Maleficent, a rebellious and vindictive fairy, seeks to right the wrongs done to her by a human man that she once loved by cursing his infant daughter. However she learns during the child’s first sixteen years that she may hold the key to peace between the human world and the world of the fairies, and she soon regrets her curse.
Maleficent has proven to be a box office hit, and has people of all ages rushing to their nearest cinema. Everyone loves a Disney film; they’re perfect for adults and children alike and they are guaranteed to be good fun if nothing else. Maleficent latches on to the notion that there are two sides to every story and takes full artistic licence to do whatever the hell it wants with a well known fairytale villain. While this idea is interesting and could pave the way for many more films of a similar ilk, it is in many ways just a glorified remake.
Angelina Jolie delivers a wonderful performance in a role where, in all fairness, she doesn’t exactly have to do much but look terrifying (and yet stunning at the same time). The film is beautiful, the 3D element is totally unnecessary but aside from that the mixture of live action and animation works brilliantly to conjure this stunning fantasy world. Considering its origins it’s actually a really heartwarming tale with plenty of humour easily enjoyed by all ages.
There are hundreds of fairytale films and stories out there who’s villains have untold stories, there could literally be a counter film just like Maleficent for every fairytale Disney film ever made. People are sucked in to this idea of telling the true story behind our favourite evil villains, and giving these characters a voice they didn’t perviously have. This theme is prevalent in the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy and has been done countless times before and usually to great success. However, you have to sit back sometimes, ignore how beautiful the visuals are and how great Jolie‘s performance is and think about how much we all despise remakes (most of the time) and question ‘what’s the difference’? As much as I enjoyed and rate Maleficent as a lovely and visually brilliant film, I can’t help but find myself praying this doesn’t become the next Hollywood fad. I’m pretty sure this untold villain stuff where we’re forced to consider the other side of the story will very quickly get boring. Sometimes villains should just be villains, and we should be allowed to hate them without having to think about their side of the story.