Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Once Upon A Dream: Movie Review Maleficent

One of my favourite things to do while we're on vacation (or staycation) is to catch an afternoon matinee while the minions are at daycare.  Last week we had a chance to go and see Maleficent with my parents.  We haven't ventured to a theatre with Molly and Jack yet, but were told that this movie might be a little too scary to be their first full screen/surround sound experience.  Below is my review.

Movie Review: Maleficent

Movie review Maleficent

Boy meets Fairy and they form a fast friendship that borders on romance, despite the fact that they come from two completely different worlds.  The boy grows up, becomes obsessed with obtaining the crown and lets his ambition get the better of him.   When he betrays his old friend, she vows revenge.

Best Parts of the Movie
Despite all of the post-feminist critiques I heard (and stopped reading) prior to seeing the film Maleficent aces the Bechdel test exploring a variety of female relationships.  A visually appealing movie where Jolie helps define the role of antihero to the bubble gum pink princess generation of the 2000's.   Lana Del Ray's version of Once Upon a Dream embraces a haunting take on Disney's original theme.

Worst Parts of the Movie
The movie is a modern take on a fairy tale and can be easily compared, with some predictability, to trailblazing reimaginations like Wicked.  Even though Maleficent is derivative of the "other side of the coin" formula for a fairytale including a (SPOILER ALERT Don't read on in this paragraph if you don't want to hear more about what happens in this movie and Frozen) reinvention of True Love's kiss that wreaks of Anna and Elsa.

When would I Let Molly and Jack watch this movie?
The movie itself is a little dark with a sublimely beautiful costume and set design that I wish Tim Burton could have captured for Alice in Wonderland.  I would say that the theme is a little mature, but not scary.  If Sleeping Beauty continues to be one of Molly's favourite movies I would consider letting her watch this at home when she's around six or so - as long as an adult was around to hit pause and offer an explanation when necessary.  As things stand now with Jack and his wild imagination I would hold off on showing him this until he was at least eight.

Overall Rating
I would rate this movie 4/5. It's predictable in content but the charm of Jolie and cast alongside stunning set and costume make up for it.  As an aside: I predict that Maleficent will be one of this year's "IT" Halloween costumes.

To read my review of Bad Neighbours click here
To read my review of Muppets Most Wanted click here

1 comment:

  1. Taking as its visual reference the classic Disney animated film about Sleeping Beauty, it is a much darker tale, and far less interesting, despite an arresting performance by Angelina Jolie.
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