Maleficent: Movie Review
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Forget the Sleeping Beauty story you remember from childhood. Maleficent, Disney’s new reimagined version, starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, doesn’t not play out like the cartooned feature film originally released in 1959.
This take on the beloved fairytale comes from the perspective of the story’s villain, and Jolie is scary good as the winged sorceress. Rated PG, Disney’s new movie was poised to appeal to families. However, its rating may be a bit deceiving (see explanation below).
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
As a young fairy, Maleficent lives peacefully in her magical kingdom just beyond the world of men. But her idyllic life is threatened when an invading army sought to subdue the magical forest. To protect her home, Maleficent uses her power to defeat her foes. Her greatest enemy is one born out of betrayal. Seeking revenge, Maleficent places the king’s newborn daughter, Princess Aurora, under a powerful curse—one that no one can reverse.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN MALEFICENT
Maleficent is rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images. Though it falls short of warranting a PG-13, some of the battle sequences and moments of peril may be too much for young children. As mentioned, Jolie is very scary as this dark evil. Also, as in the Disney version, this film contains quite a lot of spells and curses. The magic is used for good purposes and for evil. Though the visual effects are enchanting, making sure children understand the consequences of “magic” is important.
Like all fairytales, the Sleeping Beauty story shares a greater message beyond its exciting battles and daring rescues. Maleficent speaks to redemption; that no one is beyond it. Forgiveness and a second chance are for us all. Betrayal is the most hurtful of actions and that there are generational consequences to our misguided deeds. Not a fan of all the storyline changes in this live-action version, Maleficent is reminiscent of the Brave and Frozen, in its non-traditional fairytale ending.
IN THE END
Maleficent will capture your attention and is quite entertaining throughout, with bits of humor, conflict and action. However, its use of magic and scary moments are cause for caution.
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