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  • 2014
  • PG
  • 97min
  • 54%
  • 7 / 10

Maleficent follows the story of a dark fallen fairy from the Moors. In her quest to get revenge for the betrayals she encountered in her past, she bestows a fatal curse upon the princess, Aurora. Little did she know that the princess may be the only key to save her beloved land.

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movie facts

Angelina Jolie's attachment to the film's production dates back four years before its official release date. She worked closely with the film's production team, even picking out Lana Del Ray's 'Once Upon a Dream' as a song included in the end credits. She also did her stunts for her flight and battle scenes.

Tim Burton was eyed as the film's director. However, he turned down the offer in 2010. Despite this, Jolie pursued on producing the film due to her love for the Disney character she portrayed. Eventually, Stormberg stepped in as director and decided to use a mix of practical and computer-generated effects. While Jolie's Maleficent horn and makeup were products of SFX makeup, other cast members like Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple had their faces captured digitally for a more authentic look.

Maleficent movie review

While most of the Disney live-action remakes try their best to stay true to their original storylines, Maleficent offers a fresh look on the classic Sleeping Beauty. Instead of focusing the story at the original protagonist, Aurora, the film sheds light on the life and struggles of self-proclaimed Mistress of All Evil, Maleficent.

Since its release, the film received mixed reviews from other critics who dubbed it as overproduced and part of the post-'Wicked' genre. Much like the novel mentioned, the two stories give an in-depth background story to infamous evil villains somewhat justifying their acts and giving more meaning behind their cruel intentions. Although Maleficent tried to do just that, some viewers still found her story lacking. For instance, Maleficent's connection to King Stefan wasn't established well enough that audiences were a bit confused about the true nature of their relationship and the reason behind Stefan's betrayal of her.

With its dark and intricate setting, it's a bit of a surprise that Maleficent was not part of Tim Burton's repertoire. However, it comes to no surprise that Robert Stromberg went on to direct the film. This is because Stormberg was actually responsible for the special effects and production design of other dark, whimsical films such as Alice In Wonderland, Avatar, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Indeed, Stormberg made sure that his directorial debut film's production design is nothing short of extraordinary. From Maleficent's beguiling protruding cheekbones, down to the very last details of the set, it's obvious that the movie's production design was given much thought.

Overall, Maleficent is still an excellent feast for the eyes and a refreshing representation of a classic tale. It breaks predictability brought by the knowledge of the animated film. Angelina Jolie's interpretation of Maleficent adds to the many reasons why she is being lauded as one of Hollywood's greatest actresses.


about the movie

Maleficent is a dark fantasy film based loosely on both the 1959 Disney animated film, Sleeping Beauty, and the original fairy tale written by Charles Perrault. It stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Elle Fanning as Aurora, and Sharlto Copley King as Stefan. Released in 2014, the movie was directed by Robert Stromberg and produced by Jolie, Joe Roth, Don Hahn, and Michael Vieira.

Maleficent narrates the struggles and pains that the infamous Disney villain went through which forced her to turn to the dark side. It was the fourth highest grossing film in 2014 earning over $758 million worldwide. This dark Disney film was also Angelina Jolie's highest-grossing film so far. It was nominated for Best Costume Design in the 87th Academy Awards.