It’s been 5 years since the first live action Maleficent graced our screens and received mixed reviews. This week Angelina Jolie returns in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to the original Disney film.
The story picks up as Aurora (Elle Fanning) is ready to settle down and marry her boyfriend, Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). Having been hurt by love in the past, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), is immediately against the marriage and cautions Aurora against marriage. However, she tries to allow what she knows is the inevitable and accepts Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) King John’s (Robert Lindsay) dinner invitation to meet her in preparation for the union.
Once again, having been turned into an outcast by people who believe she is evil, Maleficent receives an unpleasa
nt welcoming to the town by everyone. As the dinner progresses, it becomes clear that Queen Ingrith doesn’t approve of Maleficent and wishes to keep Aurora away from her. Blind to the Queen’s actions and in love with the Prince, Aurora chooses to stay with the King and Queen. As Maleficent leaves, she is severely injured, leaving no doubt that she is up against dark new forces. Dinner sets off a chain of events that lead to an all-out war between the Moors and the Town.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil might have similar aspect to it as the first instalment, but the creators made it fresh and fun, you would not have to watch the first one to know what is happening or to enjoy it.
As with most Disney live action, this film’s cinematography and design look as magical and beautiful as one would expect it. Especially in the Moors, where enchanted creatures roam around, and flowers light up every night. There has been criticism about it being too artificial looking, but we are talking about a movie that is based on a fairy-tale, realism is not necessary when we are witnessing talking mushrooms and walking trees.
An important aspect of the tale are the three women who not only portray strong characters but are the leads of the movie. Though each character is diverse and have different motivations, it’s satisfying to see such tough and compelling females on screen.
The story has a steady pace for most of its running time, however, there are moments which take away from its pace. Specific scenes involving around Maleficent’s background are slightly lacklustre, though vital to give context to her power and life, they could have been handled better to keep the viewer’s focus and interest.
The action in the last quarter of Maleficent amps up while the wedding between Aurora and Prince Philip is meant to be taking place. Having seen it, I couldn’t help but think the creators have watched Game of Thrones, took notes of what worked with fans, and then created a Disney version of it with a Disney ending. I can’t say it’s not enjoyable though.
Elle Fanning returns with her innocent aura and ray of sunshine quality, which is fitting for her character. Michelle Pfeiffer is the Queen, and as usual, she is not only brilliant but commands each scene she is in. Angelina Jolie is the highlight as Maleficent, not many can pull off being both scary and endearing at the same time.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in cinemas now.