Movie review – Maleficent

2014-06-08 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

There was always something fishy and deeply sexist about the way Aurora was cursed in The Sleeping Beauty.

A fairy who didn’t get an invitation to the party to welcome the baby loses it and curses the princess to fall into a death-like sleep forever. You can almost hear the men who wrote it saying well, women are so irrational, it could happen. Um, not likely. No party is that good.

The live-action prequel to The SleepingBeauty with ­Angelina Jolie in the role of the magnificent Maleficentis a wonderful retelling of a deeply irritating fairy story that offers a realistic ­genesis for Maleficent’s rage, and a happy ending that has nothing to do with a sappy prince and everything to do with cooperation and mutual respect between two women.

At long last, Disney is getting it, or perhaps it is just reflecting the times. Little girls today think princesses who sit about in puffy dresses singing “one day my prince will come” are, well, a waste of oxygen.

In fact, princesses are a bit passé, which is why the remix of the princesses in Frozen (and Tangled and Brave) is such a breath of fresh air. Like Frozen, which literally punched a hole in the idea of a happily-ever-after ending because a prince turned up, Maleficenttells the story from the female perspective. Finally, the women to whom things happen in fairy tales get agency. They are telling their own stories.

Jolie is born to play this role. She is ethereal and so beautiful, it will make your eyes ache. She is regal, she is incandescent and she is, most importantly, complex.

The cause of all the trouble is a young man called Stefan, played by South Africa’s own Sharlto Copley, who after his Kafkaesque transformation in District 9 is making his Hollywood mark as versions of a villain – in Elysium, Oldboy and now Maleficent.

The makers have expertly woven elements from the original 1959 ­Disney animated film The Sleeping Beauty into the film. The prince also flags the fact that he hasn’t had permission from the princess to kiss her before doing so – which is great progress in itself in the fight against unwanted sexual attention. Even the chirpy song Once Upon A Dream has been given the 21st-century treatment with a version done by LanaDel Rey.

I loved Maleficent and I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to see this version of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, where the women who drive the narrative take back their power.

http://youtu.be/nUlQP5hivyU

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.