‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ Review

By Russell Fung

Did anyone ask for a sequel to Sleeping Beauty?

I used to write English-language screenplays for a feature animation studio in China. They hired me to write sequels to Snow White and Cinderella, asking me to infuse Western humor so that it would appeal to an international audience. The experience was difficult because nobody could agree on what the story and message had to be. I was told, “It’s a movie for children, so don’t take the themes too far or too serious. It doesn’t have to be logical or make sense. It just has to be fun and pretty.” I left the projects amicably, because I didn’t want to write a generic story that didn’t resonate with the current human condition.

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‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ is All About Family and Growing Up

By Esther Kim

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil reunites Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and Aurora (Elle Fanning) as they face their biggest challenge: growing up.

Sure, there are the fey people wanting to come from behind the shadows and a potential battle between them and humans, especially with an evil queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) pulling the strings from behind the throne. But the main story is really the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.

“I feel the huge part of the success from the first film is that it had a strong emotional core,” said director Joachim Rønning during the global press conference in Beverly Hills. “I think that was the most important to me to continue telling that story. The story about Maleficent and Aurora. That’s what I can relate with as a parent, myself.”

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Maleficent is Seldom What it Seems

Beware ye who may read this, for there be slight spoilers ahead.

In an embarrassment of riches as far as summer movies go, there was one that I had no intention of missing in the theatres. Maleficent was that movie.

As you would expect, this is a retelling of a story that you only think you know. Like the mega-popular Broadway musical Wicked did for The Wizard of Oz, Maleficent retells the tale of Sleeping Beauty from another point of view. Oh, and what a tale it tells! But that is also where I had the most problem with the movie.

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