Angelina Jolie stars as the titular Maleficent in an updated live-action take on the classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ tale. Maleficent review right here.
As always, there are two sides of every tale and Disney brings us the old Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of evil godmother – Maleficent. Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent, a fairy who is in charge of defending the magical moors from mankind. After failing to destroy the moor’s inhabitants, the king offers his kingdom to any man who slays the fairy.
Stefan (Sharlto Copley), a man from Maleficent’s past, betrays his former friend by cutting off her wings as she sleeps. He then presents them to his king and states that he has done the deed. Sticking by his word, the king makes Stefan his heir before he dies. Stefan then marries and his queen gives birth to a daughter. In order to exact revenge, Maleficent places a curse on the baby – she will fall into a deathlike sleep on her 16th birthday and can only be woken by true love’s kiss.
Whilst you may think you know the story of sleeping beauty, Disney does a great job of putting a spin on things and the film keeps you guessing in how it plays out.
Jolie is on fine form as the revengeful and misunderstood Maleficent, whilst Copley (who stole the show in The A-Team and Elysium) does great as King Stefan. They do make an odd decision in regards to accents though. Jolie uses a very convincing upper-class English accent, whilst Copley goes for a Scottish one. Maleficent’s right-hand man Diaval has an Irish voice; quite strange, but not too distracting.
As with most films with a sizable budget these days, Maleficent is full of fantastic special effects and some of the creatures in the moors resemble brilliant puppets from family films in the 1980’s – think Labyrinth.
Overall, Maleficent is a film that will be beloved by children and makes for a great family day out at the cinema.