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Monday, June 23, 2014

Movie Review - Maleficent

I had some free time during the week and decided to catch the newest Disney flick. To be honest, I didn't expect much, especially from a male working adult cum university student's point of view, happily ever stories are so, so over-rated, and that's what Disney movies are well-known for.

Nomsaurus gave Maleficent

This review may contain MINIMAL SPOILERS.

Maleficent is a remake of Disney's Sleeping Beauty, but this time round, in the view of Disney's notorious ultra-villain - how and why she became the main antagonist of the 1959 classic film. Taking the role of Maleficent is none other than Angelina Jolie, whom acting skills through diverse cinematic plays (such as Lara Croft: Tomb RaiderSalt and Wanted), have already been proved to be the cream of the crop. Not to mention, her slender body-build and foxy voice undoubtedly matches her on-screen appearance as the dark and wicked witch.

The plot flows naturally, coupled with mesmerising visual effects and succinct story-telling. There were a few noticeable hiccups, but did not endanger the movie as a whole. Be amazed by picturesque landscapes of lush forests and mighty castles, filled with fictional characters, such as fire-breathing dragons and cutesy-wootsy fairies.


Unlike brain-wrecking movies like Inception (2010) and The Prestige (2006), Maleficent has barely any interpretations to make, bad for people who like a little challenge thinking of alternative meanings, but arguably good for people who would like a brain's rest after a day of work, or if you are a kid. However, there are several underlying themes, like the ongoing fight between Mother Earth and humans, the transition to a fallen angel (including the metaphoric adult theme of rape and female mutilation), and the meaning of "true love", which could be interesting topics for discussion.


Casting-wise, there would be no one more suitable than Angelina Jolie to take on the lead role. While there are debates over the poor castings of Stephan (played by Sharlto Copley) and the three fairies - Thistletwit, Knotgrass, Flittle (played by Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville respectively), I would say yes and no. The pixies were more than brilliant with their cute and clumsy screenplays. But contrary to that, Sharlto's acting was shallow and depth-less (just look at the scenes when he went berserk). Moreover, his fake Irish-Scottish accent which is supposedly "royal" according to himself, came out really, really miserably.


Judging from the dismayed feedback from major review sites, such as Rotten Tomatoes, Maleficent is perhaps the most underrated Disney movie of all time. Despite not being quite a Disney nor Jolie's hardcore fanatic, this movie is definitely satisfying and fun to watch, and have gotten a thumbs-up from myself as an impressive effort to merge the 1959 and 2014 versions was never less than successful.

Maleficent is currently OFF-SCREEN.
If you're never a fan of spoilers, do not check this trailer out.