"It is done."
Okay, so let's just get past whatever feeling of disgruntlement you may have about your childhood being ruined by this revisionist take on Sleeping Beauty, shall we?
I won't call it a spoiler because we were already made to expect something different from the classic Disney villain, that perhaps Maleficent wasn't pure evil after all. The film explores Maleficent's early days as a young fairy, how she befriended the peasant Stefan, how this guy would later break her heart--and steal something from her--and of course how she ends up cursing Aurora into a death-like sleep.
Aided by costumes and prosthetics, Angelina Jolie essays the title role with perfection. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing the role but her. She even doesn't have to do much because even when the scene just requires her to sit or stand, it's Maleficent that we see. But of course Jolie nails those action sequences, and ably shows emotion when called for.
Jolie is simply perfect for the role.
The film is visually beautiful, and with an award-winning production designer/visual effects supervisor at the helm, it's like every shot was aimed at perfection. Yes, there was a lot of CGI but then there were also other things that make up this visual feast, like how a scene is designed and how each shot is carefully framed. Oh, talk about framing, director Robert Stromberg clearly shows he definitely knows all about it.
The movie may be well-paced but it's far from perfect, as it suffers from a rather faulty script. Supposed key emotional moments felt rushed and I was particularly left unconvinced about Stefan's ambitions and what pushed him to the point of desperation that he did what he did to Maleficent. The film could also have benefited from exploring Maleficent's relationship with Aurora just a wee bit more because it doesn't feel that established. Again, they felt rushed. But we're thankful for that "Aww..." moment when Jolie's own daughter shared the screen with her for a few short minutes.
Maleficent was scored pretty well, which suits the film's theme quite nicely. And oh, that end theme by Lana Del Rey is just hauntingly beautiful and pure genius.
"Mommy, Mommy, can you show me a magic trick?"
In the end, the weight of the whole film rests on Jolie's shoulders (though with the help of some wings). However everything else looks, however everyone else acts, however the film's score sounds, however lacking the script, it's her who's front and center. It's Angelina Jolie's show. And despite the flaws, it's still a good show overall.
"Before the sun sets on her 16th birthday..." Can you even think of any other actress who could play Maleficent and do justice to the role?
All photos from Nova FM.