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Angelina Jolie – Maleficent
Elle Fanning – Princess Aurora
Harris Dickinson – Prince Phillip
Michelle Pfeiffer – Queen Ingrith
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Conall
Everything about this movie is very well done – but it’s the effort gone into the actual visual effects that is spectacular. From something as minimal as prosthetics to create those sharp cheekbones, right down to the smallest fairy or strand of grass the screen is bursting with gorgeous colour and clarity. I don’t usually go for Disney films but Maleficent is pure beauty to watch, as well as the titular character’s story opening up new avenues for development.
Almost as though the classic story of Sleeping Beauty has been tampered with, the writers create a story which veers away from what you know and builds on a completely new concept. Sounds strange, but they basically take the fairytale and send it on a new path involving the secondary main character. This refreshing take gives the story a much more dramatic feel, confirmed by Jolie’s brilliant performance as the icy mother figure. You can’t go wrong – any time she is on screen you can guarantee a captivating scene between Maleficent and other characters, especially the dinner at the royal castle. This part of the movie isn’t just taut with an air of tension but includes dazzling sepcial effects. Jolie’s terrifyingly unemotional stare amidst swirling bright green lightning is almost beautiful.
The shit bits? A few of the gooey scenes in this movie (such as Aurora sitting by the river and running through trees, confirming to Prince Phillip that he is the one for her forever, interacting with the fairies, etc.) are tedious. Believe me, if fairy dust and pixies aren’t your thing these girly moments will bore the shit out of you. It’s only once the action shifts to the castle and Maleficent herself causes a stir that things come back down to earth and get serious.
Personally, I found talking trees and Imelda Staunton buzzing around like a wasp to be tiresome. Thank god for Jolie and Pfeiffer.
Definitely one for the kids.