Maleficent is a re-telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, from the point of view of the evil witch who casts the spell on Beauty. It stars Angelina Jolie as the beautiful and powerful fairy Maleficent who lives in an enchanted forest next to the kingdom where humans live.
She has a beautiful life in the forest with the other magical creatures and wishes no harm to humans or anyone. The humans, however are scared and suspicious of fairy people, and as humans have done throughout history, they react with violence against things they do not understand. This leads to a series of events that leaves Maleficent hating all humans, and especially the human king.
She casts a spell on the king’s only daughter. The spell is that on her 16th birthday the king’s daughter will prick her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep never to awaken. When asked for mercy, Maleficent adds that only the kiss of true love will be able to awaken the girl. Maleficent’s own life has been so tortured that she no longer believes in any kind of love, much less true love.
Beauty is played by Elle Fanning, who herself is only 16. Despite her young age she has appeared in numerous major movies and is one of the most accomplished young actresses working today.
The story of Sleeping Beauty has been told in various forms for over 600 years. However in most versions the evil witch and even Beauty herself are very one dimensional, almost boring stock characters. However this movie treats them as complex multifaceted individuals.
The movie is in 3-d and the special effects are amazing to see. However it is the acting and the characters that make this a beautiful film for adults as well as children. Without giving too much of the story away, we will say that parents will be touched deeply by this film and thatit explores what is really meant by “true love”.
This movie has our highest recommendation.