Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

Angelina Jolie has a fitting antagonist in Michelle Pfeiffer in the second instalment of the widely successful Maleficent.

They have retained the cast from the first film, creating a complication with a valid back story for this movie. As the story plays out, we get to know about the background of Maleficent herself.

The climax is violent but in keeping with the spirit of the film and makes you wonder if they will be able to pull off a third part.

3/5

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Kung fu Panda 3 (2016)

The first feeling while you are watching the film and the last thought as it completes, is how rich it is. Abundant in animation, characterisation, message and values, it is engaging at every level.

Directors Nelson and Carloni bring an appropriate part 3 to the audience, tying in pandas to the story and explaining why Po was chosen to be dragon warrior. We see some leaps for the characters, but as always there is a short yet mystical explanation for it. They managed to create a state of wonderment and awe throughout which in itself is worthy of applause.

The all star cast who lend their voices to these lovable characters do a flawless job, with lots more who join the Panda party.

In a world where we should strive to be original individuals, this film sends a simple yet deep message home.

3.5/5

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