This reprehensible, morally amputated, unenchanted attempt to turn the Sleeping Beauty villain into a misunderstood, sympathetic anti-hero who is the victim of dastardly King Stefan’s deceit is a stain on both the Magic Kingdom and children’s literature.
We know how Maleficent got snubbed by a lost invite and then sought revenge on the royal family by cursing their infant daughter, condemning Aurora to a sleep state on her sixteenth birthday. We are also familiar from the lyrics in the 1958 Disney animated movie that Aurora anticipated that “one day my prince will come,” an idea that is anathema to today’s feminists.
With her hollowed cheeks, husky voice and horned headpiece, Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as the evil fairy. Unfortunately, in Maleficent her character has been taken out of context to be reimagined as a jilted lover. So of course, in these mind-shrinking, ambiguous times, redefining gender roles requires that Prince Charming be irrelevant, and the lines between good and evil can be blurred, allowing Maleficent to be removed from her perch as Disney’s most ruthless and feared villain so her bad deeds can be excused! Drained of her villainy, what is left is a crippled, vulnerable woman whose meanness grew out of an assault.
And in so doing, she’s been stripped of her powers!
The once formidable witch-like adversary is instead portrayed as a goth girl who lives in the briar patch. She no longer has the ability to instantaneously transport, a la X-Men’s Nightcrawler who can appear and disappear at will. Nor is she a transmorph with the ability to change shape and become a dragon. She doesn’t fight her own battles but delegates power to magic living tree stumps to soldier on her behalf. Even her staff is reduced from scepter to stage prop. All that’s left is the sinister profile and a raised eyebrow.
Then there’s the curse itself!
In Maleficent, Aurora’s “sleep-like death” can only be reversed, we’re told, by “true love’s kiss,” which is tossed into the spell as an afterthought because Maleficent feels compassion. At this point, my Spidey sense was tingling off the scale.
That phrase was used in Enchanted but comes from J.M. Barrie’s play, Peter Pan, which was a story of a young girl’s sexual awakening. Wendy is advised by her mother that there are varying degrees of kissing. There is the kiss that a mother has for a child. The kiss a daughter gives her father. The kiss shared by husband and wife. Annnnd, there’s a fourth kiss that’s not discussed: true love’s kiss, which is between a woman and her lover!
Back to Maleficent:
Yes, I’m going to spoil the movie, so all you protozoans who only want to muddle through a meaningless movie to be charmed by visual effects, quit reading, NOW!
Concocted by Maleficent, Prince Phillip (Charming) is led into the bed-chamber where Aurora lies in state. In every other version of the story, three good fairies protect the princess, but here they are bumbling busybodies only concerned with their own safety. They encourage the prince to kiss the comatose Aurora, something he obviously had no desire to do on his own! His kiss has no effect.
Prince Charming has been successfully emasculated!
Remember now, it takes “true love’s kiss” to awaken the princess and break the spell.
Not the kiss of a mother and child.
Not a daughter’s kiss for her father.
But that special, secret kiss between lovers.
Sooo when Maleficent kisses Aurora on her forehead, she awakens!
Geez Louise, how blatant must it get?
I half thought Diaval, the crow who has all of Maleficent’s powers anyhow, would rise to the occasion and take the form of a secret admirer, but that’s not to be… In the tawdry climate of moral relativism where King Stefan can be portrayed as little more than a rapist and Prince Charming is shown to be impotent as fierce male warriors are held at bay by gnarly twigs, then of course a woman’s kiss is “true love’s kiss.”
An abomination of epic proportion on par with Disney’s other fiasco, Pocahontas, Maleficent is a bitter pill coated in visual elegance but fraught with aberrant feminism.