Maleficent is the wicked sorceress in Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty. If didn’t make your heart flutter in fear just a bit, then Disney’s latest live action fantasy, Maleficent, set to hit theaters in May this year will have you flying high with heart stopping CGI effects, deceit and its new protagonist played by Angelina Jolie. Like all Disney classics, the damsel in distress is a youthful beauty, usually a princess. This time around, the intriguing beauty is the wretched sorceress herself, whose wings have Hollywood soaring about whether the wicked sorceress is a friend or foe.
The unlucky sorceress is a resentful fairy, at odds with King Stefan’s invading army. The helpless blond damsel, Princess Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, is the unlucky character who’s caught in the middle of the long time feud between King Stefan and the ferocious sorceress herself for being the object of King Stefan’s affection. In the name of revenge, Maleficent casts a menacing spell upon the infant princess Aurora to come to pass her before her 16th birthday. “Before the sun sets on her 16th birthday, she will fall into a sleep like death” utters Maleficent.
Maleficent pure of heart
She is a resentful fairy, but that shouldn’t cost Disney’s Maleficent her wings. Growing up on Disney’s animated film Sleeping Beauty, you naturally route for Princess Aurora, whose whole life lies in the balance from just one prick of a spell-befallen spindle, cast by an envious sorceress. In the new film, Maleficent’s true character isn’t revealed so easily. She initially presents herself as the black magic sorceress you love to hate, but not so fast. During the second half of the film, it’s revealed she too was once pure of heart “There is evil in this world, hatred, and revenge,” but suffered from the cruelest form of deceit in her youth at age 10 that left her grounded. “I had wings once, they were strong, but they were stolen from me.”
She has wings
Maleficent, set to hit theaters on May 30, 2014 of this year tells a tale of a different nature. Angelina Jolie’s attempt at an English accent is a far cry from the incredible performance she delivers as a black-winged fairy. She exudes a flare of delicateness you can relate to on a human level; yet, her commanding black horns, snug black leather corset and flowing ebony gowns command fear and respect convincing you she’s everything like your over bearing mother-in-Law, except she has wings.
Critics in Hollywood are soaring over the genius that screenplay writer Linda Woolverton was able to fancifully interpret from imagination into a script. Woolverton is satisfied with “Maleficent as a strong woman who isn’t perfect”.
Not just for kids
As a child, Maleficent was Jolie’s “favorite [Disney] character”. Who would have known that Disney’s favorite villain has hoards of internet shrines (blogs) dedicated to her? She’s not just for kids anymore. One such fan, Sam Stryker, Notre Dame graduate and contributing editor for BuzzFeed refers to her as a “total boss”.
In Disney’s original fairytale Maleficent is epitome of jealousy and deceit. Who would stop at nothing to prevent Princess Aurora from attaining true love. This time around, she may just have Hollywood soaring in her favor.
Opinion by Sergio Romero