Skip to main content

Maleficent (2014): Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, India Eisley, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Sharlto Copley

To refresh our childhood memories - Maleficent is the evil sorceress in the Disney 1959 classic movie Sleeping Beauty.    According to the Ultimate Disney top 30 Disney Villain's countdown - Maleficent ranks #1.
Sleeping Beauty - Maleficent (1959)


"This story is not quite the one you were told."


Maleficent - The Movie - 2014

Angelina Jolie - Maleficent


The movie opens with a soothing voice-over setting the stage between two very different worlds.   All is seen initially through the eyes of Young Maleficent, India Eisley, as the voice calmly explains the two worlds - the world of man and the world of the forest and fairies.  The world of man is filled with envy, jealousy, hatred, war and the deadly sins that plague humanity creating a hellish environment.  And, the world of the forest and fairies beyond the moors is the opposite with impressionist paintings of land, hope, love and happiness simply put - utopia or heaven like. Young Maleficent, a fairy with wings, is an innocent filled with life, playfulness and happiness surrounded by glorious hues (think Avatar 2009) strange creatures, human trees (Lord of the Rings 2001) and fairies.  The audience learns that this story isn't quite the tale we learned long ago but rather a different and more modern yarn.  A yarn that subtly provokes questions on whether one can be only evil or good or both evil and good combined?  Fairy tales keep evil and good separate but is this truly the case?  Can someone love when the heart is cold? Is every action or word permanent in cement without a shred of possible redemption?  All is nuanced and conveyed through the eyes, actions and emotions of Maleficent.

Maleficent does not completely follow the original Sleeping Beauty (1959) nor is it similar to  The Wizard of Oz (1939) where there is the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good Witch or Shrek (2001) with a happily ever after ending.  Rather Maleficent is a movie that addresses the challenges faced by humanity.  The winds of life move swiftly and decisions are often instant with change ever present.  It is a film that dances around Sleeping Beauty but isn't interested in focusing or embellishing an evil villain versus a vanilla coated "goodie two shoes".  Instead it is a movie about life and the circumstances that can change a persons point of view either for an instance, for a spell or forever.  And, can the choice or decision be revoked?  This is why the movie is crazy good.

The Fairy Tale


 "I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me".  - Maleficent

Once upon a time there was first love.  Young Maleficent is portrayed as a sweet and beautiful child-fairy attracting Stefan from the land of humans.  A friendship blooms and young love ensues only to have Stefan the son of the King disappear and forget Maleficent.  Then one day Stefan, now a young man, visits unexpectedly on a mission that changes the relationship forever. Stefan's goal is to become King and the only way is to kill Maleficent.  Enters Maleficent, Angelina Jolie, who Stefan poisons and steals her wings off her back.   Maleficent, once joyous gives into anger, hate and sorrow all because of a broken heart and the knowledge that a loved one would inflict such a grievous act upon her.  The fairy world changes with Maleficent and becomes dark, bleak with sadness blooming.  The heart of love is now a heart of stone.   Maleficent learns of the new King Stefan's marriage and the birth of a baby, Aurora, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.  She takes revenge and curses baby Aurora.


"Before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will fall into a sleep like death!" - Maleficent


After the curse, the story marches forth with Maleficent having the choice to choose next steps.  Upon meeting Aurora, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, opens her heart a little to  love.  As a baby, Maleficent emotes, "Ugly little Beastie".  A strong connection between Maleficent and Beastie occurs when meeting over and over again.  Baby-child Aurora, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, is the spitting image of Jolie and delightful. Jolie-Pitt touches Maleficent horns with interest and no fear.  After all, it is her own mother in real life. Touching.  It is the bond between Maleficent and Aurora that seals the fates.   Maleficent realizes Aurora, Elle Fanning, maybe the key to peace between the two lands and more importantly provide the unconditional love needed to fill her own frozen and bitter heart.



"After all, there is evil in this world, hatred & revenge" - Maleficent

Maleficent is spellbindingly fantastic from start to finish because of one actress - Angelina Jolie.  Jolie is magnetic on screen with the haute couture costumes, facial expressions and overall performance.  The red lips, acting chops, British accent and script captivate the audience like a puppet being pulled on strings of emotion. Jolie is not a shrinking violet in the film, nor a belligerent bully with a "hear me roar" mantra but instead depicts a strong, fiercely independent woman-fairy fighting for what is right in both worlds even after making a few misguided mistakes.  When Jolie breaks the stones with fairy dust, snaps fingers to transform her sidekick crow, Diaval, Sam Riley, into a human or glances sideways at the camera with looks that kill, the audience believes every movement, thought and action. It is the piercing eyes that launch a thousand thoughts and the razor sharp cheeks along with searing emotion that creates an illusion of powerful strength.   Fanning fades in Jolie's presence.   Stefan, Sharlto Copley, miscast, is a side note.  Whereas, the three tiny fairies are hilarious: Knotgrass, Imelda Staunton, Flittle, Lesley Manville and Thistlewit, Juno Temple in a Three Stooges sort of way. 

Maleficent is a memorable flick that can be seen many times over by teenagers and adults.  It is unusual for a summer movie to evoke so much attention and will obviously win awards for costume design, set design and possibly more.  Jolie has done it again!  Maleficent is as was expected - brilliantly enchanting and entertaining with meaning and not just another sugar coated Disney story meant to entertain small tots.   After all, with the charismatic Jolie at the helm why would the outcome be any thing different? Just try to look away from the screen?  Impossible.  Maleficent reminds us that humankind can make mistakes, can dance with the devil and through the power of choice make a difference or chose not too.  Lastly, beauty, brains and strong convictions can create a powerful woman or in this story - Maleficent.


"Well, Well" - Maleficent

Note:  The other star of the film may be the elaborate visual production, the creation of first-time director Robert Stromberg who won two Academy Awards as production designer on "Avatar 2001" and "Alice in Wonderland 2010."

 Maleficent  - Official Trailer









Popular Posts - Last 30 Days

7 Ways to Become a Butterfly

Don't Crush the Butterfly! "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." - Prince Butterfly's come in all shapes and sizes painted in dazzling and colorful hues.  The beauty and varied differences of the butterfly are astounding and beloved by the beholder.  There are approximately 20,000 species throughout the world dancing in the sun and air.   Yet, what does a butterfly mean to fashionistas? Well, for one all the people of the land can evolve into creative and wondrous butterflies.   It is through the journey of life that sometimes the environment, family, friends and peers willingly crush the beauty and charming essence of you  - the exotic butterfly. Don't Destroy the Wings of Flight There will always be the vengeful, the user, the hateful or a person filled with jealousy and envy that clips the wings of the butterfly.  Their insecurities reign supreme and a beautiful butterfly ready to spread it

Inspiration - A Weekly Lift

  Lakes of Beauty Build an Oasis of Love Many are sighing with relief.  Now is the time to unite and heal the country.  Be open, be present and accept what comes. Would it not be wonderful to unite a fractured society where hate and anger were and still are at an all-time high.  Is it not time to start accepting one another, to listen to one another, and to support one another? Rather than throw stones at those with opposite thoughts or opinions.  It has been interesting and sad to witness such vitriol, destruction, and chaos this past year and hence.  Perchance rhetoric going forward will be filled with kindness for their fellow man.  One can only pray for sunshine to fill souls.  Thus, we begin again.  For now, notice the beauty around us.   The fall and winter to come are filled with peaceful moments when walking on your favorite trail.  Beauty surrounds us if we look.  The leaves, the wildlife, the rain, the lakes, the peace the small moments. Or maybe in your daily activities, you

Midweek Favorite Things - Pom Pom Hats

Baby It's Cold Outside "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson The damp, dreary, wet and snow filled days are upon us for the upcoming months.   The change in the air is palpable along with early darkness falling across the land.   2020 has indeed been the craziest year for everyone with the horror of Covid, lockdowns and a roller coaster election.   After a nail-biting, hair-pulling, stress filled election this week with no clear resolution, it is best to remain steady and calm.   Life is indeed a wild ride with ups and downs, twists and turns.  You would not want your life to be dull, would you?  This year, more than any other year, in my lifetime, 2020 is one of complete societal pandemonium.  If someone had told me on New Year's Eve, that everyone's life in 2020 would be completely turned upside down, we would have looked at them and thought they were off their rocker.  Or maybe had imbibed a little too much.  Of course, it was

Inspiration - A Weekly Lift

  The Bridge Thanksgiving is this week.  Celebrations might be different this year with a smaller group, yet spreading goodwill remains constant.   Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie and all the fixings will be set out on the table with a simple reminder.  We are thankful to live in this country.  We are thankful for our family and friends.  We are thankful for our existence.  We are thankful for our homes.   There is so much to be thankful in 2020.  Yes, there is.  Is it a tumultuous year?  Yes, absolutely one of extreme lifestyle change, tragedy for many and a shift for all to think about what is important in your own life.   What is important to you?  Is it being connected? Is it nature? Is it helping others or sharing yourself when needed?   I think this year is one of growth, challenge, perseverance, acceptance, and change.  We are crossing a bridge this season.  A bridge of hope.  A bridge of renewal.  How can we prepare to embrace this new bridge of hope?  The First Step - C