Maleficent (2014)

Debut director Robert Stromberg presents us with the back story of the antagonist in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, portrayed by the multi-faceted Angelina Jolie.

It was a tricky role, she could have easily gone over the top or fallen flat. Angelina constantly walks the tight rope in this regard, slowly showing her journey from a loving trusting fairy to a heart broken, angry victim. Her vindictive actions are not evil for the sake of being evil, but clearly a result of hurt and pain. To achieve that balance was perhaps even more difficult than the brilliant special effects. Her minimal expressions and steely presence communicate volumes, her slight intonation of voice giving it the ‘fairy tale’ feel.

The story presents us with natural human emotions and the learning: ‘never say never’. True love, parenting, pursuit of power, being a guardian are all shown in a fresh, humane light.

Watch to see a new hero and a new villain in an old enchanting tale.

3/5

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