Fairytale propaganda exposed
Release Date: 27 October
2014 | PG | 97 minutes | £ 29.99 ( 3D Blu- ray)/£ 24.99 ( Bluray)/£ 19.99 ( DVD) Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Director: Robert Stromberg Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton
wasn’t evil, just misunderstood. The vengeful villain at the heart of Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty isn’t even a witch, even though that’s how she’s often remembered; she was a pissed- off fairy. Maleficent has suffered over half a century of bad publicity and this fairytale revision aims to redress the balance.
Angelina Jolie is magnificent as Maleficent, a goth Joan Crawford with architectural cheekbones; elegant, scary and sympathetic. The inversion of the classic tale is cleverly woven into the plot, while the cinematography and effects are often breathtakingly beautiful.
But the film is also lumberingly episodic and emotionally cold. It’s a good 30 minutes before there’s anything you could call a real character- building dialogue scene. Maleficent is the only character expanded from the animated film version; everyone else seems even more two- dimensional than usual.
Oh, and Maleficent doesn’t transform into a dragon. There is a dragon, but it ain’t her. You can’t help feeling short- changed.
Extras: On DVD, just featurette “Aurora: Becoming A Beauty” ( five minutes). The Blu- ray ( rated) adds five deleted scenes and four making- of featurettes: “From Fairy Tale To Feature Film” ( eight minutes), “Building An Epic Battle” ( six minutes), “Classic Couture” ( 90 seconds of costume close- ups) and “Maleficent Revealed” ( five minutes of effects shots). Dave Golder Maleficent’s make- up was partially inspired by Lady Gaga: Jolie liked the way she used prosthetics to create pointy cheekbones.