Directed by Robert Stromberg, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, Maleficent tells the story of, you guessed it, Maleficent. Maleficent chooses to begin its film with a rather long back story that gives a great and interesting insight into the character of Maleficent many think they know. By the end of the ‘introduction’ I found myself on Maleficent’s side already, feeling as though I had acquired the much needed perspective of our typical villain. I didn’t expect Maleficent’s time as a child to be so Tinkerbell-like though. We get that her childhood was good, you didn’t have to make it cliche. Saying that, as Maleficent got older her story continued to grow darker and darker. When Maleficent looses her wings I couldn’t help but remember Angelina Jolie referring to the taking of the wings as a sort of metaphor for sexual abuse and violation. The person she thought loved her, used her, drugged her and hurt her. A subtle yet powerful portrayal.
Can I just say it’s such a relief to have Elle Fanning, an actual 15/16 year old play Aurora. I remember reading an article about how the costume department wanted to make sure she dressed her age and not over sexualize Aurora. I don’t know why but it really annoys me when actors 5-10 years older than the actual age are cast. There were once photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson’s at 16 years old (the age of their characters in The Hunger Games) making the rounds on tumblr. They looked like babies, they were youthful and innocent. The comment underneath said something like “so this is what Suzanne Collins was trying to show”. Anyway, now I’m off topic.
Overall I would have to give the film 3/5. Its story line is easy to pin point from the beginning but its sweet watching Maleficent’s unconditional love for Aurora.