Maleficent Review (Spoilers)

Growing up, I was not a huge Sleeping Beauty fanatic. I know many people really enjoyed the film, but I had no interest to see it. When I saw the teaser for Maleficent, I thought Angelina Jolie looked incredible. However, I was careful not to get too excited. It was too reminiscent of Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Prior to my showing for the film, I watched Sleeping Beauty for a better understanding of the film. While I thought the film had a lot of potential, it ultimately falls short.
The Plot
The biggest problem with this film is the structure of the narrative. The whole film feels completely rushed. There is no room for proper character development, and the film feels like it is trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. The story also does not follow Sleeping Beauty’s story. I was under the impression that the film is an origin story for Maleficent. Instead, the film constructs its own story, rendering Sleeping Beauty’s story obsolete. The story portrays Maleficent as less of a villain than the original Sleeping Beauty. I personally liked where they took her character, but I would have preferred the film be true to its source material.
The Visuals
I was let down by the visual effects in the film. They definitely could have been better, and made the film look too much like a cartoon. Maybe that was the point, but I still thought they looked sub par. While most of the visuals were lackluster, the fairies were especially bad.
The characters
Maleficent herself was rightfully the best character. She was fairly complex, even though she could have been handled better. The film rushes though her entire metamorphosis, which definitely hurt her character. As stated earlier, I think she would have been more interesting as a villain. I understand the desire of making her more sympathetic, but I would have rather understood her motives behind her villainous behavior. Angelina Jolie did a great job most of the time. There were moments where the dialogue and direction were so misguided that it hurt her performance. Elle Fanning was fine as Aurora, but her character remained flat throughout. The only other notable mention is Sharlto Copley as King Stefan. He was only okay as the character, but I thought his character was weak. He was incredibly stupid, and did not have the proper motivation to become the villain he was.
Closing Remarks
I was incredibly disappointed with Maleficent. While it is not a terrible film, it is a missed opportunity. Angelina Jolie certainly shines as Maleficent, but the poor writing, and misdirection cause her performance to suffer. I would also like to mention the horrible ending to the film, and the unnecessary use of King Phillip. He was a complete waste, and caused me to roll my eyes. Young children might find the tale enjoyable, but it has lost much of the charm offered by the original Sleeping Beauty.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s