Country: USA, UK
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Family
Director: Robert Stromberg
Music: James Newton Howard
Cinematography: Dean Semler
A quite long absence from big screen, since THE TOURIST (2010), Angelina Jolie is back with this unorthodox adaption of Grimm Brothers Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale, parades her overpowering belligerence and devilish look, retells the story from the angle of the villain Maleficent, an evil fairy (with two giant horns) who puts the sleeping spell on princess Aurora (Fanning) in order to pay back to her father King Stefan (Copley) for his brutal betrayal.
Indubitably, one crucial prerequisite of the movie’s success pivots on Jolie’s personal attributes, her majestic empress aura amalgamates with the distinctive malevolence set the keystone of the story, which is ecstatically bewitching, her slightest facial expression and even the most common utterance entice the viewers into an oblivion of her-costars and a thorough submission to her realm of prestige.
First-time director Stromberg is a credentialed wonderland architect, (won two Oscars for AVATAR 2009 and ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2010), in this film, the virtual dichotomy of two worlds looks derivative and the epic-ness of the story is lacking, while, firmly leans on a family-friendly doctrine, it borrows from FROZEN (2013) for the concept of a bigger love, true love should never be hamstrung within the boundary of princess-and-prince banality, it transcends beyond gender, age and race, it is a cutting-edge message unyieldingly transmitted from Disneyland presently.
Elle Fanning and the Manville-Staunton-Temple trinity of fairies (Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit) bring breezes of joyfulness and it is axiomatically impossible for us to be immune from cute babies, let alone one of the young Aurora played by Jolie’s real-life daughter, who contributes the most adorable scene in the picture. Copley is typecast in his demented ruggedness, his side of struggle maybe too dark to expound to younger audience, and Riley as the crow Diaval, finds an unlikely allegiance with Maleficent, whereas Thwaites, plays Prince Phillip, is a handsome pawn and completely throwaway.
In a nutshell, MALEFICENT is an enthusiastic welcome vehicle of our goddess Jolie in a fantasy world, a befitting role for her to testify her star power and further lure us closer to her distanced and mysterious charisma.