From Left Elle Fanning as Aurora, Sam Riley as Diaval, and Angelina Jolie in Disney’s Maleficent
Here is another classic animated story turned into horrific live action film, this time Disney set its sights on Sleeping Beauty. The tale about a King and his innocent princess Aurora, cursed from the birth by Maleficent until her 16th birthday whether she find true love or not. Disney’s latest tentpole affair was a success the weekend it opened, but it doesn’t stay true to its original cannon let alone, give its darling princess the true love she deserves.
Its also very unlike Disney to center a tale around one of its villains, let alone show her being de-winged by her once lover King Stephan (Sharlto Copley). Who would then turn against her and even have his merry men try and kill her. These events would turn Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) into the evil fairy we know her to be. Much of the film is spent on her as a child and how this would somehow show that she is the strongest fairy of them all. So King Stephan as the tale suggests, meets another woman and names her his queen and shortly thereafter Aurora is born. King Stephan locks up the castle and sends Aurora away with three pixies Thistlewit (Juno Temple), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), and Flittle (Lesley Manville) to be raised. Then as if to get revenge Maleficent casts her evil spell on the newborn in a truly magnificent light show, only to regret she has done such a thing and try and have it reversed. This sadly is where the dilemma in the film lies as Maleficent tries to and fails at finding true love for aurora (Elle Fanning), even throwing her would be true love Prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites) at her saying “kiss the pretty girl”. As if it will bring her back from that comfy queen size bed she falls asleep on.
Maleficent is easily the worst film you can see this summer. It’s filled with to many noticeable visual effects and the acting from the cast is just terrible. The exception being Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning of course, the trio of pixies that consist of Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, and Lesley Manville are always swatting each other and one begins to wonder how they raised Aurora in the first place. Clearly no parenting took place in that cottage up in the woods. King Stephan is easily the worst of the bunch with no real way of determining where his character helms from; due to his accent is it British or Irish? Then to top it off he never seems to have a presence or any sort of would be chemistry with Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent.
Granted, this is visual effects artist Robert Stromberg’s first feature film, but maybe he should have stuck to what he knew best. Creating the effects for films like this, instead of trying to tackle the whole project himself would have done the film wonders, instead of having a cast that is clearly without any sort of direction. The film also relies to heavily on voice over instead of using it as a medium in which the story is propelled forward; it acts as a character within the film. Disney’s Maleficent is not recommended and I would just stay at home and put something good on Netflix if you’re looking for a good family movie, because this is far from it.