Jolie gets (wait for it)... horny!
The story of Princess Aurora and the curse she is hit with is something we're all familiar with. It has been retold countless times before so taking it and giving it a fresh and unique coat is a rather difficult task and one that has been done rather well by Robert Stromberg's directorial debut Maleficent and, of course, Angelina Jolie's performance as the titular villain.
Live-action adaptations are becoming increasingly poplar these days, especially live-action versions of fairy tales - take Alice in Wonderland, for example - but what makes Maleficent bolder than these other adaptions is that this one tells the tale from the villain's perspective.

Inspired by the hit TV show Once Upon a Time, which deals more with Snow White's world, Maleficent takes Sleeping Beauty's world and gives Jolie, with her razor pointy horns, jagged cheekbones, majestic and powerful wings and her gothical fashion, a reason to curse Stefan's Young Aurora and go from a beautiful pure-hearted woman to the ruthless, malevolent, stone-hearted queen that we all know her as.
Honestly, there is no one else that can pull off the character the way she does. Her transition from girl to woman to warrior is majestically done. She is magnificent as Maleficent.

The one scene where Jolie has a brief on-screen moment with her real daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, who plays Young Aurora, is incredibly tremendous and her later crippling loss for the child she cursed is overwhelming, moving and delivered so amazingly that it all feels so real. Jolie pours genuine emotion into her character and she's able to convey Maleficent's equivocal personality in a bold and beautiful manner.

Performance wise, the rest of the cast are inferior Jolie - it's her picture after all - and it's fair to say that they can't match her but, however, they do give her audacious support.

Given the film's name is Maleficent, Elle Fanning's Aurora doesn't get much scope and diversity, even if the film is somewhat a Sleeping Beauty film, but she still manages to bring a splendid performance to the table, one that is brimming with a live spirit, and her sweet charm and smile lights up the dark and, at times, tense atmosphere.
Also, her chemistry with Jolie is excellent and thoroughly enjoyable and the pair are rather excellent with their counter-intuitive roles.

Sam Riley's Diaval is also left out in the cold a little but still remains strong. He isn't your typical kiss-ass Disney henchman and will put Jolie in her place, if necessary, and his character offers a nice, wry counterpoint to some of her more compelling moments. 

This is a fantasy film in a fantastical kingdom but Stromberg, who is known for his stunning visuals, seems to be trying to hard in making it this way. The film is saturated with CGI, which can be gloriously breathtaking at times but, at others, can be rather odd and just plain disastrous.
However, the effects are merely just a small error in this majestic piece of cinema, which excels everywhere else although tender tots may need a big hand.

Maleficent makes for a fun, memorable trip to the cinema and with it's whimsical approach is familiar but also beguilingly new and Jolie is dazzlingly unnerving and unearthly as the titular villain in this atypical children's film that makes for magical adventure for all.
★★★★☆

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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