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Explore the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain in this wickedly fun twist on the classic SLEEPING BEAUTY. In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king's newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is "visually arresting, brilliantly designed" (Andrew Barker, Variety).
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When one of my co-workers told me that his family had watched this on cable, I asked which version, when I told him what version I purchased from Amazon, he couldn't believe it, and agreed with me that this version is mainly for the TV and not what you would see at the theaters.
I'm not only disappointed in Amazon but also in Disney, to think that they could pass this off as the original movie version. Shame.
What made the film hollow and spooky for me is two-fold. First, only Maleficent herself is allowed any humanity at all (and she's an imaginary being). Stay with me on this.. and the only pure evil is "greed" and the only people who are greedy are men... white men. Even at the level of fantasy, this is bothersome to me, mostly because of the subliminal nature of the message being sent to young males and, most particularly, to young females. Nobody changes with time, nobody repents, nobody finds grace but the fairy who ventured across the (racial) barrier between the fairies and the humans (and the near-racial divide between males and females).
Second, like her name, Maleficent (malevolent + benevolent), this character is not evil, she is confused and irresolute. She has been wronged and, in response, she goes "off the reservation" for a time. She's good, then she's bad, then she's misunderstood, then she's good again, redeemed by the only real form of true love a sixteen-year-old can know, the unconditional love of another woman. This is a superficial and morally muddled tale that leads nowhere good.
My only question is, "How conscious is Hollywood of the values and messages it packs into what it feeds us?" Is this an intentional plot to confuse children and youth (already well down that path), or is it Hollywood simply being the unwitting mirror (and agent) of our society's already slow-motion, system-wide collapse? I honestly can't tell. Perhaps its both. What it is not is innocent.
Why does the king have to send his daughter off to live with the fairies for 16 years and one day? Huh? Someone answer that for me.
Maleficent curses the child so that she will prick her hand on her 16th birthday and fall into a deep sleep. Let me repeat that… on her 16th birthday. Not before that. Not on her 1st birthday. Not on her 5th birthday. Not on her 12th birthday. Not even on her 15th birthday. No… only on her 16th birthday.
So why does he have to send her away for 16 years? She is perfectly safe for 15 years and 364 days, correct? Why not just keep her at the castle and then lock her up on her 16th birthday? Wouldn’t that be a better idea? Does this make any sense at all?
Well… and then there is the matter of the king sending the child off with the three fairies to care for her. Uhhhh… wasn’t it a fairy that cursed the child? Uhhh…. So if a fairy cursed the child why are you sending your daughter off with three other fairies? Huh? Does this make any sense? And what are these fairies doing most of the time anyway? Apparently not watching the child because she wanders off all the time. No one seems to care or to notice
Finally, anyone else notice the recent Disney twist that damsels in distress don’t need a man? In Maleficent, the young prince tries to wake the girl with a kiss, but it doesn’t work. In Frozen, Anna’s prince is a fake and it is her own act of love that saves both her and her sister. In neither case does “True Loves Kiss” from a man save the day. What the heck? I know from personal experience that my kiss has saved many women. They had no idea what to do with themselves until I landed my hot lips on them. Then it was like fireworks going off and they realized what they had been missing their entire lives. Many have called my kiss magic… and I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment.