The classic story of Sleeping Beauty has been told for decades. The tale was never about Princess Aurora. This retelling shows a different perspective. How the faerie sorcerous, Maleficent, rose to power. That she wasn’t all we perceive, but someone who made regrettable decisions. Instead of hiding and embracing all the darkness that enveloped her, Maleficent rose to embrace a path of compassion.
The viewer sees the wonder of Maleficent’s world - the Moors. Where pixies, tree soldiers, and other faerie folk live together protecting the Moors from the intrusion of man’s kingdom beyond their home. The film sets a serious, elegantly rendered tone from the beginning. Showing how Maleficent has grown alone in her world. Both parents died at a young age. She has grown independent and strong in her abilities. Becoming the natural leader of the Moors, but that suddenly changes when she meets a young human, Stefan. Their growing relationship and failings creates the story of Sleeping Beauty. The anguish of Maleficent’s relationship is the center, the focal point of this film.
No one else could possibly create empathy in such a dark character then Angelina Jolie. She embodies Maleficent, balancing that fine line of cruelty and compassion. Her smile freezes the whole theatre screen with a delicate, sultry pain. You understand how the betrayal of her first love invokes a deep anger. Jolie shows us even in the pain of such betrayal, everyone has the ability to see the goodness of others. To remind ourselves hope never fades completely.
Reviewed by benMUSA
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