“It’s nothing like Sleeping Beauty” and “All the men are either stupid or evil” and “It was weird” – these were all the before-I-saw-Maleficent-comments I liberally received. Yet, after all of that, coming out of the theater all I could think was, did we watch the same movie? I absolutely loved it. It wasn't feminist, there were good supporting men (Diaval, hello?), and it was totally weird! Yes, it wasn’t the traditional story (who does that nowadays?). No, Prince Philip wasn’t the dashing sword-wielding warrior of my dreams. Yes, Lana Del Ray sounds exactly like Angelina Jolie if she could sing (that really didn’t have to do with anything).
Speaking of Angie, I really love her. She was great in this movie and I realized, again, that she is an actress. Elle Fanning, let’s be honest, she had to portray a young princess forced to be happy all the time – who wouldn’t get annoyed? So yeah, I’m saying she was annoying. Also, DOLORES UMBRIDGE was a faery! I mean, Imedla Staunton played a faery named Knotgrass. Those faeries, Knotgrass, Thistlewit, and Flittle were pretty much hilarious and dumb (not Flora, Fauna, or Meriweather for sure!). There was darkness in the movie, but it was balanced with some slapstick humor and beautiful imagery reminiscent of Bridge to Terabithia.
I loved this movie. It was a refreshing take on the villain that scared all of us while growing up. The story in itself was relatively similar: the curse, the girl, the sleep – there were just a few changes that took Maleficent from horrible and evil, to just a hurt woman who acted rashly. In that everyone could relate. How many times have we acted rashly out of hurt or anger but regretted it later on? But once a curse – or words or actions – are spoken, the deed is done no matter how hard we try to undo it. So what’s left to do? Does one rash action make you a villain?
In the end you’ll see how a person who acted selfishly can either choose a road of redemption or a road of destruction, and in that we see ourselves as humans; sometimes vengeful, sometimes hurt, but always capable of great love and goodness. Right, Jack? Right. In the end we have a choice, are will going to be the villain or are we going to be the hero?
Go see this movie.