– Posted by Alyssa
Director: Robert Stromberg
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
Once upon a dream has taken a villainous twist in that Maleficent isn’t quite the evil villainess that Disney made her out to be in the 1959 animated rendition of Sleeping Beauty. This time around the horned beauty is a sympathetic character who was wronged by a lover and seeking badass revenge.
Living in the moors with an array of woodland creatures, Maleficent (Jolie) unexpectedly falls in love with a young thief. Even though she is a fairy, and he is a human, their love for one another grows. However, as the loving duo gets older, and the humans become greedy to infiltrate the moors, they find themselves divided by war. One day Maleficent’s childhood lover shows his true nature by coming to the moors in the guise of love and using iron (a fairy’s weakness) to burn off her powerful wings. This pain and betrayal makes the once sweet Maleficent turn into the evil tyrant we’ve come to know. She holds that grudge, and when her old lover becomes king and has a baby princess, she comes to the castle and puts a curse on baby Aurora. Aurora will be pricked by a spindle the day of her 16th birthday and fall in a deathlike sleep that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. But, rightfully so, Maleficent is a cynic of “true love” and finds she’ll have nothing to worry about. But her plans are altered when she finds herself becoming attached to the bubbly and beautiful Aurora (Fanning).
The movie is beautiful and keeps to a very simple and endearing storyline that isn’t too weighed down by war or special effects. When it comes to updated takes on fairy tales (think Mirror, Mirror, Snow White & the Huntsman, or Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) this one is by far the best. It becomes the true definition of a “fairy tale” in that we are actually following the storyline of a fairy and not the princess. Jolie seems to be having a great time, and the movie is an entertaining summer blockbuster worth checking out.