We were invited to a special screening of Maleficent! We headed out to ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to breakdown Disney ’s latest film.
This year, 2014, marks the 55th anniversary of the famous villain, who casted a spell on a young “Sleeping Beauty” in the animated feature released by Disney in 1959. Since her introduction, Maleficent has been Disney’s most popular villain. Now Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) returns in this action version of the classic film to tell her side of the story.
When we first see Maleficent, she is a child, the budding queen of the fairies. She cares for the creatures in her realm, but is fascinated by the humans in a land nearby.
One day, she saves a boy, a prince named Stefan, and they share what they thought was a “true love’s kiss.” It isn’t. Stefan soon leaves Maleficent to return to his life with humans.
Years later, Stefan’s dying father, the king, promises his throne to whomever slays the fairy queen as a prelude to war. Stefan finds the grown Maleficent, who welcomes him, unaware that as she sleeps he will slice off her wings and lie that he’s killed her. Seeking revenge, Maleficent finds Stefan, now the king, and curses his newborn daughter Aurora. “Upon her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep. The only thing that can awaken her is true love’s kiss.”
The movie then catches up with the animated Disney classic. The king assigns three flying pixies (Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville) to act as shape-changing nannies to raise his daughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning), in a remote cottage away from any danger especially spindles. But it’s not long before the girl, unaware of the curse, and Maleficent make contact.
That’s where the script truly takes off. As she watches Aurora grow, Maleficent starts to have motherly concern, fear and love for Aurora. When the film has a twist from the original story, we see it coming, but that doesn’t change the heartfelt and power of the moment, which is amazing.
The only part I was a little disappointed with was the fact that the original script of the importance of the three argumentative pixie fairy nannies was diminished. With the smaller role of the fairies, Maleficent truly shines. Maleficent would not be herself without her raven by her side. Maleficent saves Diaval (Sam Riley), a raven, before she turns him into a human to aid in her protection of Aurora. Their on screen chemistry as a duo was a perfect match. Angelina Jolie, in her exquisite black horns, nails every scene perfectly.
This film has a new take on not only the script with the story’s heroes and villains. Of course, there is still a handsome prince and a fire-breathing dragon. However, the real magic is completely unexpected, which makes the film great to watch.
Maleficent is in theaters everywhere May 30, 2014.