Maleficent (2014) – Don’t Believe the Fairy Tale

Maleficent became one of the most terrifying and cool antagonists in the Disney universe. She is a fairy of darkness and we know her better from “Sleeping Beauty” because she cursed Princess Aurora. When she was sixteen, she would touch the fabric-making spun needle. Finally, she died but thanks to the help of one of the curse fairies changed. Princess Aurora just fell asleep until waiting for a true kiss from her true beloved. It’s so cliche, but you can’t avoid the fact it’s one of the charming movies from Disney.

We always know Maleficent is an antagonist towering a woman’s body. She is haughty, arrogant, and always tries to destroy the lives of Princess Aurora. Meanwhile, Prince Philip is a true-beloved of Aurora. Later, they will live together and you guessed it, happy ever after for their live. It’s a story about love with a happy ending. It’s so cliche. The villain always defeats and others. In this filmmaking era, the anti-hero isn’t a unique thing anymore. Robert Stromberg’s “Maleficent” is different from fairy tale legends in general. Just like the tagline, “don’t believe the fairy tale”. This film takes the villain’s point of view, Maleficent, as how she becomes the bad guy. It deconstructed the way why Maleficent exists in the first place.

As a fairy figure, Maleficent (Angeline Jolie) guarded the enchanted forest full of magical creatures. There are fairies, walking trees, and others. Until one day, she met with humans from a country across the forest. Stefan (Sharlto Copley) steals one of the creatures in the forest. However, Maleficent tried to ask Stefan to return the item. The beginning of their story starts like other beautiful fairy tales. The two of them always secretly meet between borders. Gradually, they fell in love so that one time Stefan expressed his feelings.

In most Disney movies, we know how it ends. It always ends with a happy ending, right? “Maleficent” is dark for a Disney movie like this. Stefan is just a human but can also change one day. He will do anything for his ambition. To become king, Stefan determined to kill Maleficent. When Stefan tried to kill Maleficent, he couldn’t. Until finally, he decided to cut Maleficent’s wings. This is the beginning of the dispute between the two of them.

“Maleficent” isn’t other classic Disney movies you would love it. Although it’s not dark and dramatic, the movie is just what you always think about Disney. Maleficent is full of revenge after hearing the news that Stefan has a child. With the help of a human-shaped crow, Diaval (Sam Riley), they depart there. Maleficent cursed Aurora (Elle Fanning) who had just born. She will continue to sleep until her death. And only true kiss can wake her up. Unlike its original fairy tale, “Maleficent” allowed Aurora.

King Stefan couldn’t be fraught with his anger. He then told the three fairies to hide Aurora. Meanwhile, he is trying to destroy Maleficent. The three idiot fairies let the baby and let Diuval know their location. For 16 years, Maleficent always paid attention to Aurora’s childhood. King Stefan dissolves in an attempt to destroy Maleficent. Gradually, everyone knew that he was the antagonist without realizing it.

“Maleficent” tried to break the trademark of Disney films in general. It’s no longer about a kiss from a true-beloved partner. It’s no longer about the princess and the prince. And it’s no longer about the bad guy always lose. But, Disney’s attempt to deconstruct the antagonist characters from classic Disney works leads to more logic. There is a meaning of why true kisses exist in the first place. Whether true or not, the wise effort of storytelling deflects a logical and sweet direction.

This movie is interesting because it elevates the approach of the main character Maleficent’s relationship with Princess Aurora. From the beginning, the movie is beautiful. Every minute it rolls, there is always suspense at least. However, the movie is just ridiculous when they want to try to deconstruct these kinds of characters. What we love about Maleficent is how intimidating and how she becomes a villain. Especially if they also try to not follow the original. I know this film exists because we try to see it from another perspective. In essence, bad guys aren’t always bad. But, I just hate it when they change everything such as the three charming fairies.

Robert Stromberg, as a director, is less directing this movie. It’s not very powerful to change the image of Maleficent. However, your materials are still lacking. The movie, of course, has beautiful visuals like a lot of fantasy movies in general. The stunning visuals, the costume design, and the performance are a lot of better. Angelina Jolie exploits her rays as a movie attraction. She is a wick and Stromberg knows how to exude beauty and intimidating Angelina Jolie on screen. I mean, the movie is just about Angelina Jolie. So, we don’t see anybody other than her character.

Above all, “Maleficent” is building a new image for one of the most vicious antagonists ever in Disney. The new image will also be quite disturbing for most people. However, still, this is a decent flick. The performance is doing a great job. Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning as Aurora, they both display their respective expertise.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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