(Wo)man Up: Maleficent and Her Evolution

After five years of restless waiting, Maleficent comes back, gracing the audience with her firm attitude and chilly manner.

Robert Stromberg left the steer to Joachim Rønning, who created a beautiful yet intense tale about growing apart and family ties.  Maleficent: Mistress of Evil grasps the tone of its predecessor, additionally supplementing the story with more action and character development, of not only the main character but also Aurora (Elle Fanning). The film has a solid story-line and important morals for youngsters, as well as older audiences. 

Aurora (Fanning) presents Maleficent (Jolie) the worst possible news she has ever heard – her goddaughter accepted Prince Philip’s (Harris Dickinson) proposal. That means two things that the fairy utterly loathes: There is a chance of losing the precious bond with Aurora. The second – meeting the prince’s parents, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) and King John (Robert Lindsay).

Since Maleficent is not warm, and certainly not the most talkative being, she needs to prepare herself for that. However, even her most robust intent cannot prevent the catastrophe that causes her and Aurora to break apart. But maybe not everything is lost. After finding unexpected allies, amongst whom is Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Maleficent prepares for the inevitable battle. This fight loses its eternal division into traditional good and evil.

This time it also involves a battle for family ties, which sometimes life overlooks.

Angelina Jolie masterfully reprised her role as a fierce fairy who lacks social skills. The audience witnessed her transition in the first movie. From the miserable evil witch, she became a protector of Aurora, a true queen of Moors. The story-line was centered around her getting her wings cut off by the man whom she loved the most. It was a phenomenal metaphor that is ideally suited to the social climate; female spectators could relate to this particular scene the most.

In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Jolie’s character reveals her other side, which is full of social phobias and fears (the biggest one – losing Aurora). Those particularly human emotions are brought outside in their infamous glory during the dinner with Prince Phillip’s parents that ends badly for the fairy. Jolie built a full, elaborate, multi-dimensional character who’s not only evil or good, but displays different levels of all kinds of emotions. 

One of the biggest surprises was Aurora’s character development. The role of Fanning was somewhat dull in the first part. Still, in the second script by Linda Woolverton (who co-wrote Maleficent) and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, the princess reached her potential. Elle Fanning hit the bull’s-eye when it came to her role in this fantasy film. In the second film, Aurora becomes a spunky young woman who stands up to people, even people as powerful as Queen Ingrith.

The addition of Michelle Pfeiffer was a great choice. With the arrival of this Queen, viewers have the opportunity to see the real evil that manifests itself through greed and the desire for ultimate power. In the role that has an oddly similar feeling to Ingrid (sic!) Magnussen in White Oleander, Pfeiffer’s performance scores the highest number possible.

The goal of films such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is to teach and draw morals from the story. As young kids, most of us were instructed not to eat food from strangers thanks to Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, or be careful what we wish for – we didn’t want to end up losing our voice like Ariel in Little Mermaid. The film by Joachim Rønning is no different. Alongside morals and the grand action, the director presents an insight into Maleficent’s soul, Aurora’s growth, and Queen Ingrith’s greed. The evolution of the main character shows in the way she talks to his servant, Aurora, or people in general. 

Maleficent’s character has both fans and people who don’t really like her. But there is no doubting the fact that she’s a strong, protective female character who will do everything for the ones she loves. Her evolution is what audiences needs to see more often in female characters in both the movies and television.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is available on Amazon Prime.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.