Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Movie Review: Maleficient

It seems that Disney has somehow created a Renaissance for themselves, the rest of Hollywood should really take note.  Instead of rehashing the same tired story, how about taking a new spin on an old story?  This movie takes the story of Sleeping Beauty and gives the vantage point of what made the witch evil, as has been done in Wicked.

The story follows a fairy, both strong and beautiful, who befriends an ambitious young man.  Instead of returning her affections, he spurns her, cutting her wings off and giving them to the king so he can be king.  The witch, in all her rage, curses the small child.  The curse is not to take effect until her sixteenth birthday and in that time, the witch befriends the child and her three nurses (who are actually fairies).  In time, the audience sees the witch soften her heart, growing fond of and caring for the child as a mother would.  When the curse is about to take effect, the witch realises her mistake and tries to undo it, but to no avail.  She then goes in pursuit of a prince to awaken the young girl, but the kiss has no effect.  It is only when the witch kisses the girl does she awake, as only a kiss of true love, not necessarily romantic love, breaks the curse.  The king tries to kill the witch, but ends up dying instead.

What made this movie so intriguing was the idea that the evil witch might not be so evil after all.  The idea that the story is told from the ‘good’ perspective is something we often take for granted.  I saw this with my cousin, who mentioned a famous quote I’ll be paraphrasing now, history is written by the winners.  In that sense, this movie was told by the loser, so to speak.  The unfortunate thing is that the retelling completely debunks the original ending, if I remember it correctly for the cartoon.  I doubt there was a way to give a happy ending in addition to being true to the original.  While this movie comes in 3D, I saw it in regular definition and it was wonderful as is.  This one is well worth seeing no matter your age.

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