I don’t care what you’ve read or heard: Maleficent is an excellent film. It spins the Sleeping Beauty story, telling it sympathetically from the point of view of ‘the evil witch’ (Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie), in an Angela Carter sort of way. What we get, then, is a feminist piece that resists the King’s patriarchal narrative and ambition. The King is not the main character, is clearly the selfish wrong-doer and does not get an ounce of sympathy from us. Some reviewers have complained this makes him a poorly-drawn character – but those reviewers have completely missed the point. Okay, there are some feminist criticisms of the film too (like the fact Maleficent ends up a surrogate ‘mother’ to Aurora, and the fact the Queen is all but non-existent as a character), but it’s a valiant effort otherwise. Jolie puts in a very credible performance, the special FX are spell-binding and the ‘crow’ character provides great light relief. I recommend this movie and score it 8 out of 10.
Maleficent – a much misunderstood movie