Twitview: Gloriously lush sets & Jolie’s performance make the film better than it has a right to be. B
Hell hath no fury like a fairy scorned. Especially when that fairy is played by Angelina Jolie, and has a damn good reason for being so ticked off. With the popularity of “revisionist fairy tale history” nowadays, Maleficent could have played out like a Very Special Episode of Once Upon A Time (which did have the Big M in the show, but threw away the character even though True Blood’s Kristin Bauer van Straten knocked it out of the park with her performance). You gotta know from the trailer that this is gonna be another Frozen-esque story of how Womyn-with-a-Y are stronger together than the negative forces of Mankind, but Jolie is so magnetic in the role of the fairy gone bad that the trip is a fascinating one. There isn’t much for anyone else to do but either get in her way or lend her aid, but otherwise? It’s a fun 97 minutes, with plenty for newbies and old-school Sleeping Beauty fans to enjoy. There are a few things that got under my skin, but all-in-all, the Enchanted Forest ain’t a bad place to spend a little time.
Way back in the day, there were two kingdoms; the Kingdom of Man (da-DUM) and The Moors. Man does his usual mannish stuff, what with the subjegating, warring and power struggles. Meanwhile, The Moors are a peaceful place full of mythical creatures that all live in an agreeable harmony with no one ruler. Cue Maleficent (as played by Jolie doppelgänger Isobelle Molloy), a sweet little fairy girl with groovy horns on her head and glorious wings. She finds human boy Stefan in The Moors, trying to make off with something. She asks him for it back, then tosses it (back) into the water. He tells her he’d rather have kept it if she was just going to “throw it away”…. And a friendship is born. Friendship blossoms into love, at least for one half of this pairing. (Hint: it’s not the thieving human.) Years later, Stefan — who has always longed to live in the castle because Being Somebody Is All There Is — is a squire for the King, who has fallen ill thanks to trying to bring The Moors into his total domination. Seems Maleficent doesn’t take too kindly to those who try to take over her land, and neither do the rest of the Moor-folk. Stefan uses his friendship with Maleficent to do something absolutely heinous (hint: you didn’t know she had wings, did’ja?) and becomes King. Maleficent, on the other hand, becomes bitter, angry and vengeful. Cue
Sleeping Beauty baby Aurora!