Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maleficent review Part 2: The Spoilers!

You first get the sense that the story is going a different direction by the way maleficent is portrayed as a child. Its clear that the writer wants you to like her, or at least sympathize with her on some level. I was very touched by how emotional her scream was when she was betrayed by Stephan.   She was horrified and heartbroken at the same time. After this you could see bitterness sinking into her when she realized that love wasn't real at all. She lost her innocence along with her wings.

But the real twist was to see her transform into a good character again. You could see this start to happen when she fed Aurora as an infant.  What she first took to be just pity for the child turned into love. I think it captured her before she was aware it was happening. near the end you could see her regret especially when she ambiguously tells Aurora that she can't protect her from "the evil in the world"

I just kept thinking: how can you not like this character? All good stories have a hero or heroine with hamartia ( a tragic flaw) which leads to their downfall and this tale was no different. At first I thought it was the makings of a Taylor Swift song when I realized that her downfall was caused by a man who broke her heart, but then I remembered that my lowest low came after a tragic heartbreak as well.

Stephan was arguably the REAL bad guy of the story, but unlike  maleficent he was quite static and superficial. We never know how he goes from being in love with her to becoming obsessed with money and power.  Whats worse is he shows no sign of guilt or regret. This makes him easier to hate I suppose but it also makes him a rather bland and uninteresting character that I couldn't really buy into.

There was one plot hole that really bothered me. If Maleficent could rebond with her wings, why didn't she ask for them back when she had Stephan on his knees begging for mercy? This couldn't just be an oversight.  I'm betting there was scenes that were cut out that explained this.

Finally I'd like to say that I liked the ending a lot (even though I saw it coming)
I loved that they reminded the audience that the prince had only met her once and thus couldn't be her true love. Its great to see a story revolving about a mother daughter relationship (which is basically Maleficent is to Aurora).  I couldn't help but see a resemblance to the ending of "Frozen". The idea for the ending may very well have been stolen from Frozen".  So while I was a bit bummed by the lack of originality of the ending, i found it satisfying and entertaining nonetheless.

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