Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
Associate PartnerAssociate Partner
  
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » India
2-min read

'Maleficent' review: It is beset with an overly busy plot, abrupt changes in tone

Robert Stromberg, two-time Academy Award-winning production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, makes his directing debut in 'Maleficent'.

Rajeev Masand | CNN-IBNRajeevMasand

Updated:May 30, 2014, 11:34 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
'Maleficent' review: It is beset with an overly busy plot, abrupt changes in tone
Robert Stromberg, two-time Academy Award-winning production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, makes his directing debut in 'Maleficent'.

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton

Director: Robert Stromberg

Putting a revisionist spin on one of its own animated hits, Disney places the wicked witch front and centre in Maleficent, revealing the real reason she put a curse on the innocent princess in Sleeping Beauty. Decked out in flowing robes, sculpted cheekbones, red lipstick, and a pair of horns that ominously snake out of her head, Angelina Jolie is the slinky embodiment of evil. But this is a film determined to redeem the misunderstood villainess rather than condemn her.

Turns out Maleficent wasn't always bad. She was a good fairy once who fell in love, and got her heart broken. An act of betrayal - by who else but a greedy, ambitious man (Sharlto Copley) - unleashes her fury, and she casts a spell on his baby girl. At 16, Aurora (Elle Fanning) will prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a death-like sleep. Still, it is clear early on that Maleficent doesn't hate the girl, or the young woman she grows up to be. To her own surprise, she learns that she can't help but protect the princess, growing up in an isolated cottage.

Robert Stromberg, two-time Academy Award-winning production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, makes his directing debut here, giving us a visually overwhelming 3D world flooded by digital effects of varying quality. The expansive vistas are gorgeous to look at, as are some flying sequences, and a majestic fire-breathing dragon. But the trolls and gremlins inhabiting these fantasy lands - and particularly the trio of pixies looking over the young princess - come off as creepy rather than cute.

Jolie is riveting every time she's on screen, bringing humor where needed, and cold hard glassy stares to convey rage. At one point, she bursts into a piercing scream at the loss of her wings; it's impossible not to be moved. But trapped in a film unsure of what it wants to be, the actress is its only strength. For Maleficent is beset with an overly busy plot, pacing issues, and abrupt changes in tone. Her own character suffers from a sort of script schizophrenia - one moment she's raising hell, playing up to her wicked witch persona, the next moment she's all gooey and soft over Aurora's kindness. The romantic angle, between Aurora and the prince whose true-love kiss will break the curse, feels slapdash and underdeveloped, and the obligatory climatic action has little awe or wonder.

When the lights come back on in the end, it's unlikely that much will stay with you, apart from Jolie's scorching presence. She deserved better, and so did we. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five for Maleficent.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Write review and win prizes

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results