BY Jo Ann Madarang
Maleficent follows the story of well-known fairytale Sleeping Beauty told from the point of view of its “villain” Maleficent. It tells us why and how a protective fairy was viewed as a villain in the eyes of the humans.
The story, which was predictable at times, is not as laudable as the visual effects but it was coherent enough to be considered decent. As expected, Angelina Jolie’s strong performance as Maleficent carried the rest of the film. As did her enhanced cheekbones and fiery eyes.
Jolie’s surprising onscreen chemistry with Sam Riley (as Diaval, Maleficent’s confidant) almost made up for Elle Fanning’s lackluster performance as Princess Aurora. Fanning’s version of Aurora was too naïve that it was a little irritating in the end. Kudos to the baby who played Aurora and to Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, who played toddler Aurora, for being the delightful children they were expected to be and for providing the occasional levity that the film needed.
But what I loved most about Maleficent is that, like the well-loved Frozen—and, to an extent, Brave—its story gradually departed from the traditional and antiquated notion that true love can only come from a romantic kind of love. This, for me, is one of the best lessons today’s generation of kids—even adults—can and should learn early on in life.
The Verdict: If you have at least one of the characteristics stated below, you will enjoy Maleficent:
· You love watching modern adaptations of childhood fairytales—like Once Upon A Time.
· You are a big Angelina Jolie fan.
· You are a big Jolie-Pitt kids fan and, as such, you want to see Vivienne. Zahara and Pax also had blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos.
· You loved Megamind.
· Or, simply, you can’t get enough of Angie’s fake but believable British accent.
Maleficent, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International, is currently showing in Philippine cinemas.