Modern fairy tales have woven so much unattainable romance and promise into their fabric that these sparkly garments haven’t worn well with age.
In an effort to shatter predictability and bring gravitas back to storytelling comes Disney’s “Maleficent,” an emotionally complex reimagining of Sleeping Beauty’s familiar tale. Maleficent, played by the regal and astonishing Angelina Jolie, is the ultimate anti-hero — a character with hidden depths and concealed motivations.
The backstory tells of a budding love between the fairy Maleficent of the moors and Stefan of the nearby kingdom.
The moors is a preternaturally exquisite fairy land imagined by Robert Stromberg, the visual effects artist responsible for the compelling scenery found in “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Avatar.”
The moors could very well be a sister kingdom, but “divide and conquer” is the human way.
Stefan turns against Maleficent, ripping the very wings from her body in an effort to become king.
His betrayal works, and he is crowned while Maleficent is left to suffer. In a deliciously bitter fury, she visits King Stefan on the celebration day of his daughter Aurora’s birth and places a curse upon her.
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PG 1:38 3 stars
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley. (Sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images)