Maleficent 2014 Movie Scene Angelina Jolie as Maleficent with her horns and black wings

Maleficent [2014]

With more and more dark fantasy movies being released every couple of years, I think it’s time to talk about this one. It comes on the wings of such hits as Brothers Grimm and Snow White and the Huntsman, offering stunning visuals and strong leads. Starring Angelina Jolie, Maleficent is a dark fantasy adventure with a refreshing twist on an age-old tale. We will hear a familiar fairy tale but this time told from the other perspective. From the perspective of an evil witch who might turn out to be not so evil after all. So, think Sleeping Beauty but with a dark twist. Who knew that this simple change of perspective could yield such fantastic results?

I’m not going to bore you by describing the stunning visuals, I’m sure you can already see that everything here is top-notch. After all, the budget for this movie was a whopping quarter of a billion dollars. Nor I’m going to bother you with the quality of the score and sound editing. I would just like to point out that the macabre and gloomy aesthetic here makes all the difference. It gives Maleficent an edge and prompts viewers to check out this movie even if they’re not fantasy fans. Although I’m sure the promise of Angelina Jolie playing the evil witch wearing elaborate costumes will be enough for many. For me, it was the magical setting that sealed the deal.

I wanted to watch something with magic, creatures, and magnificent vistas. And I have to admit that this movie delivered on all of these items. Featuring a short running time of just ninety minutes and a pretty brisk pace, Maleficent is the perfect fantasy escapist experience. And while everyone is talking about Angelina Jolie, can Sharlto Copley get some love? You probably remember him as the goofy suit from District 9 but he was just as good if not better in Elysium and especially Free Fire. I also think that Elle Fanning was the right choice for the role of young Aurora as she gave a pitch-perfect performance.

Maleficent knocks you out with alluring and dreamy visuals right away. And let me tell you that things will get increasingly better as time goes on. There will be battles and action scenes likes of which we have rarely seen in recent years. Finally, the CGI was good enough to make all of this look realistic. Granted, this is a PG movie, so don’t expect graphic violence or stuff like that. For something like that, you’ll have to check out Warcraft, a movie that came out not two years later. And from that moment on, we were firmly living in the superhero age of movies.

Ahhh the Moors, such a wonderful place to live. Here our young fairy Maleficent meets Stefan, a young man with a lot of ambition. And the two immediately fall in love. But the world doesn’t care for love as King Henry decides to conquer the Moors and kill Maleficent. He soon finds himself in quite the pickle as he lays dying, his army defeated by the primordial forces of the Moors, raised by the Maleficent. With his dying breath, he offers the kingdom for her head and Stefan makes a decision…

There’ve been a lot of complaints about the changes Disney implemented here, some even suggesting that they perverted the original script. I’m talking about the original Walt Disney 1959 animated movie Sleeping Beauty. However, that movie was a blend of two different books and a classic tale of good versus evil. I’m always in favor of a more balanced and above all realistic rendition of any story. And perhaps this is why I liked Maleficent so much. The character development is excellent making this movie more than just a dazzling eye candy.

Something that, for example, the latest Netflix fantasy movie almost completely forgot. They focused solely on the visuals and a couple of themes. And this resulted in a forgettable experience and a movie you’re probably going to watch just once. Unlike the one we’re talking about today. A movie that ten years after its initial release still looks, sounds, and feels great. It’s also full of all these strange creatures. More and more I begin to appreciate the work that goes into creating such strange beings.

If you’re looking for movies like Maleficent, check out Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters and Jack the Giant Slayer. Finally, you should know that there’s also a sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil that’s almost as good as the original. Of course, Angelina Jolie reprises her role along with Elle Fanning.

Director: Robert Stromberg

Writer: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Brenton Thwaites, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton

Fun Facts: Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Brad Pitt’s and Angelina Jolie’s daughter plays the role of young Aurora.


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