Reviews

Maleficent is Magnificent

Everything's better when your heart is full of love not HATE. There is always another side of the coin (the story). In Disney's 1959 animated feature film, ‘Sleeping beauty’ , Maleficent or the Mistress of all Evil is an evil fairy, the main antagonist and is one of the most popular and recognizable Disney villains.

 

Everything in this world happens for a reason, so the question is “Is there an untold story behind this character Maleficent for being so villainy”. The mystery is resolved in the 2014 movie ‘MALEFICENT’. In this movie, she turns out to be the protagonist and she is much more complex and her unexpected backstory is explored.

 We were programmed to believe since our childhood that Maleficent is the evil witch who hates humans and puts curse on the lovely baby princess. But apparently she's the most adorable character in the story. She can love, forgive and sacrifice her life for the people she love. Rather than a woman who is evil just for the sake of being evil, Maleficent suffers a devastating betrayal from the man she really loved and cared about the most, resulting in the loss of her own fairy wings.

Let us tell an Old story Anew. Maleficent is a beautiful tale of true love and forgiveness, with a definite dark splash of heartache and anger, but understandably so. You see a very dark depiction of Maleficent, and you understand why, but there is a storyline that draws you in and you begin to fall in love with her character, from beginning to end.

The film begins with an unnamed narrator who introduces her tale with the idea that the story is not always the way it seems. Maleficent, played by Angelina jolie, is one of the strongest fairies in the forest, with large wings to support her and her magical powers. This fairy is powerful, beautiful, and takes enormous joy in flight. She seeks revenge on the daughter of the man she once loved by putting a curse on her. Maleficent is an evil fairy who puts a curse on Aurora, the daughter of king Stefan saying that on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep that only true love's kiss can break. According to Maleficent, true love doesn't exist and so the princess is fated with eternal death like slumber.

Maleficent and Stefan were once lovers as teenagers. Stefan, however is marked from the beginning by a sense of greed and ambition, grows closer to the human world and increases in power, eventually leaving Maleficent and his childish infatuation. Their relationship turned sour when the king ordered Maleficent’s death. Stefan uses his friendship with Maleficent to lure her into sleep, unable to cut her throat, he takes her wings instead. The most poignant part of the film comes when Maleficent awakes and expresses her sorrow. Her wordless cry and the music underlying her anguish express the loss of something personal and irreplaceable. This ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora.

Time heals almost anything. Aurora (Elle Fanning) grows up to become a beautiful young lady and Maleficent and her aide Diaval watch her through the years. Despite Maleficent’s hatred towards Stefan, she harbours affection towards Aurora and befriends her without telling her true identity. This Aurora at least gets to stay awake for most of the movie. Growing fond of Aurora Maleficent tries to reverse the curse but her own magic makes that impossible. It is upto “true love's kiss” for Aurora to be rid of the prophecy. She runs into a young man, Philip one day in the woods, who falls in love with her, their short meeting makes a huge impact on him.

At this point the audience might think that Philip is her true love. Well kind of,  but they have barely met. One day, Aurora learns of Maleficent’s true identity and confronts her, she feels betrayed and returns back to the kingdom. Her 16th birthday is nearing and she succumbs to the prick from one of the discarded spindles, she lays in a deep sleep. Maleficent goes to the castle, bringing Philip with her but when he kisses her nothing happens.

Maleficent, unable to retract the curse, begs forgiveness, vows to protect Aurora and spend the remaining days at her side. She seals this vow with a kiss in the forehead. This moment of sacrificial love shatters the curse. Love comes in many forms - it doesn't always have to be romantic love with prince charming (or in this case Prince Philip) love can be an extremely powerful force for healing and can happen at the most unexpected times.

True love's kiss isn't always what you think it will be. True love is what someone feels when one is willing to make sacrifices for the welfare of the other like a parent for a child. Maleficent saw Aurora as her daughter and in this warm maternal glow of a redeemed fairy godmother.

“Maleficent” is an undeniable work of visual beauty. The film's enchanting costumes and makeup and the presence of the perfectly cast Angelina jolie adds more credit to the movie. Her tall and slender frame with high cheek bones, pointed ears, glowing eyes, large wings and scary horns makes the audience think that no one can replace Angelina Jolie as she gave life to the character Maleficent.

 

Afrin,

Sandhya,

Mathangi

May 12, 2016
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