Saturday, May 31, 2014

Maleficent (Film Review)

This is what Americans do best. Dramatic story telling. And now that we have the amazing technologies at our disposal, why not Maleficent? Why not the incredible portrayal of the evil (not so evil) witch? Why not have otherworldly sets where the air ripples with imagination and all necessary square inches of the frame is beautifully saturated with detail (but not in a oh-we’re-gonna-bombard-you-with-crazy-visual-effects-just-cos-we-can sort of way)? Why not Angelina Jolie? Why not walking/talking trees (now, you don’t need to roll your eyes because these trees look and sound better than Peter Jackson’s from a decade ago)? Why not fairies? 

Rating movies is such a subjective thing. You catch an average movie on a good night, you absolutely love it. You catch a good movie on a bad night, you miss it’s whole point and don’t enjoy it. I must have got Maleficent on a really good night because I absolutely loved it – or it could also be that it was an incredible film. 

I’d love to see the production design team work on this one and the lengths they would have gone through to craft this one up. The music was great – in fact I made a mental note to check them out when I've got home and have logged into spotify (that’s how you know a piece of music has got your attention). 

What this film also did well in its story telling is that it didn’t complicate things, and kept character-count to a bare minimum. The temptation with fantasy stories, I would imagine, is to go hard-core on making characters and scenarios (because sometimes it can be true that audiences love details and they want as many information as possible for the imagined world to become convincing – think LOTR, Potter, Game of Thrones etc.) Though that might be true in great stories, you cannot fake it. The most important thing in a story is to, well, tell a story. Not to get too carried away with setting and character. When your story can be told with two people, there’s no point in creating ten characters just because the writer fancies it. Maleficent leaves you asking for more, you are satisfied with the story, but you are also very intrigued by this new designed world, and the characters that could live within it. 

The story-line has nothing too crazy. Halfway through the film, you might have guessed how the outcome would be. But this doesn't ruin it in anyway. The values/moral of the story is pretty spot-on. Without giving the story away, it is a treatment that you don't see a lot of nowadays – and it's a welcome change.

Finally, my closing remarks:

Elle Fanning, you fine little thing. 


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