Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley
Directed by: Robert Stromberg
Duration: 1 hr 37 mins
Rating: * * 1 / 2
Disney is busy these days rehashing old stories and giving them a different touch. We have seen a handful of films in recent times and Maleficent takes on the story of Sleeping Beauty this time.
The story unfortunately doesn’t pull enough punches, there is way too much focus on the visual aspect that gives us birds, animals and some beautiful backdrops but that doesn’t compensate for a taut tale. It is not a surprise that there is attention to detail as far as the images are concerned because director Robert Stromberg who makes his debut, has worked as a visual effects designer on several films.
Angelina Jolie is Maleficent, a faerie with wings who is deserted by her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley of District 9 fame) –not only that, he even clips her wings, literally. There is a divide between the humans and the faeries living on the moor. When Stefan becomes the king and has a daughter, Maleficent curses the baby that after her 16th birthday she will prick her finger and fall asleep for good. Fortunately, there is also an antidote for her curse.
The baby turns out to be a fine girl Aurora (Elle Fanning) and lives with the three pixies in the forest with Maleficent keeping a close eye on her. Eventually, in the climax, the curse does take effect and so does the antidote, for good measure.
The pace of the film is issue, there are long stretches where little or nothing happens and you desperately want the director to get on with it. As mentioned, the stress is on the visuals even though the 3D doesn’t contribute anything positive to experience.
Angelina Jolie breathes some life into the film with her performance other wise this Sleeping Beauty doesn’t have a great deal to keep you awake.
Published in The Navhind Times on 1st June 2014