Maleficent (2014) is a fantasy film that I had high expectations for from seeing all the trailers, and it disappointed me a little. It disappointed me because younger children might be terrified upon watching it. It is a darker side of the classic fairy tale that retells the story from the villain’s point of view from Sleeping Beauty. We learn why the evil fairy is so unfriendly, bitter and unsympathetic when she was not invited to baby princess Aurora (Elle Fanning - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Super 8, Deja Vu) party and why she put a curse on baby Aurora. There is a lot of twists, suspense, a little humor, tons of violence, deaths, torture, anger, and frightening scenes.
I personally do not recommend this movie for younger children because it can be frightening when the kingdom and the magical creatures (dragon, tree people) battle each other - it was very graphic. Maleficent is similar to Alice In Wonderland (2010) and darker than Narnia. It can be scary for young children to see characters appearing to be seriously injured (decapitated bodies) or dead and also the scene where Maleficent (Angelina Jolie - Salt, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Changeling) gave blood curdling screams when she awoke after being drugged to find her wings cut off - they were actually burnt off with iron that is lethal to fairies. King Henry’s (Kenneth Cranham - Layer Cake, Valkyrie, Hellbound: Hellraiser II) uncontrollable anger and violence (Knights face are seen with burnt marks and bloody cuts the day after telling their King they lost a battle) can be disturbing to kids, especially the scene where he hit one of Aurora’s fairies. Kids who are use to movies with violence and watch this movie will learn about redemption, love, hurt, betrayal and human emotions.
Robert Stromberg did an awesome job directing his first movie Maleficent if he was aiming for an audience above the age of 10. I think preteens and older would not have a problem with this movie, and it teaches us that there is always two sides to a story and emotions. I gave this movie an 8 because it is a really good movie - just not for younger children. The story is really beautifully done, and I will watch it again with my kids when they are at the appropriate age to handle the darkness within the movie.
Angelina Jolie’s magnetic performance was purely amazing, and the visual effects were not far from it. I love her costume, and the CGI was superb. It was nice that her horns were shown before putting the headpiece/costume on it.
About Maleficent 2014
Starring: Daniel Westwood, Hrvoje Klecz, João Costa Menezes, Lasco Atkins, Angelina Jolie, Christian Wolf-La'Moy, Sandy Fox, Julian Seager, Nick Donald, Kenneth Cranham, Sharlto Copley, Brenton Thwaites, Alex Gillison, Michael Higgins, Terri Douglas, James Ayling, Andrew James Porter, Juno Temple, Alexander Gillison, Jd Roth-round, Sam Riley, Marama Corlett, Lee Edward Jones, Karen Anderson, Adam Bond, Oliver Maltman, James Hicks, Daniel Harland, Matthew John Morley, Elle Fanning
Director: Robert Stromberg