If you thought that you knew everything there was to know about Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”, well, be prepared to be mistaken. Big time.
First of all, live-action film “Maleficent” boasts an impressive list of stars such as Sam Riley, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and last but certainly not least, Angelina Jolie. Secondly, although the film is an adaptation of Disney’s 1959 animation, it takes on an account from the “other side of the story” aka through the eyes of the evil fairy, Maleficent. In “Sleeping Beauty”, the story opens with Maleficent cursing baby Princess Aurora at her christening party but here’s the thing, nobody ever explained why. And in all the years of the animation’s existence, nobody has ever questioned why.
The film has all the answers you need and more.
Oh yes, there will be some moments that’ll remind you of “Sleeping Beauty” and make you smile but “Maleficent” will also whip you into the dark yet fascinating world of Maleficent from a time before she was labelled evil. Yes, believe it or not, the young Maleficent was an outgoing, sweet-tempered orphan fairy despite her formidable appearance – horned and dark-winged. In her beloved moors, she often flitter-fluttered over the other magical creatures, offering them good words and making them smile. This all had to change, however, when a boy from a nearby kingdom crossed paths with her – and eventually crossed her. It eventually left her wounded and hardened, leading her to vowing revenge.
Enter the scene in which she storms into the castle during baby Princess Aurora’s christening and lays an irreversible curse on her. It was also at the point when we realised that the three other fairies had their names changed for the live-animation film for some odd reason. Let’s just say that they ain’t Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
Of course, the rest of the film follows the original storyline quite closely until the time when Princess Aurora’s about to celebrate her 16th birthday. And she comes face to face with Maleficent. And many, many unexpected turns of events take over the entire storyline! Don’t worry, Princess Aurora does prick her finger and falls into a deep sleep-like death. But who wakes her up? Does Maleficent die in the end?
We’ll be nice and not ruin the experience of finding out for yourselves.
The other (but very important) thing to note is how Angelina Jolie took on the role of Maleficent, embraced it, and played it so well – that’s not to say that she was playing evil throughout the entire film, no. From deadpan expressions to enunciate light humour to pulling off flawless wails of despair and of course, right down to perfecting the evilest of laughs. And that’s not to say that the super sharp Lady Gaga-inspired cheekbones plus curling devil-like horns didn’t complement her naturally striking features 100%. It’d be hard to imagine anyone else more suited for the role, really.
Angelina Jolie was the best thing in the live-action film animation adaptation of “Sleeping Beauty”.
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