“Maleficent”

maleeDisney’s done it again, another amazing blockbuster. Although some critics weren’t all too impressed, I’d have to say Maleficent was magnificent. A true cinematic experience.

Angelina Jolie adds the perfect mix of sensual-evil needed to play a villain. I’ll have to say I was a bit bothered by how sharp they made her cheek bones and how they pronounced it “Male-EH-fiss-ent” where I’ve always heard it “Muh-lif-icent.” But hey, Disney owns it.

I was most impressed by the beautiful special effects. Disney of course has those unlimited resources, but they did it perfectly. The effects weren’t overdone like James Cameron’s “Avatar,” but there was nothing I thought they lacked like in the Kristen Stewart version of “Snow White.”

Now that plot line. I’m a big fan of stories told from the villain’s side; “Wicked,” “Red Riding Hood,” those ones. I love how they explain things and make you go, Oh! That’s why Maleficent is evil. THAT’S why she cursed Aurora. And I just LOVE the darker side of Disney.

So here we go. Maleficent is a fairy and protector of the Moore kingdom. Next door was this kingdom that lived the very greedy King Henry who heard all about the river of jewels in the Moore’s land and was too down to invade to steal it all.

mmaFlash back to Maleficent’s childhood. Her and this one human boy she met one day, Stefan, became very good friends. They fell in love, but Stefan’s human greed drove him from her, and she couldn’t understand. She was heartbroken.

Now fast forward to when the king leads his army to invade the peaceful Moore kingdom. After a long day of flying, Maleficent rests on the top of a rocky hill when she sees the army approaching. As protector of the kingdom, she meets the army and defeats them, but in the mean-time, greatly injures the king.

On his death bed the king announces whomever kills the “winged-beast,” Maleficent, will be named his successor. Stefan, eager to be the next king, approaches the edge of the Moore kingdom and calls to Maleficent as he did when they were children and used to play. The two reminisce and in a potion-induced sleep, Maleficent rests in Stefan’s arms. Unable to kill her, he cuts off her wings instead. He takes them to the king to “prove” the beast has been defeated and is named the next King.

Angry the love of her life betrayed her, Maleficent turns the beautiful, peaceful, happy Moore kingdom into a mmmmdark wasteland where she rots in anger. When she hears word the king has had a child, she decides to pay a visit to the baby’s Christening. There, she casts the curse we all know, that by sunset on her 16th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into a sleep like death, only to be awakened by true love’s kiss- but according to Maleficent, true love does not exist.

Stefan sends the child away with three pixies to raise her in a cottage in the forest, and they are to bring her back the day AFTER her 16th birthday. The pixies, unaware of how to raise a human, almost starve the baby to death. But Maleficent and her crow henchman ensure the child lives: they secretly feed her, keep her safe, and watch over her until she’s old enough to care for herself and does not have to rely on her dim-witted “Aunties.”

maOne day Aurora and Maleficent run into each other in the woods. Aurora recognizes her shadow, and exclaims that she must be her fairygod mother. Maleficent goes along with it, and lets the child call her fairygod mother. She shows her the Moore kingdom where she befriends many animals and comes to love the land, much like Maleficent as a child. Maleficent sees so much of her self in Aurora, and grows to love her, but she finds that she cannot break the spell she cursed her with almost 16 years ago.

On her 16th birthday Aurora asks if she can live in the Moore kingdom with Maleficent, to which she replies yes. She hurries home to tell her “Aunties” the news, when they accidently let it slip about the curse, Maleficent, and that they are to take her to her father soon. Angry with the truth and feeling betrayed by her “fairygod mother,” she runs away to see her father.

Now here’s where the story goes as we all know it. She’s locked up, some magical green light and maawhispers lead her to a spinning wheel, and she pricks her finger, falling into that death-like sleep. The Prince she met in the woods that one day kisses her but PLOT TWIST, his kiss doesn’t wake her up.

Crying over the child she’s come to love as her own, Maleficent tells her henchman that the reason Prince Phillip’s kiss didn’t work is because true love doesn’t exist. Distraught and hurt, Maleficent gives up and says her final goodbye to Aurora.

Will she wake up or remain in her death-like sleep forever?

Now, in my opinion, the movie was great. I love that they explained things like why Maleficent has a crow that follows her everywhere, why she cursed the baby, why she hates King Stefan, why she walks with a staff everywhere, and so much more. The screenplay writers did an amazing job, no doubt. The movie really makes you see Maleficent as the true hero, and understand her on a more personal level.

mmmmmJolie was the perfect fit. Well known, has sex appeal, and has played many good-but-bad characters in the past. Elle Fanning made a beautiful Aurora, she had that angelic face and princess charm. You couldn’t help but love her. The fairies were so precious, easily replaceable, but the actresses did a good job. And that PRINCE. Prince Philip played by Brenton Thwaites, I’ve never seen him in anything else, but you can bet I’m going to be binge watching everything he’s ever been in.

On the day of Disneyland’s 24 hour event I went. In California Adventures they had a sneak peek of the movie in 4d. Yes, 4d. It was 3d, but fire and smoke shot at us, the ground shook, it felt like we were really there. I think the preview was what really prompted me to see it opening day. I was definitely not disappointed.

This movie gets an A+ from me. I loved it. I can’t see how any critic has had an issue with it. In fact, the critics have not had the greatest reviews, but the movie has gotten over an 90% rating by the public. Trust me, it’s a must-see.

 

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