally, the movie ends with Aurora being crowned as the leader of both the human and fairy land to ensure that both lands live happily ever after.

With such story development, it is no wonder that the movie is getting mixed review. If you consider this as a movie completely separate from Sleeping Beauty, it is quite nice and has great lessons to teach the viewer. However, if you can't take off Sleeping Beauty from your mind, this movie is a disaster to the Sleeping Beauty universe/story that we are so familiar with: Maleficent is good? Aurora indirectly kills her father? 3 dumb fairies?

I am confused on whether I like or dislike the movie. While I am quite upset that it "butchers" the original story, I honestly left the cinema feeling good which meant that I kinda enjoy the movie. Perhaps there is magic in this movie after all. Haha..

So how is Angelina Jolie? I have to say that she makes watching this worth it. She is able to portray vulnerability of a woman, personification of revenge and evil, love of a mother, strength as a protector of her territory and many more. As someone more inclined to the dark side, I obviously love her playing her evil side than her good side. I can see that it is not a joke or publicity stunt when news reported no child actor, except for her own daughter, who was not scare of her on the film set. She really looks really menacing during the famous curse scene as well as when she gathered the power from the universe to prepare for the curse. I don't know how the movie will turn out but I think it can be pretty awesome if she stays evil throughout following the original Sleeping Beauty.

Oh and do you know why the movie has no mention about Sleeping Beauty at all? Firstly, the Beauty (Aurora) is not very beautiful.. In fact, Maleficent is prettier than her. Secondly, she is barely sleeping.

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