Saturday, 28 June 2014

Brief review of Maleficent - a near-perfect new Disney movie

*

Excellent movie - five stars (from a possible five).

*

Enchanting and beautiful mise en scene, charming acting and directing, thrills and suspense, an original shape to the plot.

(Happily, no 'needless peril' twists, nor much improbable last-moment-coincidence nonsense.)

Well written dialogue.

Warm-hearted, loving but realistic morality.

Several eucatastrophe moments.

Passed the blub-test^ (more than once).

Great stuff!

*

There are some tremendous fantasies - real new fairy tales - that are still coming into the mainstream mass media; perhaps especially among the kids movies that I see, and going against the general trend of things.

These provide the possibility of en-couraging and inspiring some of the younger generation (those with eyes to see, ears to hear).

Something to nestle, latent in the heart - perhaps to provide nourishment through life and to emerge when needed, sometime down the line. 

**

^Blub-test - How often one feels tears running down the face. 

Note: the casting of Aurora (the princess) was marvellous. She grew up, starting as the sweetest little baby, through delightful stages to a '16' year old who was played by an actress who really looked (and acted) as innocent, generous and unguardedly-lovely as the part required: an 'English Rose'. 

5 comments:

Sylvie D. Rousseau said...

I am very surprised to see you lauding this "aggrieved feminist" retelling of a classic moral tale. I checked a couple of reviews (Steven Greydanus', among others) that confirmed what I inferred from a summary of the plot given by a relative. I add this was not done in a negative light, because the person liked the movie and was not aware at the moment there was something wrong with the story.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SDR - Sounds to me like the reviews are propaganda - trying to make people view Maleficent as something it isn't.

Or, it could well be that movie critics are so brainwashed by Leftism that they see everything that way.

However, that's not how a child would see the movie.

mlr said...

I didn't get "aggrieved feminism" from it at all. I was stunned [SPOILERS]...

... when Maleficent doesn't defend herself against Aurora's angry accusations near the end - all contrasted against the many ways Maleficent helped raise her and keep her safe, any one of which could have been her weapon in defense of her narcissism (to reference TheLastPsychiatrist), but she conquers narcissism (the mindset, supported in so many Hollywood/TV productions that "I'm the main character, and you're all just props and supporting roles with no agency of your own"), and sees the problem and just GETS ON with fixing it, her own reputation/image-in-Aurora's-eyes be damned. Even in the moments when it looked like she may not survive, she didn't spend time trying to explain herself, never knowing that Aurora, by that time, had seen evidence of her own that revealed the back story to her. So many ways Maleficent could have justified herself, and she NEVER did: in any given moment AFTER the curse itself, she just did the right thing. I was so stunned walking out of that theatre.

I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that elevated self-sacrificial love since... well, Donnie Darko.

Sylvie D. Rousseau said...

I wanted to see the movie to check the Conservative and Christian reviews I consulted, but did not have the time to do so in the last week. However, Mr Wright just made a link to a review by his wife, L. Jagi Lamplighter, confirming what I read before. I will see the film anyway when I can and will get back to you if my opinion has changed.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/how-not-to-redeem-the-wicked-in-fairy-tales/

Bruce Charlton said...

@SDR - I suppose people who read this blog must want to know what I personally think about things - and I thought it was a wonderful, inspiring movie. So did my son and his friend, who I was taking.