Start with the obvious: I don’t recommend this movie. Obviously the actors in this movie were absolutely powerless when it came to saving rookies’ work: CG to cover fairy lands, cowering behind the LBGT curtains, and above all else, taking the original work as granted and twisting it.
There were so much mistakes all over the place. If it had been Avatar, a totally different but successful film from 2009, it may have made some sense. If it had been in 3D, it might have helped a bit to save this film from total obliteration.
Before anyone might ask, in the original Disney’s animation, the battle between Maleficent and rest of the characters was a lot complicated, and yet it unfolded beautifully as it went. Maleficent did not show a sympathy of any kind. She was an absolute evil, “the mistress of hell” as she puts it, making her a noble but incomprehensible character. Several scenes pointed out that true love (shown as absolute power) is only way to defeat her. I believe they spent several minutes contemplating how fairies and King Stefan will try to hide Aurora from Maleficent’s curse.
Now in the movie, the beginning of the film is entirely useless. A love between a man and a female fairy happened to be destroyed by the young man’s ambition. See how it took me a sentence to explain at least a quarter of the film? The movie takes at least half an hour to explain how Maleficent must have been young and kind once.
With 2 hours running time, Maleficent needs to turn out to be a good fellow in the end, and a movie wastes quarter of it in explaining how she was once a good fairy, along with “true love” does not exist with fancy CGs that simply does not cope with plot line. The fight between the two kingdoms happened to not exist at all. The merge between the two kingdoms were never explained. They just created this fairy land not open for humans and shown all the reasons how Maleficent was already in a Queen-like position, or there about.
Which brings me to the next point. She is never evil as she says she is, except for 2 scenes and the endless narrating. Fairies fear her, but she was already in power way before she lost her wings and went nuts. Humans fear her for her power, but nobody doubts how Stefan got his hands on the wings and how he came to be a Maleficent-slayer.
Maleficent is ought to be a central figure, but the film fails to balance it out between the failed relationship and the plot line. All she has ever done was that she cursed a baby, whom she will protect forever since and even try to revoke the curse.
Biggest and simplest issue with the movie is that it tried to cower behind the whole LBGT issues, or lack thereof. LBGT, according to my knowledge, is similar to a lovers’ partnership not maternity. The director perfectly fails to balance between maternal love and lesbian relationship; was Maleficent ever lesbian?
It opens up an entirely different window to speculate, but there isn’t much provided to probe into. At any rate, it would be refreshingly new to introduce a lesbian or bisexual character. It’s a question of how you play it, not what you play it. Overall, it was a collection of failures bit by bit. It was a marvelous CG work, but it was never properly done on Maleficent. Maleficent as a character wasn’t fully developed either, thanks to wasted time going around the fairy land, “Moors.” She wasn’t even evil to begin with.
So, if you must catch a movie this weekend, try a different one. This won’t cope with your childhood masterpiece.
updated Jun 4, 2018: retitled from “Maleficent Review from MTP”