I had high hopes for Maleficent. The back story of the evil Disney villain was finally going to be told. And for the first twenty minutes I was tracking, thoroughly engaged. However, I was quickly annoyed at how much narration was needed, the ominous voice telling you the story, kept interrupting the flow… usually you only see that for the first few scenes. (The original animated movie did this, but kept it to the intro of the movie) But the voice kept coming back, making me wonder when the story was actually going to slow down and let the story unravel instead of just giving me alluring scenes and then pausing to tell me what they meant.
I was willing to accept this new style of movie narration up until one flaw that I just couldn’t get over. The King, Maleficent’s friend who has betrayed her, is made out to be someone who hates the fairies and the entire magical realm that they are from. All the humans do actually. He even wants to refuse the three good fairies who come to bless his newborn baby. And his wife has to convince him it’s okay. (which again, why is she okay with this? Her father HATED the magical creatures) But then, suddenly, after Maleficent shows up and curses his baby… the King thinks his baby’s best option is to go live with the three good fairies? Really? This kid means so much to him that he, a king, begs Maleficent on his knees to not hurt her. But then he’s cool with just giving her up for sixteen years to go live with strangers?
And then the three fairies are made out to be completely incompetent in raising her. Which again, why did the dad decide this was the best choice? I get that they wanted to stick with the original Disney cartoon, but in the cartoon the King liked the fairies. And Maleficent was not once raised by these same fairies that now are somehow siding with the king over her? Wha-at? I don’t even know why the fairies went to the event. Did they not know how the king has been attacking their magical realm and that he was the reason Maleficent turned bad?
So the whole relationship between the king and three fairies made no sense. I get that another reason the director wanted to have the fairies raise Aurora was because he needed her to be around Maleficent so they could bond. But, to me, this could have been accomplished by just having Aurora run off occasionally from the castle and go into the woods, where Maleficent is. Boom, done, easy, and no confusing alliance with the fairies. I mean, there were plenty of problems at home that would have made Aurora want to run away once in a while to escape the madness.
If the plot had changed up this problem, I might have been able to hang in there for the whole story and maybe even enjoyed it. But then it just got predictable. “Frozen” already showed us that True Love’s kiss doesn’t have to be a boy-girl in love thing. So it was highly predictable when it was Maleficent’s motherly love kiss that awakens Aurora. The death of the king, by “accident” was also highly predictable. How many times must I watch the hero refuse to kill the bad guy, and then the bad guy attacks and falls to his death as our hero tries to save them? Give me a different ending please.
Now after all that, I’m not saying the movie is bad. Visually it is stunning. And from what I understand the director’s background is in visual effects, so it makes sense that the movie shined in this aspect. I loved the personality the raven was given. And I thoroughly enjoyed the acting and appearance of Angelina Jolie. So if you want to see some amazing special effects and costumes, go see Maleficent. However, if you are a fan of “Sleeping Beauty” and want to see another side of the classic… I’d skip the movie. Really, if you want a movie with plot… Maleficent is not for you. I seriously spent the last hour of the movie annoyed at the stupid narration, that yes, continued, and the unexplained relationship with the fairies and king. If the movie had been longer than 90minutes… I would have gotten up and left.