There’s no way that this movie could get anything but the full five out of five stars. Quite simply, it’s a wonderful film.
Fans of Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty are sure to love this retelling. It not only gives us a fantastical background to the story, but transforms the characters, while remaining true to their essence.
The central character is Maleficent, who is the traditional villain of the Sleeping Beauty tale. But here she is given a depth and story that shows her to be more than a villain, but also the hero of the tale. We are taken on her journey of emotional turbulence as she climbs to the heights of fairy beauty and power, but falls from grace, into the pits of her own darkness. It is from there that she casts her infamous sleeping curse upon the infant princess Aurora.
Angelina Jolie plays the lead role and does so spectacularly. So often Jolie is willing to accept “less serious” roles, that one can easily forget that she is, in fact, a very talented actress (remember ‘Girl, Interrupted‘?). Maleficent allows her to demonstrate that she is an actress that can be taken seriously and deliver a performance that is both engaging and enchanting.
Ultimately, Maleficent is still a fairy tale and the fantasy element of the film is spectacular. The visuals alone would make the movie worth watching. We are treated to a wide array of fairy folk and fantastical creatures, which seem inspired by a mixture of the works of Brian Froud, Guillermo Del Toro and Studio Ghibli.
Maleficent is a movie for the entire family. Kids and adults alike, will love it. So, if you have young children, take them to see this. If you don’t have young children, see it anyway!