Bruce Botelho Jr. (@UncyBoogiePop)
Another non-remake, re-boot-ish, sequel thing.
This time the classic retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" but from a different perspective. This movie succeeds in all the ways, “Mirror Mirror,” failed. It tells the classic fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty,” through the eyes of the villain and titular character, Maleficent. It passes the Bechdel test, and unlike Julia Roberts’ villainous queen, who was evil just because, Maleficent has a
In her childhood Maleficent is a powerful fairy beginning to take charge of her homeland, the Moores, a mystical land inhabited by fantastic creatures. She meets a boy from the neighboring kingdom of humans and an, “unlikely,” friendship grows. Ambition lures the Boy away for years, one day he returns to fulfill the king’s dying wish of vengeance against the, “winged elf”. His treachery leaves Maleficent scarred both emotionally and physically. The Boy is rewarded with the crown, which does not sit well with our Anti-heroine.
Those who have seen the classic, “Sleeping Beauty,” animation from Disney and remember Maleficent’s first appearance to curse the baby Aurora will be stunned by Jolie. She looks and sounds just like the unsympathetic cartoon character she is reinventing. Maleficent moves and speaks with a flourish that is as much a show for the crowd as for herself. We see this iconic scene through a new lens both literally and figuratively for we understand Maleficent’s motivations for destroying the king’s happiest day. We revel with Maleficent when The King gets on his knees in front of his court and begs her to spare his daughter, though we can’t ignore the fact that Aurora is completely innocent and wonder if Maleficent can find redemption or if she is too far gone.
Not once through this movie did I not sympathize with Maleficent. She’s strong and unlike a Joss Whedon character she’s flawed by more than her perfection which makes her relate-able. Maleficent does evil but is not inherently evil. She’s a victim of circumstances whose actions could easily be our own, provided we had unparalleled magical powers.