MALEFICENT (2014 USA)

Ben Meyer’s rating: 2.4|5.0 Stars ìì

Maleficent—a live action rendition of the story behind the wicked fairy of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty storycould have been so much more. Casting chose Angelina Jolie as main character Maleficent. She is so overpowering in this film that the rest of the characters cannot be fully developed or appreciated. The flip side is that Jolie completely carries the thin storyline and without her, the film, if left as is, would have been a flop. Jolie has to be paired with strong, opposing actors in order to carry any film in which she appears. Sharito Copley as character King Stefan can’t do it. A Russell Crowe or Gerard Butler can do it. The character Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, also needs a stronger personality to interact with Jolie’s complete dominance of the film. The fairies Flittle (Leslie Manville), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), and Thistletwit (Juno Temple) are clumsy and detract from the story. Their characters seem quickly and shallowly developed. They had so much more to add to this story. I expected more from them and felt betrayed by their lack of depth.

Robert Stromberg, as a director, needed to recognize early on that one great costume and one great star, while it made box office dollars, does not excuse full development of a good story. I wonder what this story would have made if it had been properly cast and all characters fully developed. With better scripting, who knows? I would think this is a film that someone will vastly improve upon in future to make it into the classic it should have been from the start. 


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Executive Producers Sarah Bradshaw, Don Hahn, Angelina Jolie, Palak Patel, Matt Smith, and Michael Vieira for making the film possible. Additional character/cast include: Diaval (Sam Rielly), Prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites), and King Henry (Kenneth Cranham).



Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe.

Ben Meyers

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