Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bear Movie Review: Maleficent (No Spoilers!)



As a longtime Disney fan I was thrilled to hear about the release of the motion picture Maleficent. Films within the fantasy genre usually follow the journey of the protagonist as they battle though hardships, childhood issues and major mental scars to become a symbol of pure light and good. And with the creation of strong heroes, their counterintuitive antagonists hiding in the shadows are even stronger. This is the core of what make Maleficent a perfect concept.

The plot revolves around Maleficent, a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman with an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom. One day an invading army threatens the harmony of the land and Maleficent rises to be the kingdom’s fiercest protector. She ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal that turns her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows older, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well.

Visual Effects: With beautiful visuals of the vast kingdom as well as the the weird and curious creatures that reside within it, the movie does not disappoint to entertain visually and provide lots of eye candy. Most notably, the special effects did succeed in creating an atmosphere that was magical and ethereal while providing an overall ominous tone. (Rating: 5 Stars)

Story Line: Everyone knows the original sleeping beauty written by Charles Perrault and of course the animated movie produced by Walt Disney, where the protagonist Aurora is put to sleep on her sixteen birthday by the Dark Fairy Maleficent and only a kiss of her true love will wake her up. In Maleficent, the story focuses more of the events of the Dark Fairy herself from her childhood to her iconic meeting with the king and Aurora as a baby. While I found this shift of perspective intriguing, I also found the shifts in chronology with the story skipping time periods as well essential details a bit disconcerting. But the main problem seems to lie with the major modifications made to Aurora’s original “Sleeping Beauty” storyline. While Disney purists might scoff at the liberties taken with her story line, I was disappointed that the film didn’t push the envelope enough and create a darker and more eerie story. Instead what we have is a rather typical and tame Disney movie both in tone and plot. (Rating: 3 Stars)

Acting: The talent in the movie was well rounded. The characters draw you in and make you feel invested. The standout stars in my opinion may was of course Maleficent played by Angelina Jolie. She embodied the role. Stefan played by Sharlto Copley made this story exciting and Diaval played by Sam Riley also embodied his role Diaval by bringing out the many changes in Maleficent throughout the story (Rating: 4 Stars)

In Conclusion: Disney has made good entertaining movie for all ages. While the story is well told, it did not live up to my expectations and I did leave the film with more than a few unanswered questions.  Nevertheless the movie is a good time for all.





JAMES BUTLER
Male Media Mind