Director: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley
Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
If anyone is to be cast as the human version of a Disney character, Angelina Jolie’s face and demure certainly fits the criteria. With angular features and an alluring air about her, as the villain Maleficent in this somewhat gothic adaptation of Disney’s 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty, she truly is breath-taking.
Yet Jolie is not the only beauty in Maleficent. Direction and creativity from visual effects extraordinaire Stromberg (Alice In Wonderland) and wicked costumes from Anna Biedrzycka-Sheppard team together with fairy-tale backdrops and settings and a comical, cartoon-like cast, producing a movie that is visually captivating and extraordinarily enchanting all at once.
However, as stunning as this film may be, beauty on the outside is not everything, and whilst the message behind the movie is important, the deliverance of this moral from screen to audience is not done as well as it could be.
In truth, Maleficent is really boring. It looks good, and the characters are played brilliantly, but something is missing and it’s still hard to put a finger on what that thing is. Jolie is true to her title, becoming magnificently powerful as the good fairy-turned-evil-villain, after her hardship drives her to seek revenge. Fanning (Aurora/Sleeping Beauty) is adorable and honest, and the three little fairies summoned to look after her are hilarious and heart-warming, so it is not the acting performances that have let this movie down.
Although Woolverton provides a very believable and typically Disney-esque script to keep this modern adaptation traditional, perhaps it simply is the actual story that is just so dull. Disney have tried to reach out at an older audience, attempting to turn a children’s classic into a darker, more enticing movie - but this doesn’t exactly work.
Sleeping Beauty should - and will - forever remain a story for kids, and truthfully, there really is no doubt that the kids will enjoy this take on the tale. However Maleficent wasn’t made for them. Disney have sadly not accomplished what they sought to achieve, because for anyone over the age of 10, Maleficent is so sleep-inducing, you almost believe it was you that pricked your finger on the spinning wheel and fell into a coma.