Disney’s empowerment of female protagonists, which snowballed in the delightful Frozen, continues in this fantastical live-action fairytale.
Inspired by the studio’s 1959 animation Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is a visually stunning fantasy, which re-imagines the Brothers Grimm through the mascara-ed eyes of the eponymous villainess, who curses a fair princess to 100 years of slumber.
Lines between good and evil become blurred in Angelina Jolie’s delicious portrayal of the vengeful fairy queen.
Naughty has seldom looked and sounded so nice.
Her nemesis is King Henry (Kenneth Cranham), a greedy monarch, who yearns to expand his kingdom by conquering the forest realm where Maleficent holds sway.
In the ensuing battle, the king is badly wounded and pledges his crown to any man who can defeat the “winged elf”.
Lowly underling Stefan (Sharlto Copley), who befriended Maleficent in childhood, tricks the fairy and steals her wings, thereby securing the throne.
Following his coronation, King Stefan is poisoned by power and greed.
In the forest, Maleficent bides her time with her shape-shifter henchman Diaval (Sam Riley).
When the queen gives birth to a daughter, Maleficent journeys to the castle to curse the infant Aurora: on her 16th birthday, the princess will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into eternal slumber.
Only true love’s kiss can break the enchantment.
Fanning is sweetness and youthful exuberance personified. Staunton, Manville and Temple provide the comedy.
Maleficent is on at the Hollywood Plaza, Scarborough, from Friday June 6 to Thursday June 12.