First, let’s talk briefly about the surface.
Angelina Jolie is made for the role, and the camera could not stop glorifying her. Those who pay to see her will be more than satisfied. Her fashion, her look, her style, her action – everything is perfectly captured and framed. The overall visual is cartoony to give a strong sense of fairy tale.
However, the plot feels slow from the mid-point to the end of Act Two. Battle sequences should be more elaborated just a bit to entertain us with more spectacles. Act Three rises up again with a mild, rather predictable twist, and a decent conclusion.
Now, the actual content of this Sleeping Beauty story told through the point of view of the “villain”.
What’s awesome about Maleficent is how it intentionally blurs the line between hero and villain. This idea is already presented from the first few lines of the narrator. I, in my quick judgement, believe that this is an important movie for the kids.
Maleficent is another brave step to eradicate the absolutism of good versus evil. It really feels like Disney is seriously updating the values they want to plant in the children. Maleficent also portrays the failure of men, and reaffirm the staggering importance of motherhood and feminism. Just like in Frozen, dreamy teenage love of a Prince Charming is made irrelevant. Young girls should make a choice even if it is against conservative values.
Well, I may have read too much into it, but I honestly wish the best for Maleficent.