Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maleficent Review - 3 Stars

Angelina Jolie channels her very best wicked witch as “Maleficent”–the enchantress who casts a spell over the king’s daughter.  This reworking of “Sleeping Beauty” reveals the reason for Maleficent’s spell.  A young boy entered her kingdom and won her heart, but then to curry favor with his king, cut off Maleficent’s wings and presented them to the dying King.  As reward, the boy becomes king, marries and has a child.  Maleficent attends the baby’s celebration and gives the child a curse:  on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger and fall into a deep death like sleep.  Only true love’s kiss can awaken her.  Disney’s production looks dark and Jolie clearly loves playing the villain.  She has some wonderful scenes, early on flying and enjoying her wings, then screaming in anguish over their removal, and then dripping with sarcasm as she visits the king and curses his child.  Elle Fanning telegraphs pure innocence and beauty as the child.  Gradually the angry enchantress comes to know and love the innocent daughter giving the story a touch of the plot twists that made “Wicked” work so well on Broadway.  I would be careful with your youngest kiddies.  This fairy tale’s grim — dark and scary.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Dark fairy tale with some frightening moments and a great performance by Angelina Jolie.  Is it entertaining?  Grand and operatic but a little scary for small ones.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Nice twist and mix of fairy tale and horror story.