August 6th 2014 01:19
A retelling of the classic Disney story Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent stars Angelina Jolie as the title character - a powerful faery who acts as the protector of a magical land called the Moors.
Against all odds, Maleficent falls in love with a human named Stefan (Sharlto Copley), but the relationship turns sour when Stefan's ambition to become king turns him into a ruthless bastard who will stop at (almost) nothing to get what he wants. The pair become arch enemies and when Stefan fathers a daughter named Aurora, Maleficent, now bitter and twisted, puts a curse on the child that states she will die on her 16th birthday. However, as Aurora grows up, Maleficent's heart softens and she begins to regret cursing her.
Jolie is absolutely fantastic. She infuses Maleficent with real pathos and her performance is consistent and nuanced. Newcomer Elle Fanning does a good job as Aurora and Copley is a convincing madman. Aesthetically, the film is beautiful. The Moors is full of cool creatures and the special effects are slick.
All in all, Maleficent is a worthy successor to Sleeping Beauty. Walt would be proud.