Critics' Corner: Maleficent

When will Hollywood learn that they donâ??t have to finish every single movie with a splatter-board of chaos? A culmination of the movieâ??s events doesnâ??t have to be a battle, rush of plot points or something that Michael Bay has perfected; over-the-topness. Despite that though, â??Maleficentâ?? is, for the most part, a beautifully filmed and portrayed fairy-tale in the tradition of classics like â??Legendâ??, â??Labyrinthâ??, â??Stardustâ?? or the movie that it is based upon, â??Sleeping Beautyâ??. In fact, Angelina Jolieâ??s portrayal of the fairy Maleficent may be the most memorable anti/hero of all-time. It was that good.

The title character â??Maleficentâ?? was made famous in 1959 in the Disney animated feature â??Sleeping Beautyâ??. Previously, she dubbed herself â??the mistress of all evilâ?? and currently things arenâ??t so cut and dry. Jolieâ??s Maleficent is a lot more complex and it made what could have been an ordinary film into something memorable and long lasting.

There are some scenes in â??Maleficentâ?? that are so beautifully done that I was completely lost in imagination. Jolie goes through such subtle and haunting changes throughout the film that you understand why she was and has been such a heralded actress throughout her career. As Elle Fanningâ??s Aurora grows into a teenager, your emotions are rightfully so, pulled from left to right. Aurora is such a genuine, decent and caring soul, yet Maleficent is toying with her and manipulating every facet of her life. It is completely captivating and without any over-the-topness, it is the best part of the film.

In the midst of all the story-telling, much of the vital story elements were given cliffâ??s notes coverage and the importance of those moments were lost. Possibly the creators assumed that the audience had seen 1959â??s â??Sleeping Beautyâ??, but even so, some of the critical plot points deserved more than a cough or quick narration.

The grand finale rushed through plot point after plot point in an effort to be intense and give people their moneyâ??s worth. Little did they know though, it was the small story that had us so captivated. The meticulous craftiness that made the rest of the movie so rich, fell by the wayside with elements that were either coincidental or didnâ??t give you time to care about them. Fortunately, thereâ??s enough good about â??Maleficentâ?? to overlook most or all of those rushed moments.