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Maleficent

I love Disney and I love fairy tales, but I was never really into Sleeping Beauty. That one just seemed dull to me. Beautiful princess baby is born. Evil witch curses her. Baby grows up and commits the random arbitrary act from the curse and falls asleep. Prince kisses princess and she wakes up. That's pretty much it, yeah? Big whoop.

Now if I had grown up with this post-Breaking Bad after Dexter modern obsession with the antihero story, I prolly would have been more into it. As you know, or at least guessed from the title, we're getting the story from the POV of the big bad, Maleficent. As literature is starting to tell us, evil characters weren't always so evil. In this case, Maleficent was once a bouncy happy fairy. And then men happened. They threatened her realm, which made her prone to crankiness. Then the one that she had befriended as a child betrayed her in a pretty horrible way, so it kind of makes sense that she'd want revenge on him. I think you know the basics from there.

I still had issue with some parts of the story. While it was darker (which I very much like), a lot of the themes were still kinda cheesey. The whole "true love doesn't exist" and the idea that she was still just a girl hurt by a boy. Granted, he did do something rather unforgivable, but the updates weren't as progressive with the gender roles as I'd hoped. Well, that part wasn't. There were a few strides against the whole waiting for prince charming thing later. I also didn't like how parts of the story were changed to fit with the antihero thing. I would have found it a lot more interesting if it played out the same way, or at least seemed to, without complete rewrites. I guess I can't really ellaborate without spoilers.

Angelina Jolie commanded the screen. Such grace and beauty, and capable of instilling such terror. I love that they had to cast her daughter as the itty bitty sleeping beauty because no child actor would go near her. She scared them all away. Also, there's no questioning that kid is Brad Pitt's. She's got his eyes and cheeks with Mommy's full lips. Even though her character was kinda flimsy, I loved Elle Fanning as Aurora. She has such an infectious and sweet smile, you really can believe that the entire world would fall in love with her. If only she had less whimsical life ambitions.

Progress is being made in Hollywood for updating old stories with current values. We're not there yet, but these baby steps give me hope.

Maleficent - \m/ \m/ \m/
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