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MALEFICENT, 2014
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  MOVIE POSTERMALEFICENT, 2014
Movie Reviews

Director: Robert Stromberg

Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

The untold story of the villain from "Sleeping Beauty" reveals the events that hardened Maleficent's heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora, only to later realize that the child may hold the key to peace in the land.

REVIEW:

Maleficent is the Disney version of the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon, a film about a hellish crime told from different points of view so at the end you didn't know who was good or evil. Maleficent the character was always the villain in the Sleeping Beauty films, the old lady that you were scared of when you were kids. Now told from this point of view, maybe she isn't so bad after all.

This is the perfect story for today's story climate where the bad guys on TV and film are now the good guys. It's all from which point of view you tell it. As a child, Maleficent comes off as an idealistic soul with special powers willing to do the right thing. But after she is betrayed by her love and future king, she gets bitter and angry and seeks revenge on her betrayer's daughter, which gave us the birth of the Sleeping Beauty named Aurora. Then after observing Aurora as a child for many years Maleficent begins to form a soul and things happen....

The theme of this film is that even bad people can become good again. Or, no one is actually bad, they just have lost their way and need to find it again.

Angelina Jolie is perfectly casted to play the lead role, and she was the first to know it as she pushed for this film for many years which earned her an Executive Producer credit. The rest of the cast and characters are portrayed very true to form from the original story. A brilliant idea for a film and I'm sure we'll be seeing more spins of Disney villain origin stories.

The only issue I have with the film is Maleficent's transformations of character. They seem to all come so quickly and without much conflict or struggle. Just an observation from you and she magically turns into a different person.

But forget what I have to say - people seem to like this film because it's fun and cool to modernize a classic story while also keeping that initial story intact. Hollywood execs can learn a lot from this film.

ACTORRobert Stromberg
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ACTORAngelina Jolie
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ACTORJuno Temple
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ACTORElle Fanning
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ACTORBrenton Thwaites
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ACTORSharlto Copley
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ACTORHannah New
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ACTORElla Purnell
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ACTORImelda Staunton
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