A Review of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

A close look at the recent Disney film starring Angelina Jolie.

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A Review of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

photo from Google Images

photo from Google Images

photo from Google Images

photo from Google Images

Kendel Barber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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On October 18, 2019, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil premiered in theaters. This is a sequel to the original Maleficent, a retelling of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, which premiered in 2014. The movie follows the events of the first movie while focusing more on the character of Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie. During the quickly approaching marriage of Princess Aurora and Prince Philip and the union of two kingdoms, Maleficent loses her temper and war is threatened between the two empires. 

Maleficent is portrayed as the villain in the beginning, but the movie creates dramatic character development, as Maleficent ends up being the heroine at the end. She shows her loving and loyal side, which had previously been shrouded by her cold exterior.

Many aspects between the original and new Maleficent were similar, one of which was the visual masterpiece created by exemplary computer-generated images (CGI) and special effects. The vivid colors, stunning action scenes, and realistic magic of Mistress of Evil resembled the first movie, but were nonetheless an exquisite sight for viewers.  Additionally, the movie featured a fantastic soundtrack that greatly added to the brooding setting and the plot, and the advanced CGI effects were also impressive. It depicted a vast contrast between the alluring fantastical forest of Aurora’s home and the ominous and frightening setting in other parts of the movie.

On the other hand, Mistress of Evil certainly exceeded my expectations and was far better than the first movie. It introduced many new characters while giving the characters we already know more layers to their personalities and motivations. The sequel gave more background on the main character, Maleficent, and the other fey creatures which helped to soften aspects of her character and make Maleficent more relatable to the audience.  

There was a fair amount of violence in the film, which surprised me because of its PG rating. At some points, the extent of the violent scenes almost seemed like fillers for lapses in the actual plot, but that was only a minor downside compared to the overall experience. 

While watching this movie, it was refreshing to see powerful female leads in both the villain and heroine characters. The most important was Angelina Jolie, but Maleficent’s antagonist, Queen Inggris, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, should not be forgotten. And finally, Elle Fanning, who played Princess Aurora, got to show off the strength of her character.

As stated before, Jolie perfectly captured the wicked elegance of her character and was excellent throughout the film. As well as playing one of the main cast, Jolie also was a producer on the movie, and of course, performed both roles perfectly. Mistress of Evil was one of several movies where Michelle Pfeiffer has played an antagonist, and she has perfectly captured the scathing villainess of Queen Inggris. Elle Fanning was a great casting choice for Aurora, encapsulating the young girl’s innocence and fairness flawlessly. Princess Aurora also went through major character development, showing her strength of heart and an unrelenting yearning for peace at the end of the movie. 

Although this Disney fantasy had a rather fairytale ending, the majority of the plot was nothing of the sort. The movie had a complex conflict and plot, weaving in several storylines into one. It also conveyed important themes like acceptance, family, and forgiveness.

Even if you have not seen the first Maleficent, it is easy to pick up on the storyline and you won’t be lost throughout it. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys action or fantasy as the movie flawlessly weaves the two together, making it a riveting experience.