Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent (2014)



Bad guys wear black, are ugly, torture small animals, and are just downright mean, right? When someone’s name actually means evil, you should be able to count on them to be 100% despicable. But these days everything is complicated, without blacks and whites, just shades of gray. Good guys have bad habits, and bad guys are likable and have a backstory that explains, if not justifies, their evil ways. This new retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty  shines the spotlight on the not so maleficent Maleficent, and asks us to understand and appreciate her painful and traumatized past.

This PG rated movie intends to impress and entertain adults as well as the kiddies. Just because it’s rating allows younger viewers, doesn’t mean it’s without a dark side. In fact the most traumatic scene parallels a date gone very very wrong. While grownups will enjoy the added depth and richness of this movie, most of the darkness will fly harmlessly above the younger viewers heads.

This is not a Walt Disney picture of old with a grotesque evil antagonist versus the beautiful damsel in distress who awaits a white knight on shining stead, instead this fairy tale is morally planted firmly in the present day, with all the complications and contradictions of our modern life.

Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images. [rating=3]


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