By ALEX CASTRO
Maleficent is charming viewers across the nation.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the second film in its series, following the first film, Maleficent. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, the infamous villain from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. However, the film’s new take on perspective, as well as excellence in Computer Generated Imaging (CGI), gives new life to the classic fairy tale.
Consequently, the complex and expensive CGI, which comprised most of the film, is detailed and convincing. In essence, the extra layers of depth that the stunning visuals added allowed the film to attain a higher level of world-building, truly making the setting come alive. Moreover, the immersion of the viewers into fantastical elements of the film allows them to experience the story on a much more intimate level.
Throughout Maleficent, a prevalent theme of character change emerges. One of the most important tools that the film utilizes to portray this key aspect is acting. Thanks to numerous emotional performances, the audience has an easier time understanding character motivation, inspiring empathy, and sympathy. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent to her fullest extent, granting the character more life and personality. This characterization of adding depth to the characters is very thorough and makes it so that even smaller characters have complex motivations and goals. Additionally, the intricacies of the plot are heavily accented by this crucial design, as the film uses plot twists and turns to keep the viewers in suspense.
More than this, not only did the performance’s emotional expressions enhance the audience experience, but they were very realistic and dedicated portrayals of the characters. Despite the large changes between the animated film and the newer adaptations, the barest essentials of the characters remain the same. The overall persona of the characters remains closely linked to their origins, which shows throughout Mistress of Evil. For example, although experiencing tremendous personal growth, Maleficent keeps her mischievous and villainous aura.
Furthermore, the contextualization of the film is smooth and comprehensive. Despite a long gap between the two films, the story seems almost continuous, and those unfamiliar with the film do not require prior knowledge. Due to the level of detail put into the characters, the flow of time is very realistic and flows well, despite the gap between films.
Both the modern take to the characters and reimagining of a classic story appeals to all age groups. The action-packed graphics and scenes appeal to younger viewers while the classic characters and complex story attract older viewers. An example of this is the duality between the fight scenes and the but tensely charged moments of calm. This juxtaposition enhances the quality of both types of scenes and better increase the film’s flow.
What’s more, both the introductory narrative and plot of Maleficent revolve around the understanding of the story of Sleeping Beauty. This aspect of the movie is incredibly refreshing, as it allows the audience to laugh and enjoy the unique fairytale Maleficent presents. This kind of storytelling is different from classic fairy tales in that it adds new depth, lending the audience a new perspective and insight into the characters they love. For example, almost contrary to the original telling, the recent films humanize Maleficent and the character as a whole.
Ultimately, the movie industry is in its age of sequels, and many of them fall far short of the bar set by its predecessors. Yet, Mistress of Evil proves itself a worthy, and emotional, sequel.