Angelina Jolie (“Tomb Raider”) stars as the titular character in the new Disney blockbuster “Maleficent,” named for the villain in “Sleeping Beauty.” Already a dead ringer with her high cheekbones and pouty red lips, Jolie slays as the villain.
From the very beginning of the film, you are unable to look away from the screen, not just for her, but the beauty of the scenery. The film is a visual masterpiece, and in 3-D, it has the ability to take your breath away.
The story revolves around the fairy Maleficent, who is at first a kind-hearted and gentle soul. But a series of events turns her heart dark, and she swears revenge on those who hurt her.
She curses a baby princess, Aurora, with eternal sleep upon her 16th birthday; the only cure to wake her will be true love’s kiss. Maleficent watches as the child grows and waits for the fateful day to come.
Aurora, played by Elle Fanning (“Super 8”), is a beautiful and kind spirit, who is being watched by three pixies in the forest, where her parents think she is safe. We all know how the story is supposed to go — Aurora meets Prince Phillip, they dance once upon a dream and fall in love. Aurora does fall to the curse but is awakened by Phillip, who slays Maleficent in her dragon form. The bad guy loses, the good guy wins, and love conquers all.
However, this movie twists what is expected and gives audiences a pleasant surprise.
I was initially unsure of how I felt about the surprise aspect, but I have thought more on it and decided I like the retelling. Tradition is nice, but a fresh perspective opens up new things to love about the story and its characters.
Maleficent, who has always been one of my favorite villains, doesn’t disappoint at all. Jolie’s performance is enchanting, bewitching, fun to watch and, at times, borderline terrifying. She truly brings the animated character we’ve known for years to life in a beautiful way.
As a die-hard Disnerd, I encourage other Disney lovers to see the movie. Actually, I encourage anyone who likes retold fairy tales or visual works of art to see the movie. It lives up to expectations and is a true representation of Disney’s ability to amaze audiences.
My only complaint would be that we do not get to hear Lana Del Ray’s hauntingly gorgeous version of “Once Upon a Dream” until the end credits.