MOVIE REVIEW: MALEFICENT

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According to the re-telling of this story, Maleficent’s world is just perfect. She doesn’t seem to have man worries and spends her days flying and playing around with the creatures that live alongside her in the middle of nature. All is well until she falls for a boy called Stefan, who lands up in the forest where she lives and wins her heart. But he vanishes and comes back much later for the worse, to cut her wings. Stefan does this cruel act to appease the King and prove his worth. Maleficent is left totally shattered after loosing her wings and having been betrayed by her love and in seeking revenge, places the king’s newborn daughter, Princess Aurora, under a powerful curse, one that no one can reverse.

You have to acknowledge that Angelina Jolie is an excellent choice to play Maleficent. In Robert Stromberg’s part prequel, part revision, she gets a chance to expand the dynamic range of this haunting villain. She does with sheer ease, as she doesn’t just cackle, stare and snarl, but she also cries, gets hurt, and has a change of heart.

The film is also a visual treat. The beautiful landscape, green forest, and animated creatures make it a perfect fantasy film. All those who imagined this and brought it on to the big screen deserve a pat on their back. Debuting director Robert Stromberg is a five-time Emmy-winning visual effects artist (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Boardwalk Empire) and a two-time Oscar-winning production designer (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland), so it’s a given that Maleficent looks outstanding.

For this viewer, the big surprise about this film is the target audience. Though dark and scary, the movie is definitely something children will enjoy; there are snapping wolves and terrible dragons and scenes of violence, but if your child is old enough to sit through the murder of Mufasa in Lion King or the terrible deaths of the villains in Tarzan and The Little Mermaid, he or she will be just fine at Maleficent. With visuals both powerful and downright lovely, imagination to spare and a splendid performance by Jolie, “Maleficent” reworks the story of Sleeping Beauty with grace and humor and something for all.

My Rating: 7/10

By: Murteza Haider Aftab
Director – Cinematographer – Writer
CEO – Tez Aftab Productions

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