*-This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie.
Maleficent is magnificent.
The 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty movie, the source material from which the screen play is taken from is twisted in a delightful and intricate manner.
Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a fairy, who develops a friendship and then a teenage romance with a human called Stefan (Sharlto Copley). But Stefan is ambitious. The dying king announces that the man who kills Maleficent will crowned king upon his death. Using their relationship to his advantage, Stefan cuts off Maleficent’s wings to gain the throne.
Years later, Stefan is now king and parent to a brand new baby girl. At her christening, she is being blessed by the three fairies Flittle (Lesley Manvile), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton) and Thistlewit (Juno Temple). Seeking revenge, Maleficent curses the new princess. After the curse, the princess (played as a teenager by Elle Fanning) is taken away from the castle, Maleficent watches over the child with a strange maternal instinct with the help of her servant Diaval (Sam Riley).
I loved this movie. While I find the Disney princess movies from that era of Sleeping Beauty to be one note, black and white and not how I want to spend my movie watching time, this movie takes these characters from one dimension to three dimensions. Maleficent is not just a villain just to be a villain, she is hurting from Stefan’s betrayal and uses that hurt to justify her actions. I’m not normally a fan of Angelina Jolie, but she is magnificent and perfectly cast in this role. The special effects were just enough to enhance the story, not used to cover up a hole in the screenplay.
I highly recommend this movie.