By Candace Salima, Senior Contributor at US Daily Review
Director: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
Rating/Runtime: PG / 97 Minutes
So many people of my acquaintance made it in clear in no uncertain terms that they intensely disliked Maleficent. So much so, I hesitated to waste money on it, but that was before I had a conversation with New York Times bestselling author, Tracy Hickman. Tracy said that many of his acquaintances had gone expecting a strong feminist slant in the movie and were disappointed that it was a feminine slant instead. With that in mind, I decided to go see the movie after all and I’m glad I did.
Maleficent is the backstory of one of Disney’s greatest villains, Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty. This villain is brilliantly played by Angelina Jolie, and it begins when she was a young fairy charged with keeping the moors, and homeland of the magical, protected and safe. As a child she crosses paths with the mortal King Stephan, when he was but a child, and they become dear friends, even falling in love. But he betrays her so deeply and bitterly her open, trusting heart is completely broken, and she turns from the light completely. He was rewarded with a kingship, and Maleficent was rewarded with a heart of stone.
The story then follows the path we’re used to. Aurora is born and everything unfolds as we are familiar with in the fairy tale. But the curse that Maleficent levies against the child is a powerful, unbreakable one, which later comes back to haunt her.
The movie shares a previously untold story as Maleficent interacts with Aurora throughout her young life, and her heart eventually is softened. But her curse was powerful and she desperately tries to find a way to break what she made eternal.
The story takes us along the path of a mother’s heart softening and unfolding, learning to trust another, even as treachery rears its ugly head again. Indeed, this is a story of a mother’s love for a child and you will be surprised to see how it all turns out in the end. “True love’s kiss” is far more complicated in this story than it was in Sleeping Beauty.
Maleficent is worth seeing, without question, and I intend to purchase it and place it in my home library. Brilliantly written, directed and acted, it is a movie that should garner awards when that season rolls around. I give Maleficent a solid 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
Candace E. Salima is an author, columnist, public speaker and political activist. A frequent radio guest on shows around the nation, she is valued for her viewpoint on a variety of subjects, particularly politics. Follow Candace on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Learn more about her at www.candacesalima.com.