Jun 032014


Angelina Jolie made her triumphant return to the big screen in Disney’s Maleficent.  Similar to what Wicked did for the Wicked Witch and Wizard of Oz, this movie tells the story of the evil villain Maleficent from the classic Sleeping Beauty.  Why was she so evil?  Was she always evil?  Let’s hear things from her side of the story.

No, she was not always evil.  Otherwise there would be no compelling story would there be?  No, the real “bad guy” in this film isn’t Maleficent, but rather Aurora’s own dad the King.  Born a commoner, he will do whatever it takes to move on up in the world.  And when given the opportunity to become the king of the realm, well, how higher up can you go?  Of course you seize it, no matter who you hurt in the process.  And of course who he hurts is our titular hero.  And that is why she casts the curse on his daughter, the very own Sleeping Beauty Aurora.  The rest of the movie goes on about what happens after the curse is cast and takes place during the same time period as the Sleeping Beauty movie, only from Maleficent’s side of things.

I’m not sure how I feel about these movies/stories that tell the story from the “bad guy’s” point of view.  I didn’t read Wicked but saw the musical and thought it was entertaining.  And after seeing this movie, I will say that I did find it fun.  Angelina Jolie is excellent as Maleficent.  She makes the movie, as no one really else (outside of maybe her crow) was all that interesting to me in the movie.  But, why do we have to tell these stories?  Wasn’t it so much better when everyone thought Maleficent was the most evil villain in Disney lore?  Now we have to rethink our positions on that?

Do not get me wrong though.  I did like this movie, as I am a sucker for many fairy tale stories.  I often watch the television show Once Upon a Time for that very reason (a show in which Maleficent is evil, by the way).  The special effects of the movie were fun too.  It was cool seeing the dragon on the big screen at the end of the movie.  But, let’s leave our bad guys alone, and leave them as bad guys going forward.  What next?  Are we going to see the story of the Evil Queen from Snow White as just someone who was misunderstood (actually this has already happened quite a bit in Once Upon a Time)?  Ursula from the Little Mermaid was only the way she was because King Triton did something to her when she was younger?  Let’s just tell new stories going forward, create new bad guys in those stories, and not humanize and make us sympathize for classic villains we’ve grown up with.  Based on how much money this film made though, that is not likely to happen.  So, if they do make a movie on the Evil Queen, you heard it here first.  I wouldn’t be surprised either if Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the “evil” one once again.  And despite me complaining so much above, I’d probably still watch that too.

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