MALEFICENT (Theatrical Release USA 2014)

Ben Meyer’s rating: 2.4|5.0 Stars ìì

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 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. The audience may feel betrayed because of 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. One can't help but wonder what this story would have made, dollarwise, if it had been properly cast and all characters fully developed. With better scripting, who knows? It seems 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. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

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. Interesting and has great costuming, but has a casting challenge.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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