Film: “Maleficent”; Cast: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Brenton Thwaites, Isobelle Molloy, Michael Higgins, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt and Eleanor Worthington-Cox; Director: Robert Stromberg; Rating: **1/2
God save the classic fairytales and their antagonist! “Maleficent”, Disney’s rehash of “Sleeping Beauty” is a case in point.
At the very onset, the unseen narrator voiced by Janet McTeer, advises the viewers, “that the story we think we know, isn’t the truth”. It is an intriguing way to upend expectations and give the filmmakers a blank slate. But it’s soon obvious that there’s not a lot of narrative ingenuity here.
Torn between good and bad; right and wrong; greed and true love; “Maleficent” is the story of a wicked fairy with horns and wings, who casts a spell – the one about pricking her finger on a spinning wheel – on the princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty”.
The plot line marks the transition of Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) from a sweet caring young fairy who falls for an equally caring human orphan, Stefan (Sharlto Copley) to the wicked character that she is made out to be.
As the protagonist in the film, director Robert Stromberg humanizes Maleficent and converts her simple, “wicked” character trait from the original to a complex and convoluted one. In fact, the film gives a chance for the villain to tell her side of the story and deconstruct an image that is well imprinted in the viewer’s minds.