Maleficent: A Dive into Magic

Erin Hong, Staff Writer

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The reaction to the second movie of Maleficent, Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil, produced by the Walt Disney Pictures, has been fairly controversial: some loved it, some hated it, and of course, there were some in-betweeners. 

The movie cast is mostly the same as in the previous movie, such as, of course, the leading lady Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) in addition other recurring characters, like Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Diaval (Sam Riley). Some roles of actors have changed, though, such as the role of charming Prince Phillip (from Brenton Thwaites to Harris Dickinson).

Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil follows the second story of the dark fairy Maleficent. The plot picks up five years after the death of King Stefan, where Aurora has become the Queen of the Moors and Maleficent, her adoptive mother, its protector. Unlike the popular stereotype, the beautiful Queen Ingrith, Prince Phillip’s mother, is the real villain: she goes from poisoning her husband the king and fooling her surroundings to waging a full-on war against the Dark Fae. Because of the queen’s evil schemes, mother and daughter separate for a short while, but it’s okay; we all know Disney movies have a happy ending. Because of their separation, the movie feels like it has two different worlds. While the castle scenes with the kings and queens give off an extravagant and baroque vibe, Maleficent’s new discoveries about her gorgeous surroundings give off a feeling of jumping into a magical world. 

Time was meaningless to me as I watched. That’s the thing about this movie: its extravaganza, magic, and fairies brought me into a different dimension. This aspect of the movie was widely criticized, however, with critics opining that the computer-generated magic scenes made no sense to the plot. Speaking of extravagant, a factor of the movie’s attractiveness that can definitely not be ignored is its fashion. The sometimes beautiful, sometimes over-the-top elaborate dresses are eye-catching; the Queen’s battle outfit here just screams fancy. 

Although this movie does have fancy aspects, some parts were frighteningly tied to the real world. For example, the Dark Fae were driven off of their habitats by humans and forced to live in a limited space, now an endangered species. Sound familiar? That’s basically what we humans are doing to animals right now. I appreciated that even the most fantastical movie made an effort to show real problems going around in the world. Maleficent and Aurora’s mother-daughter bond was fairly realistic also, and not that different from real-life quarrels with parents. I admit that I shed a couple of tears toward the end at the motherly scenes, and I don’t cry that often. 

I do admit that this movie was pretty disturbing on some parts—definitely too disturbing to be classified as a child’s movie. From violent battle scenes to fae being eradicated by malignant characters, the film made me wonder if my little cousin would enjoy watching this. This was also widely criticized, and that is definitely understandable. 

Despite the criticisms, I walked out of the movie theater with tears in my eyes from some mother-daughter scenes and a gaping mouth at the fantastic elements of Maleficent. This vibrant and elegant movie is, without any doubt, an attention-grabber. I can say that for sure because for the two hours this movie was playing, I wasn’t on Earth but instead in the far-, far-away magical land of Moors. 

Also, Prince Phillip is pretty charming.

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