A chandelier after the first part, the evil-but-not-too-Maleficent returns to celebrate the wedding of his protégé, Princess Aurora. Animated film scenarios in a “live” universe are a bit too smooth.
Disney’s hegemony is especially pronounced in 2019. One big movie per month on schedule, between “live” reinterpretations of great classics, sequels and endless acquisitions, all this to the end of the year that should finance a few more with the Frozen 2 doublet and later. Star Wars: the rise of Skywalker. But first, a bit of a detour to the suite… a direct adaptation… a great classic, where the clouds are like cotton, the grass is green and where the birds literally sing your name.
Maleficent, the force of evil as it is the fourth link in the chain following Maleficent, released in 2014, was inspired by Sleeping Beauty.(1959), which adapted a story by Perrault. In previous episodes, the beautiful Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) now lives at peace with her evil godmother, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) – long after all the temptations involving spells, shafts, and eternal sleep.
All that is forgotten and harmony reigns in HarmonieLand, the dwarves do little things and the flying fairies giggle. The only thing is: the handsome Prince Philippe wants Aurora’s weak and virgin hand, which never ceases to make Maleficent very jealous. However, the true dark side of power seems to be largely coming from the future mother-in-law, Queen Michelle Pfeiffer (funny enough as an overprotective mother), who fostered dark designs.
The least we can say is that this film plays its fairy tale cards to the end. A deeply personal vision, devoid of the dark and ironic side of the genre, but with special effects that are sometimes endearing (some creatures are quite fun) sometimes a little bit disgusting (you won’t forget the fairy heads soon).
No violence, in any case no real violence, here we are fighting with colored powder and plain iron balls, perfect for toddlers. On the other hand, a bit of fear is gone, the secret ingredient that seals a great classic. Special effects and overlays of sets and characters aren’t always the most beautiful effects, but they work. You have to be sensitive to the baroque universe, the candy pink trend, served by the often messy editing that leaves some holes in the scenario. But if you want to see Disney fairy tales with modern technology and storytelling, then you will be satisfied.
Maleficent is eager to sell its complexity, but you have to look for it – character ambiguity follows an ancient pattern. Aurore – and Elle Fanning – are now adults, but are still princesses to be saved and saved. Maleficent is a fake villain suffused with evil determinism, but he has a heart (otherwise no film).
The star of the film is his henchman, fake Bill Hader, very well-dressed, who has the grace to not be a painful sidekick. There’s almost no humor in Maleficent, but the good news is that there’s de facto never any inappropriate humor, it fits right in the genre. Adults will find the film on track and predictable, fans and young people alike can be content with it but it has far more interesting role models and alternatives.