Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maleficent (2014): Review

This weekend for movie night we went and saw the new Angelina Jolie and fairy tale reworking Maleficent. Overall it was enjoyable and the epic spaces of the graphics where beautiful but the story could have used a little more fleshing out.
For those of you who are not familiar with the story of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is the name of the evil fairy who curses Aurora, played by Elle Fanning.  This story as its tittle suggest is focused around and follows the life of Maleficent and puts a different spin on the story of sleeping beauty but keeps the main points intact (think Wicked). In Maleficent, as a young girl she was focused on protecting her land, which is home to the magic folk against invasion from the humans. As a girl she meets a human boy named Stefan, who she develops feelings for as they spend time together growing up.  When he becomes a man, Stefan, played by Sharlto Coply, betrays Maleficent by cutting off her wings in order to become the husband to the princes and king to the human land.  When he has a daughter Aurora Maleficent comes to her christening and curses her to die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday to fall into an eternal sleep unless she experiences true loves kiss. As Aurora grows Maleficent watches over her with her companion crow Diavel, played by Sam Riley as Aurora.  Can Aurora escape her curse and will Maleficent ever learn to  let go of her hatred for being betrayed by Stefan without destroying herself and those around her.

With this movie there were things that I liked and things that I didn't like.  The negatives being that the story was a but rushed and I wished that especially during the middle of the movie more time had been taken to develop the interactions and relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.  As the movie was short, just over an hour and a half this easily could have been added and strengthened the story line and emotional connection to what was happening.  The other negative was quiet annoying to me and it was not that all the characters had accents but that none of them matched each other.  The story implies that these people growing up and living very close to each other but all of their accents are very distinct and so very different.  I found it annoying and distracting while watching the movie and would have wished they had looked into this.
I think that Angelina Jolie did a good job in this role and she was able to capture the hurt turned into evil component of her character while still getting you to like and root for her.  I think that the combination of her and Sam Riley as Diavel was great and I wouldn't have minded if more of there back and forth was included in the movie.
The chemistry between Jolie and Fanning for me was lackluster and I think that it was because Elle Fanning just wasn't up to sharing a screen with Jolie. Aurora is suppose to be ethereal and immediately lovable and although Fanning was trying very hard she just wasn't up to the role or holding her own against the attention demanding Jolie.
Although I saw this movie in 2D I think that it would have been enjoyable to see in 3D because there were a lot of souring and landscape shots that are journeyed through and for me the best use of 3D and how I enjoy it being used it by going through landscapes and having things floating through the air.
This movie was alright but I don't think it will really be something that everyone would like. Yes there is some action sequences and the dragon is pretty cool but it seems like just people who like all of these movies that mess with fairy tales and who can let go off all the the holes in the story and juvenile focus.

My Rating: 1+

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like we had some similar thoughts for sure :) I didn't know Jolie had prosthetic cheekbones, but that explains why it took 4 hours to do her make-up! I loved her bright red lipstick and white teeth too -- made her more evil for sure.
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