Well, Disney’s done it again! They’ve released the second installment to one of the greatest female villains of all time except this time Maleficent was bigger, better, and packed quite a powerful punch!
Both silver queens Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer commanded the screen with the Elle Fanning truly bringing the beautiful Aurora to light. While the movie is stunningly gorgeous, with lore, mystery, and magic all packed into one, it didn’t deliver on evil the way one would think!
In few words, Maleficent is a Disneyfied version of Game of Thrones, and immediately I was like sign me up! That doesn’t mean that they stole GOT’s plot lines, Aurora doesn’t ride a dragon, and there’s certainly no King in the North. However, the film does begin with a wedding, or an interesting proposal I would say. After Diaval (hesitantly) lets Maleficent know about the proposal Maleficent flies off in an epic fashion, and races to confront Aurora.
After many tries Aurora and Diaval are able to convince Maleficent to attend a royal dinner, and as expected, it didn’t end well. It was refreshing and frankly awe inspiring to see the high level of locations, costuming, and writing in this film. Within the first moments the audience is presented with a unique problem, and further more, its hard to pin down both women’s aim. But, one thing was made clear, Queen Ingrith was up to something wicked, and during that dinner scene she came for the jugular.
Maleficent unleashed her powers and wings to flee the grand castle but she is shot down with an iron bolt. As our antagonist plummets to to her death another dark fae Connal (Chiwetel Ejiofor) saves her from the watery depths below. When Maleficent wakes in an fascinating tunnel that is the very essence of magic, and meet her kin in the midst of a striking rally, it is here the true crux of the film relies. As Connal shows Maleficent the squalor living conditions of the fae he agrees they’ve been reduced to live beneath their means but he doesn’t agree with Borra’s, a fae warrior, decision they should go to war with the humans.
Meanwhile, Queen Ingrith is steadily planning Maleficent and the fae’s dark demise, enslaving tiny fae creatures for experimentation and studying for ways to destroy them. A raid into the forest provides her with the final ingredient she needs, and then its on! Again, the movie seems to be striving for a balance between how dark its willing to go.
The audience is teetering between cheering for Maleficent and hating Queen Ingrith, as she doesn’t make her exact reason for wanting the fae dead until close to the end of the film, and even then…it doesn’t seem to warrant the death of an entire species. Maleficent seems to be caught in the middle between her loyalty to her fae as well as being a mother to Aurora. When Connal reveals to her that she is descended from the great dark phoenix, the last of her kind, and the key to the fae’s last survival, Maleficent knows what she must do.
Ultimately, the movie discusses a very true evil that is alive and well in the world today; the battle that happens when two opposing groups feel one has wronged the other, and when they feel the peace talk needs to cease. When the battle comes to a head at the ‘red’ wedding (not quite as brutal but just as cunning) it’s an epic battle sequence that hasn’t been seen in a Disney movie before. All is nearly lost, and as Aurora has to escape the evil clutches of Queen Ingrith, Maleficent soars down in a battle suit that slays anyone within a 100 feet of her. Her power is unparalleled, and at the moment when it is needed most, she finally rises as the ultimate evil there ever could be bringing the dark battle to an end.
In all Maleficent Mistress of Evil in an exquisite film that is evil in all the ways that are none…traditional. It certainly isn’t a fairy tale and provides a much darker quality than one expects in a Disney film. The aesthetic is wickedly good, and the costuming should win an award! Maleficent will always reign supreme as a top female villain however, one critique, would be that Disney let her be so. If your expecting to see Maleficent embrace her vicious, evil side than you will be poorly disappointed. This story is about how evil truly resides in the jealous hearted, and mean spirited, and that is ever the description of Queen Ingrith.
But, Not to fear! There are enough heart stopping moments, and plot twists to keep any audience member on the edge of their seat. Beware of any high expectations, but Maleficent Mistress of Evil is a film not to be missed!
You may not fall in love with the film but as our anti-heroine famously says ‘Love does not always end well Beastie’.
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Hi! Asia Minor here - I enjoy anything history, fantasy, and sci fi...its even better when its all combined. I am working on acquiring beautiful huskies for my pets, constantly watching movies (and plan on making them), and reading/writing. My musical choices limit to Disney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Lamar - enough said.