Sigh. I had such high hopes for this movie, Fangirls, and I really should have known better. When I go into movies that are remakes or sequels, I always try to tell myself that this isn’t that movie. I told myself that Maleficent was not going to be Sleeping Beauty. But, I wasn’t expecting that they would change around the entire story as we know it. When it comes to a story I really love, I have no option but to be critical. Frankly, this movie was a huge disappointment.
Major spoilers ahead!
It makes me sad to say it, honestly. I was expecting pretty great things from this film. From the trailers, I knew something were going to be different, and I thought I could handle the changes. I was not prepared for what they did to Maleficent and the story of Sleeping Beauty. I was so glad that this movie was going to bring the incredible story of the Sleeping Beauty movie, and of Maleficent to this generation, but now, they’ll have it all twisted. Twisted to something that is no where near as good.
This movie did a very specific something to Maleficent that is all to common and frustrating in movies. They make a movie, perhaps its a remake, or taken from a book, and they take the villain, and they make it so that their actions are understandable & justified. They give them more clear reasons as to why they are evil. In this movie, Maleficent is a nice little fairy girl with giant wings. She meets a human boy, Stephen (yep, King Stephen), and they fall in love. Later, things turn sour with their love because of the tension between her kingdom & his, and he ends up cutting off her wings as a prize for his kingdom. At that point, Maleficent is this scorn lover, a woman hurt and she’s going to mess things up for Stephen out of revenge. No. No. Maleficent is just crazy. Her original character has no rhyme or reason for her actions, she wasn’t invited to a party and was bored, so she decided to curse this child and fuck with an entire kingdom. She didn’t need a reason, she was just insane & powerful.
But my real problems with this movie come with where the story goes. Instead of cursing Aurora, and losing track of her until her 16th birthday, Maleficent comes to know Aurora quite well. She knows exactly where the fairies take her. The fairies, by the way, are not Flora, Fauna, & Merriweather, and in know way are reminiscent of the fairies we know. Maleficent watches Aurora as she grows, and one day, is confronted by her. They end up spending a great deal of time together, and Aurora comes to know Maleficent as her Fairy Godmother. Soon, Aurora grows into a teen, and Maleficent doubts her curse. She tries to reverse it, but can’t. So, once Aurora is back at the castle & fast asleep/dead, Maleficent brings Phillip to her.
There is no Maleficent dragon, there is no grand fight, there is however, a very angry Natalie. That scene is one of my favorite Disney scenes ever, and it has so much behind it. I wasn’t looking for the exact fight to happen, but I couldn’t help but hope for something like it. But no, what was left to happen in this movie was so, so far from what I had expected.
Phillip cannot wake Aurora, he is not her true love. As every one goes to give up hope on Aurora, Maleficent goes to kiss her little “beasty” on the forehead, and tada, she’s awake. Ugh.
I was expecting some changes. A back story for Maleficent that would make her seem a little less crazy. But, they completely changed this classic story. If you were not at all attached to any of these characters or the original story, this movie was actually pretty good. It was beautiful and pretty well done. But they changed a beloved Disney story, and I just can’t get on board. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, but from my own perspective, they really tainted something that didn’t need to be touched.
So I’m just going to keep my evil, twisted, Maleficent and my love struck Aurora close in my heart, and forget about this movie as soon as I can, Fangirls.
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