“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” picks up five years after its predecessor. Aurora is grown up and is queen of the Moors; her godmother Maleficent seems to be at peace until Phillip asks for Aurora’s hand in marriage. Why is love so complicated? The film explores the bond between mother and child and a bigger theme of what makes a family.
Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning reprise their roles as Maleficent in Aurora. Their relationship is delightful to watch and the two actresses work well together. Putting aside their differences because they both care deeply for each other, Maleficent and Aurora discover their love is tested when Queen Ingrith steps into the dark picture and stirs the proverbial pot.
Remakes are Disney’s forte these days. What sets “Maleficent” apart from the others is that it strays from the original fairytale. The creative writers are giving audiences a fresh look at a beloved villain with a daring new storyline.
The film has twists and turns and introduces a new villain, Queen Ingrith who has been concocting an evil plan to keep fairies and humans apart. With war imminent, she takes advantage of her son’s upcoming marriage.
Female empowerment is a running theme these days. Aurora, Maleficent and Ingrith are a powerful trio, each with their own paths in this film. Aurora is feminine, brave and loyal. She wants fairies and humans to live in harmony. She loves Philip and isn’t afraid to show her soft side. Queen Ingrith is raging with resentment and wants retribution. She wants to destroy the fairies and wipe them from existence.
Maleficent is taken on a journey of self-discovery. She learns that she’s a Dark Fay. A group of exiled fairies hiding in caves.
Unfortunately Aurora and Maleficent aren’t together in the majority of the film which sometimes feels discombobulated; we are thrown from scene to scene in quick succession. First, we are thrown into war, then genocide and finally overtaken by crazy CGI.
Philip’s character finally shows up and takes a stand. The male characters don’t seem to make much of impact on the film. Maleficent’s raven Diaval keeps her grounded in reality, the king is soft-spoken like his son and does not want war: their laid back personalities makes the women look a bit manic and dramatic.
There’s just a lot going on in this massive film that may be trying to say too much. I would have preferred a simpler story told in a less frenetic pace.
Don’t get me wrong the film is entertaining, the casting is perfect and there are tremendous visuals – but there’s so much to take in. At the end of the day, this is a Disney fairytale that takes bold risks which is refreshing but left me wondering “What just happened?”
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is Rated Pg and is in theaters today.