Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Leslie Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Kenneth Cranham, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites. Fantasy. Directed by Robert Stromberg. Synopsis: The story of Maleficent, a joyful and strong fairy who is pure of heart as a child, but then suffers a betrayal which hardens her heart and leads her to become evil and vengeful as an adult as she places a curse on the new born female child of the neighboring human kingdom.
Maleficent is an enjoyable flick that gives us the back story, if you will, of the seemingly evil one from the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale with a different ending. Beautifully shot with a commanding performance from Angelina Jolie (Changeling) , the movie also contains a feel good theme, an arc to Maleficent and the princess, Aurora (Elle Fanning) that I’m not going to tell you is completely hard to predict but is done well within the context of the film.
We first meet Maleficent she is a young, care free fairy in the kingdom of Moors, which contains fairies, pixies, and animate giant trees, among other hugable and potentially lovable creatures.. Maleficent is the strongest of the fairies, and also the most gregarious as we see her interacting with the various denizens of the realm and its all good. However, word has spread that human interloper has been caught stealing in the realm. The narrator tells us that Maleficent has never understood the greed and envy of humans, which is an obvious and effective piece of foreshadowing.
Maleficent confronts the human intrude, an orphaned farm boy named Stefan. They both both seem smitten right away and, in a key detail, Stefan learns that iron burns fairies so he promptly tosses away his iron ring, one of his few worthy possessions. Stefan and maleficent spend time together as the grow up, with Stefan visiting the Moor real often. He makes no bones about his feelings for Maleficent, but also about his desire to one day live in the castle, which is the home of the King of the human realm.
One day Stefan stops coming and Maleficent is heartbroken. We see her living out the remaining years of her youth quickly before blossoming into the full grown Maleficent(Jolie), benevolent protector of the Moor kingdom. But, the King (Kenneth Cranham Valkyrie) wants to lead the humans on an invasion of the Moor kingdom to grab all of its untold and fantastical riches. Maleficent leads the defense of the kingdom and the humans are repelled, with the King suffering a mortal would inflicted by the winged Maleficent herself. Continue reading